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Could Johnny Depp Return to ‘Fantastic Beasts’? Mads Mikkelsen Says ‘Course Has Changed’ Since Trial

Mikkelsen took over Depp's role of Gellert Grindelwald in the "Harry Potter" franchise after Depp lost out on a UK libel trial in November 2020.

"Fantastic Beasts"

“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”

Warner Bros.

In the aftermath of the Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard defamation case, Mads Mikkelsen is pondering whether Depp might return to the “Fantastic Beasts” franchise.

Mikkelsen took over the role of Gellert Grindelwald for “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore,” the third “Harry Potter” prequel film, after Depp lost a UK libel trial in November 2020 relating to abuse allegations from Amber Heard. (The film was released in March 2022.)

“Obviously, well, now the course has changed — he won the suit, the court [case] — so let’s see if he comes back,” Mikkelsen told Deadline about Depp’s possible return. “He might. I’m a big fan of Johnny. I think he’s an amazing actor, I think he did a fantastic job.”

Mikkelsen has been open about how “very intimidating” it was to put his spin on the franchise character Depp originated.

“I could not copy it,” Mikkelsen continued. “There was no way I could just copy it, because it’s so much him. It would be creative suicide. So, we had to come up with something else, something that was mine, and build a bridge between him and me. So, yes, it was intimidating. His fans were very, very sweet, but they were also very stubborn. I didn’t interact too much with them, but I could understand why they had their hearts broken.”

Rumors have swirled that Depp will also be reprising his iconic role as Jack Sparrow in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films. However, no casting announcement has been made.

Depp is making his return to the big screen by transforming into King Louis XV for “Jeanne du Barry,” as well as helming the biopic “Modigliani” inspired by the life of painter and sculptor Amedeo Modigliani. “Modigliani” marks Depp’s second directorial feature, 25 years after the release of “The Brave” in 1997. Co-produced by Al Pacino, the film is based on a play by Dennis McIntyre and adapted for the screen by Jerzy and Mary Kromolowski (“The Pledge”).

Production will begin in Europe in Spring 2023, with casting to be announced shortly. “Modigliani” focuses on two days in Paris that marked a watershed moment for Modigliani’s career in 1916.

“The saga of Mr. Modigliani’s life is one that I’m incredibly honored, and truly humbled, to bring to the screen,” Depp said in a press statement. “It was a life of great hardship, but eventual triumph — a universally human story all viewers can identify with.”

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