Is Mads Mikkelsen Better Grindelwald Than Johnny Depp? Let’s See What The Critics Say!

MOVIE NEWS – Critics say Mads Mikkelsen should have been in Fantastic Beasts from the start…



The first reviews are in – ours are due later today – for the latest instalment in the Wizarding World franchise, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, and despite the mixed reviews so far, many seem to agree on one thing: Mads Mikkelsen is a much better Gellert Grindelwald than Johnny Depp. Starting with Insider’s Kirsten Acuna, who says the Hannibal star is so good as the villain that it’s easy to forget Depp ever played the role at all.

“Mikkelsen slips into the role of Grindelwald so naturally that it’s easy to forget Depp had ever played the role.”

“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. In contrast, Mikkelsen plays Grindelwald with a suave, charming charisma that convinces you of why anyone would be seduced by this alluring, handsome wizard and be suckered into fighting a war for him.”

The praise for Mikkelsen’s performance continues courtesy of The Guardian columnist Peter Bradshaw, who says the actor plays a “subtler” and “restrained” Grindelwald than the Grindelwald played by Johnny Depp.

“Mads Mikkelsen has been brought into the series to replace the now problematic Johnny Depp in the role of Gellert Grindelwald, the evil wizard who once had a close relationship with Albus Dumbledore himself (played by Jude Law with a twinklingly donnish manner and beard). Mikkelsen gives a subtler and more insidious performance than Depp’s, and the ‘pale eye’ effect is more restrained.”

Fans of the Fantastic Beasts franchise were shocked when Warner Bros. asked Johnny Depp to step down from the central villain role. It was always intended that Depp would play the position for the remainder of the series, but that changed amid various allegations against the actor, and Casino Royale star Mads Mikkelsen replaced Depp.

Despite all the behind-the-scenes drama, it seems that this replacement has worked out quite well. The Telegraph’s Robbie Cullen (who found much to criticise in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, rating the film a mere 2/5) said Mads Mikkelsen “should have been cast from the start,” while Time Out’s Caroline McGinn said Mikkelsen “makes a fantastically sinister replacement for Johnny Depp.”

Similarly, USA Today writer Brian Truitt found Mikkelsen’s performance more subtle and satisfying, with the actor portraying a more believable leader than Depp’s typically quirky performance.

“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.”

Critics say that Mads Mikkelsen’s Grindelwald is a much better romantic match for Jude Law’s Albus Dumbledore. Something fans have been waiting to see more of for a long time. Kevin Maher, writer for The Times of London, describes Mikkelsen as “a boon for the series” whose “simmering intensity adds a new layer of menace to the character but also suggests a credibly torrid romantic history with Dumbledore.”

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is due for release on 8 April 2022 in the United Kingdom and 15 April 2022 in the United States.


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