Mads Mikkelsen, one of the most prolific screen villains of the modern era, will step into the shoes of Gellert Grindlewald, a role previously played by Colin Farrell and Johnny Depp, in the forthcoming Fantastic Beasts: The Secret of Dumbledore, and fans got their first look at him in the role today. A teaser for Monday's full trailer revealed a glimpse at Mikkelsen, who was hired to play the role after Warner Bros. parted ways with Depp in November 2020. The move was reportedly made when a new studio executive took control of the franchise, and decided that Depp's ongoing lawsuits and controversies were too distracting.
Depp and his ex-wife, Aquaman star Amber Heard, have exchanged allegations and lawsuits since they broke up. Each accuses the other of being physically abusive and in the years since their acrimonious split began, a torrent of rumors, speculation, and secretly-recorded audio and video clips have made their way into the public sphere. Any time either of the two are even mentioned on social media, supporters and detractors descend in equal measure to weigh in, loudly and passionately.
"Nobody's interested in me going in there and trying to copy anything, that would be creative suicide immediately, especially when it's been done before and masterfully," Mikkelsen said when asked how his performance would compare with Depp's. "So everybody's expecting us to find a different path. Having said that, we need a bridge between what he did and what I'm gonna do, so those bridges you have to find together, whether it's a certain look, whether it's a certain attitude in certain situations, but you have to make it your own. Anything else would be plainly just creatively stupid."
You can see the official synopsis for the film below.
Set in the 1930s, the story leads up to the Wizarding World's involvement in World War II and will explore the magical communities in Bhutan, Germany and China in addition to previously established locations including Brazil, the United States and United Kingdom. With Grindelwald's (Mads Mikkelsen) power rapidly growing, Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) entrusts Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and his friends on a mission that will lead to a clash with Grindelwald's army, and will lead Dumbledore to ponder how long he will stay on the sidelines in the approaching war.
In addition to Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law, and Ezra Miller all returning, The Secrets of Dumbledore will see Doctor Strange star Mads Mikkelsen replace Johnny Depp as Grindelwald. Other co-stars include Katherine Waterston (Tina Goldstein), Dan Fogler (Jacob Kowalski), Alison Sudol (Queenie Goldstein), William Nadylam (Yusuf Kama), Victoria Yeates (Bunty), and Callum Turner (Theseus Scamander) all returning; as well as Poppy Corby-Teuch as Grindelwald's loyal follower Vinda Rosier. New additions include Jessica Williams (Daily Show) as Prof. Eulalie "Lally" Hicks, with actors Richard Coyle and Maria Fernanda Candido cast in undisclosed roles.
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore will be released in theaters on April 8, 2022. The first full trailer for the movie will be available online on Monday, December 13.