Last year Johnny Depp was accused of being a “wife-beater” by a British publication and his ex-wife, Amber Heard. The star’s position in the Disney franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean, remains uncertain, but he was officially asked to step down from his Harry Potter series, Fantastic Beasts. Late last year Warner Bros announced Marvel star Mads Mikkelsen will be taking over as the villain Gellert Grindelwald.
Mikkelsen has now broken his silence on taking hold of Depp’s iconic character in the upcoming movie, which is yet to be given a title.
Speaking to Total Film, Mikkelsen said he approached Grindelwald in a similar fashion to the role of Hannibal in the NBC show.
He explained he took inspiration from Anthony Hopkins’ portrayal of the serial killer at the time and has done the same with Depp.
He said: “This is obviously a more direct comparison because it’s the next film.
“So we have done a few bridges that will allow us to recognise it, but we’ve also said we have to make it our own.”
Addressing how he will be changing the character now he is no longer being played by Depp, Mikkelsen said: “I have been a fan of Johnny Depp since I saw him as a young man.
“To try to bring his intensity and his way of doing it into my work is a no-go.
“I have to find my own, because his is unique, and I just have to let that be, and find a different path.”
The James Bond star also gave some insight into how the production of the film is coming along, announcing: “We’ve wrapped it up.”
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Mikkelsen revealed what would be different between the two actors’ portrayals.
He joked: “Well it’s going to be me, so that’s a difference,” before getting serious about the situation.
He continued: “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.”
Depp announced his exit from the Harry Potter franchise back in November 2020 on his Instagram account. He wrote: “In light of recent events, I would like to make the following short statement.
“Firstly I’d like to thank everybody who has gifted me with their support and loyalty. I have been humbled and moved by your many messages of love and concern, particularly over the last few days.
“Secondly, I wish to let you know that I have been asked to resign by Warner Bros. from my role as Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts and I have respected that and agreed to that request.
“Finally I wish to say this, The surreal judgement of the court in the UK will not change my fight to tell the truth and I confirm that I plan to appeal. My resolve remains strong and I intend to prove that the allegations against me are false. My life and career will not be defined by this moment in time. Thank you for reading. Sincerely, Johnny Depp.”
The Fantastic Beasts and Harry Potter films are available on NOW.
Fantastic Beasts 3 is due out on July 15, 2022.