Movies

Mads Mikkelsen to replace Depp in Fantastic Beasts movie

LOS ANGELES – Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen has been chosen to replace Johnny Depp in the upcoming third film in the Fantastic Beasts franchise, Warner Bros. said on Wednesday.

The 55-year-old, who is known for his role as serial killer Hannibal Lecter in the US television series Hannibal, will play the evil wizard Gellert Grindelwald in the spinoff movie from Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling.

The as-yet-untitled movie is set for release in July 2022.

Depp was forced to exit the role earlier this month after losing a libel case in Britain against a tabloid newspaper that branded him a “wife beater”.

The three-week trial in July heard evidence from him and his ex-wife Amber Heard about a tempestuous marriage marked by violence on both sides and of heavy drinking by Depp.

The 57-year-old US actor, who had earlier begun production on the third Fantastic Beasts movie in London, said he was asked to leave by Warner Bros.

Meanwhile, Depp was on Wednesday refused permission to appeal against the UK court decision, and was also ordered to pay The Sun newspaper’s £628,000 (S$1.12 million) legal costs, court documents detailed.

Judge Andrew Nicol, who presided over the libel case, said it was on the basis that he was not persuaded the grounds for appeal had a “reasonable prospect of success”.

Despite the rejection of this appeal, Depp’s legal team could still take the case directly to the UK’s Court of Appeal. - REUTERS/AFP

Celebrities