Mads Mikkelsen doesn’t want to «completely detach» from Johnny Depp’s performance in the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ franchise.
The 54-year-old actor is taking over the role of Gellert Grindelwald from the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ star after he exited the film series last month when he lost his libel trial against The Sun newspaper – who branded him a «wife-beater» due to allegations about his marriage to Amber Heard – and admitted it will be «tricky» to establish himself as the character.
However, Mads wants there to be «bridges» between his take on the Dark Wizard in the upcoming third movie, and Johnny’s version.
He told Entertainment Weekly: «Well it’s going to be me, so that’s a difference. This is the tricky part. We’re still working it out. There has to be a bridge between what Johnny did and what I’m going to do. And at the same time, I also have to make it my own.
«But also we have to find a few links [to the previous version of the character] and some bridges so it doesn’t completely detach from what he’s already masterfully achieved.”
Although Mads is pleased to have landed the role, he admitted it has come in «sad circumstances» and sent his best wishes to both Johnny and his ex-wife.
He said: «Job wise, it’s obviously super interesting and nice. It’s also a shocker that it came after what happened, which is just super sad. I wish both of them the best. These are sad circumstances. I hope both of them will be back in the saddle again really soon.”
Johnny stepped down from the role at the request of Warner Bros., following the loss of his libel case.
He said in a statement at the time: «I wish to let you know that I have been asked to resign by Warner Bros from my role as Grindelwald in ‘Fantastic Beasts’ and I have respected and agreed to that request.”
The 57-year-old actor had taken action against the British publication after they branded him a wife beater who had assaulted then-spouse Amber Heard, but a judge ruled in favour of The Sun earlier this month, when Johnny’s defamation accusation was thrown out.
At the time, Johnny’s legal team vowed to appeal the decision, but last week, their initial appeal was denied by a judge, who claimed the case doesn’t have “a reasonable prospect of success”.