Warner Bros. has officially announced that Death Stranding and Doctor Strange star Mads Mikkelsen will replace Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald in the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ film franchise.

Related: ‘Rogue One’ Actor Mads Mikkelsen Shows Interest In Doctor Doom Role!

“Mads Mikkelsen (“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” “Hannibal,” “Casino Royale”) has been cast as Dark Wizard Gellert Grindelwald in the third “Fantastic Beasts” film,” read a Warner Bros. statement confirming his addition to the cast. “The latest installment in the series is currently in production at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden outside of London.”

This announcement comes just a week after Mikkelsen himself commented on speculation that he would be taking up the role of the dark wizard, telling IGN that the role was “is on the rumor basis as we speak”.

“So I know as much as you do from the newspapers,” he added. “So I’m waiting for that phone call.”

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This announcement comes a little over two weeks after Depp resigned from the series’ third film, at the request of Warner Bros., following the conclusion of his libel trial against UK-based tabloid The Sun.

The trial concluded with a judge ruling that their headline reference to Depp as a ‘wife-beater’, based solely on accusations made by ex-wife Amber Heard, did not constitute libel.

Related: Johnny Depp Denied Appeal by UK Court in ‘Wife-Beater’ Libel Case, Ordered to Pay Legal Costs to The Sun

Subsequently, the same judge denied Depp’s appeal against the ruling, on the basis that he did not believe the appeal to have a “reasonable prospect of success”.

As such, Depp was recently ordered to pay The Sun over £600,000 GBP in legal fees, though the actor still has the chance to escalate the case to the Court of Appeals.

The third Fantastic Beasts film is currently set to premiere on July 15th, 2022.

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