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13 Dec, 2021 17:29

Replacement for canceled Johnny Depp in ‘Fantastic Beasts’ unveiled

Replacement for canceled Johnny Depp in ‘Fantastic Beasts’ unveiled

The trailer for the latest film in J.K. Rowling’s ‘Harry Potter’ universe, ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore’, has given viewers a look at Johnny Depp’s replacement, Mads Mikkelsen.

‘The Secrets of Dumbledore’ is the third film in the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ franchise, which serves as a prequel series to the highly popular ‘Harry Potter’ films. The trailer gives only a brief glimpse at Mikkelsen’s Grindelwald, a character portrayed in the last film by Johnny Depp. 

Depp resigned from the franchise last year following a libel suit he lost against The Sun newspaper for referring to him as a “wife beater” based on allegations from his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard. The Oscar-nominated actor has denied all allegations against him and filed a suit against Heard over the abuse claims, which he has long said are a “hoax.” 

Mikkelsen was chosen to replace Depp in the franchise in November of last year, and he went on to say that he didn’t know “if it was fair” that Depp lost his gig. 

“I didn’t have a dog in the fight,” the Danish actor said, adding that he wished he could have spoken to his predecessor before taking on the role. 

Depp still reportedly received his full $16 million fee in what was a pay-or-play deal, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The actor has since had trouble repeating the success he experienced earlier in his career, with most of his roles now in smaller productions, many of which are released on video-on-demand platforms. 

Depp has blasted ‘cancel culture’ in recent talks, insisting Hollywood is “boycotting” him over false accusations. According to the actor, Warner Bros. requested that he resign from the franchise, which he agreed to do. 

Heard has meanwhile continued working on high-profile projects, including the upcoming ‘Aquaman’ sequel, also from Warner Bros. 

‘Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore’ will be released on April 8 in the UK and April 15 in the US, and also stars Eddie Redmayne and Jude Law. Redmayne returns as Newt Scamander from the two previous movies, while Law portrays a younger version of Dumbledore.

The movie follows the continuing adventures of Newt Scamander and provides an expanded role for the young Dumbledore, a popular character from the original franchise. 

‘Harry Potter’ fans can also look forward to a reunion special airing on HBO Max in January, though it will not include author J.K. Rowling, who has faced her own controversy in recent months over her views on transgender people.