Mads Mikkelsen in talks for Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts 3

Now here's a fabulous bit of casting news. With Johnny Depp's departure from the Fantastic Beasts series, speculation has been raging as to who will replace him as Grindelwald. Fans on Twitter stumped for Colin Farrell, who appeared as Percival Graves, Grindelwald's disguise, in the first movie. Sadly, however, he's too busy acting as The Penguin in The Batman.

Word has now come in that Denmark's finest acting export, Mads Mikkelsen, is in talks for the Grindelwald role. We've seen Mads do menacing before, most famously in Casino Royale, where he tormented Daniel Craig's 007 with a piece of rope. Later, in Marvel's Doctor Strange, he shifted dimensions of time as the nefarious Kaecilius. And in TV's Hannibal, he played the title role of cannibalistic Hannibal Lecter to delicious effect.

Truthfully, Mikkelsen is a remarkable actor in pretty much everything he turns his hand to. In particular, his Danish-language roles in A Royal Affair and the devastating The Hunt tap into raw depths of emotion that his Hollywood roles barely reach. More recently, he starred in Another Round, which closed the 2020 BFI London Film Festival to critical acclaim and the coveted Audience Award. The film reunited him with the director of The Hunt, Thomas Vinterburg.

Deadline says that Mikkelsen is the preferred choice of director David Yates, so we'll wait to see if the news becomes official. Fantastic Beasts 3 is now shooting again, having been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Eddie Redmayne returns as magizoologist Newt Scamander, as does Jude Law as the young Dumbledore. With Yates behind the camera, series creator J.K. Rowling is once more on screenplay duties alongside Steve Kloves, himself a mainstay of the Harry Potter franchise.

Fantastic Beasts 3 now has a new release date: 15th July 2022. Stay tuned to the blog and on Twitter @Cineworld for more news about the film.

UPDATE: It's now been confirmed by Warner Bros (via Deadline) that Mads Mikkelsen is our new Grindelwald.