When Mads Mikkelsen took over the role of Grindelwald from Johnny Depp in Fantastic Beasts 3, fans rejoiced. What would the Danish actor’s take on the dark wizard look like? Would we finally be rid of the bad bleach job? Mikkelsen has spoken before about how he’ll take a (respectfully) different approach from Depp, but he elaborated further on how he plans to make this part his “own.”
Mikkelsen will be playing the role of the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald in the upcoming third film in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them franchise, taking over from Depp, who played the villain in the first two films. While he’s joked before that his version will naturally be different because “it’s going to be me, so that’s a difference,” Mikkelsen recently spoke with Collider about why he felt it was necessary to develop his own take on Grindelwald:
“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. 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.”
Naturally, Mikkelsen didn’t go into details about how different his approach will be, but we can probably expect it will be something along the lines of his villains in Hannibal, Casino Royale, or Doctor Strange. If it’s anything like the highly charged homoeroticism of Hannibal Lecter, we’d be blessed, honestly (Fantastic Beasts is severely lacking in sexually charged tension between Grindelwald and Jude Law’s Dumbledore, whose characters were supposed to have had an intimate relationship at one point).
Mikkelsen enters the series at a complicated time for Fantastic Beasts and Harry Potter. The franchise is mired in controversy, due to the transphobic statements by author J.K. Rowling, as well as the allegations of abuse against Depp during his thorny divorce from Amber Heard. But Mikkelsen, fresh off the Oscar-winning Another Round, offers a kind of blank slate for the film series, as well as a new perspective. He told Collider that he joined the franchise because of the opportunity to do the kind of film that doesn’t get made in his home country of Denmark.
“I’m a big fan of the Potter universe, and it’s a kind of genre that you don’t touch upon in my part of the world. You can’t get away with that budget-wise in Denmark, so obviously when it came my way it was a fantastic opportunity,” Mikkelsen said.
Fantastic Beasts 3 is currently in production in the United Kingdom and is slated to hit theaters on July 14, 2022.
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