The Fantastic Beasts franchise and Johnny Depp officially parted ways last week. That's definite as Depp confirmed it himself. Shortly thereafter, it was reported that Mads Mikkelson would be replacing Depp in the Grindewald role for the third movie in the franchise. This casting was not ruled as official by Warner Brothers or Mikkelson's camp but came from a reliable source so the world accepted it as such. Now, though, Mikkelson is saying that his casting in the third Fantastic Beasts movie is nothing more than a "rumor" and he doesn't know any more than us on the subject.
"Oh, that is on the rumor basis as we speak," Mikkelsen told IGN. "So I know as much as you do from the newspapers. So I'm waiting for that phone call."
Now, this could just be a case of the contract not yet being signed or Mikkelson being genuinely unaware that the studio and director of the next film are looking at him. Then again, he might just be playing along with the rules of the big movie game and keeping his mouth shut about big franchises and their futures as studios love to keep as many secrets about upcoming projects as possible, these days.
"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 and agreed to that request," Depp said in a statement about the departure, adding, "the surreal judgement of the court in the U.K. 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."
Other casting issues which Fantastic Beasts is apparently facing in Colin Farrell as Graves. Farrell is deep into his work as The Penguin in The Batman for Warner Brothers and his work on the DC Comics movie might not finish in time for him to head over to the set of the third Fantastic Beasts movie. It is unclear whether or not the movie will be moving forward without Farrell in the part.
Four-time Harry Potter director David Yates, who returned to the Wizarding World for the first two Fantastic Beasts installments, is directing the third film partially set in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in the 1930s. The presently untitled sequel releases in theaters on July 15, 2022.