Hollywood has turned its back on Johnny Depp, throwing the actor into the mud and tarnishing his iconic name. His Harry Potter replacement now speaks out.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is accelerating this year with Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore (2022), the 11th film joining the infamous franchise.
However, the latest installments have been subject to backlash following actor Johnny Depp being fired from the lead villain role over physical abuse accusations from his ex-wife Amber Heard.
Following the loss of a libel lawsuit against The Sun, which published an exclusive piece from actress Amber Heard claiming that Depp physically abused her, calling Johnny Depp a “wife beater.”
Warner Bros. quickly cut all ties with the Pirates of the Caribbean (2003) actor, firing him from the role of Gellert Grindelwald from the Fantastic Beasts franchise within the world of Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling.
The community of Harry Potter has not been the same following various political statements from J.K. Rowling surfacing, tarnishing the author’s name. On top of that, not having Johnny Depp in a massive franchise such as Harry Potter created a rift between viewers and Warner Bros.
Following the firing of Johnny Depp, Warner Bros. kept Amber Heard on board for Aquaman and The Lost Kingdom (2023) but chose legendary actor Mads Mikkelsen for the replacement of Grindelwald.
Now, ahead of his Wizarding World debut in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, Mikkelsen revealed the “chaos” that surrounded him upon taking over the villainous role from Johnny Depp:
“It was quite chaotic. You don’t want to copy anything [Depp was] doing — that would be creative suicide. Even if [a role has] been done to perfection, you want to make it your own. But you still have to build some sort of bridge between what came before.”
Mikkelsen told Variety about the chaos that erupted when Warner Bros. reportedly gave him just two days to decide whether or not he’d become the new Grindelwald.
When discussing the revitalization and new interpretation of Gellert Grindewald, Mikkelsen states:
“We didn’t really focus too much on the eye thing, no pun intended. In general, doing something to an actor’s face will often end up being something with the eye for a number of reasons: It’s recognizable, they’re the windows to the soul, it’s easy to control while a prosthetic piece often will crack or fall off, and, finally, it’s cool.”
Mikkelsen’s take on Grindelwald is cited as being more “sexy” than Johnny Depp’s character, according to Fantastic Beasts director David Yates. “Mads has an extraordinary range, he can be terrifying as well as vulnerable, and he’s sexy. I wanted Mads to explore a version of Grindelwald that suited his strengths as an actor — and that inevitably meant a departure from what Johnny brought to the role.”
David Yates served as director of the last four Harry Potter films and director of all three Fantastic Beasts movies.
Yates touches on the elephant in the room: Jonny Depp’s removal,
“Everybody knows why [the actors changed]. The entire world knows why. It would almost be like an Easter egg to reality to point out we swapped actors. Hopefully we drag them in with the first scene and from there they accept this world.”
Mads Mikkelsen promises to bring a refreshing and in-depth interpretation to this iconic wizarding role. While Johnny Depp continues to battle various legal issues with ex-wife Amber Heard, it’s clear that Hollywood isn’t about to welcome back the Cry Baby (1990) just yet, despite overwhelming support from the majority of the general public and more.
More about The Secrets of Dumbledore
Professor Albus Dumbledore knows the powerful, dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald is moving to seize control of the wizarding world. Unable to stop him alone, he entrusts magizoologist Newt Scamander to lead an intrepid team of wizards and witches. They soon encounter an array of old and new beasts as they clash with Grindelwald’s growing legion of followers.
Many fans are boycotting The Secrets of Dumbledore, adding fuel to the #JusticeforJohnnyDepp social media trend that takes over Twitter almost daily.
Eddie Redmayne (Newt Scamander) is supported by Jude Law (Albus Dumbledore), Katherine Waterston (Tina Goldstein), Poppy Corby-Tuech (Vinda Rosier), Ezra Miller (Credence Barebone), Poppy Corby-Tuech (Vinda Rosier), Alison Sudol (Queenie Goldstein), Dan Fogler (Jacob Kowalski), and Mads Mikkelsen (Gellert Grindelwald).
Do you think Johnny Depp should have been replaced? Should he have been able to keep his role? Let us know in the comments below!