Johnny Depp has been through the wringer over the course of the past year or so, thanks in large part to his ongoing legal battle with ex-wife Amber Heard (Aquaman, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom).
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As part of the fallout, Depp was fired by both The Walt Disney Company’s Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and Warner Bros.’ Fantastic Beasts franchise.
Mads Mikkelsen (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) has replaced Depp as Gellert Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts 3, officially titled The Secrets of Dumbeldore.
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Now, the first critical reviews of the film are beginning to roll in and things are, once again, sadly, not faring well for Depp. Critics are raving about Mikkelsen’s performance, dismissing the Alice In Wonderland actor altogether.
The Hollywood Reporter shared a number of snippets from various Fantastic Beasts reviews, including:
“Mikkelsen slips into the role of Grindelwald so naturally that it’s easy to forget Depp had ever played the role,” writes Insider’s Kirsten Acuna. “With Depp, I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to follow a wizard who comically looked like another bizarre invention out of the actor’s menagerie of eccentric characters he’s played over the years.
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Another opinion downplaying Depp’s performance in the Harry Potter spinoff series was also featured in THR’s roundup:
USA Today’s Brian Truitt adds, “While Depp’s take – essentially playing Grindelwald as a wild-haired freaky cult leader — was fine, Mikkelsen’s feels more dangerous, as he wields a public charm as crowd-pleasing, manipulative man of the people while hiding his inherent ruthless cruelty.”
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Other reviewers echoed these sentiments, with some suggesting Depp’s casting was a poor choice from the get-go:
The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw wrote in his review that Mikkelsen “gives a subtler and more insidious performance than Depp’s,” while The Telegraph’s Robbie Cullen argues that Mikkelsen’s performance proves he “should have been cast from the start” instead of Depp.
Intriguingly enough, Mikkelsen himself has previously spoken out, saying he is unsure if Depp’s firing “was fair” and that he is not certain the Tim Burton favorite needed to be recast.
You can catch Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore in U.S. movie theaters beginning April 15, 2022.
More on Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard
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If you haven’t been following the ongoing Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard case, in November 2020, Hollywood actor Depp lost his libel lawsuit against U.K. News Group Newspaper publication, The Sun, for their report that he had allegedly engaged in domestic violence — including a reported “hostage” situation during a Pirates of the Caribbean shoot in Australia — against the Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom actress on multiple occasions.
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British Judge Andrew Nicol presided over the original proceedings, and Depp later lost his right to appeal the original ruling in the United Kingdom. The Jack Sparrow actor, for his part, has denied the domestic violence allegations, with even his ex-partners, Vanessa Paradis and Winona Ryder, speaking out in his defense at various points in time.
At this time, the former couple is next expected to appear in court in relation to their $50 million U.S. civil lawsuit in Virginia in April 2022.
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As noted, Depp has been fired from his two most high-profile parts — his iconic role as Captain Jack Sparrow in Disney’s Pirates franchise and as Gellert Grindelwald in Warner Bros. Fantastic Beasts series — as a result of the ongoing situation.
Do you think Depp should have been recast as Grindelwald?
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Johnny Depp Dismissed as “Easy to Forget,” “Wild-Haired Freaky Cult Leader” – Inside the Magic