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Fantastic Beasts 3

Mads Mikkelsen is opening up about the "shocker" moment he got the call to replace Johnny Depp in Fantastic Beasts 3.

The Danish actor was cast last month as the dark wizard Gellert Grindlewald after Warner Bros. asked Depp to resign from the Harry Potter prequel franchise. The shakeup came after Depp lost his libel lawsuit against a U.K. publication that alleged he was abusive towards his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard.

During a discussion about Mikkelsen's new film, Another Round, EW asked the Rogue One and Hannibal actor how his take on the villainous character will differ from Depp's.

"Well it's going to be me, so that's a difference," Mikkelsen quipped, then he got serious. "No, this is the tricky part. We're still working it out. There has to be a bridge between what Johnny did and what I'm going to do. And at the same time, I also have to make it my own. But also we have to find a few links [to the previous version of the character] and some bridges so it doesn't completely detach from what he's already masterfully achieved."

"Arctic" Photocall - The 71st Annual Cannes Film Festival
Credit: Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

We also asked Mikkelsen about his reaction to landing the role, which came about under such dramatic circumstances.

"Job wise, it's obviously super interesting and nice," Mikkelsen said. "It's also a shocker that it came after what happened, which is just super sad. I wish both of them the best. These are sad circumstances. I hope both of them will be back in the saddle again really soon."

Fantastic Beasts 3 is currently in production and will be released July 14, 2022. But you don't have to wait years to see Mikkelsen in a new role. Another Round has the actor playing a despondent Danish schoolteacher who makes a pact with his colleagues to test a theory that life is better if you spend your whole day just slightly drunk (in other words, like half the world during the pandemic). Read Leah Greenblatt's review for more details. Another Round opens in limited theaters Friday and is available on demand Dec. 18.

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