Mads Mikkelsen’s debut as Gellert Grindelwald will be in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore and the second teaser for the film proves that he’s already a greater Grindelwald than Johnny Depp. Although the Harry Potter saga ended in 2011, the Wizarding World has continued to be explored through other works, such as the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and the film series Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which are separate from the story of the boy who lived and Lord Voldemort.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, based on J.K. Rowling’s 2001 guidebook of the same name, was released in 2016, and it takes place many years before Harry Potter was born. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was directed by David Yates and introduced audiences to magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp), who is plotting a huge war against Muggles. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore followed the popularity of the first film, with the latter featuring significant changes to the primary characters.
Mads Mikkelsen will replace Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, in a plot that will see Dumbledore, Scamander, and company confront Grindelwald and his army, all while leading up to the Wizarding World’s entry in World War II. While not much of Mikkelsen’s performance has been shown in the trailer, the footage that has been shown has proven that he will be a better Grindelwald than Depp, since he has channeled the threatening essence of the character a lot better and is also physically different.
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Prior to the advent of Lord Voldemort, Gellert Grindelwald was the darkest wizard in the Wizarding World, and he had ambitions to lead a Wizarding revolution to eliminate the International Statute of Secrecy, establishing a global hierarchical society headed by wizards and witches to rule over Muggles. Grindelwald is the Wizarding World’s second darkest and most dangerous wizard (second only to Voldemort), and based on the trailers for Fantastic Beasts 3, Mikkelsen is nailing the menacing, dangerous essence that makes Grindelwald a wizard to fear, and it helps that he already has a reputation for playing villainous and ambiguous characters.
Although Johnny Depp is a well-known actor, his portrayal of Grindelwald has been panned by fans, who believe he doesn’t fit the character (though some attribute this to Rowling’s writing) and others despise the look he was given. Mikkelsen’s Grindelwald has also been given a new look, sans the white hair and one blind eye, allowing him to be the story’s villain based on his mentality and actions rather than his appearance.
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Of course, there’s still a lot to see and learn about Mads Mikkelsen’s Gellert Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, but it’s evident that it’ll be considerably different from Johnny Depp’s, and perhaps better and more convincing. Gellert Grindelwald is a multifaceted character, so it’ll be interesting to see what else Mikkelsen contributes to the role and how it compares to Johnny Depp’s vision and interpretation.
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Fantastic Beasts 3: Michael Mikkelsen Is Already Better Grindelwald Than Johnny Depp