The fate of the “Fantastic Beasts” franchise remains unclear. The most recent third entry, “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore,” pulled in a global haul of $405 million at the box-office – not good for a film with a $200 million budget.
Though scoring better reviews than its predecessor, the fact that the second film’s $654 million haul was seen as a major disappointment and this one performing significantly worse has led to speculation about what happens next.
One big change with the recent entry was Johnny Depp’s withdrawal from the franchise, with actor Mads Mikkelsen stepping into the role of the villain Gellert Grindelwald. Mikkelsen scored good notices for his turn, which was more understated than Depp’s bleached blond eccentric take.
Appearing at the Sarajevo Film Festival this week, Mikkelsen was asked (via Deadline) about his turn in the role and taking over the part from Depp, and suggested the “Pirates of the Caribbean” actor could return to the role:
“It was very intimidating. Obviously, well, now the course has changed – he won the suit, the court [case] – so let’s see if he comes back. He might. I’m a big fan of Johnny. I think he’s an amazing actor. I think he did a fantastic job. Having said that, I could not copy it. There’s 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.”
It’s an incredibly diplomatic answer, but though Depp is now apparently free to return to the role, whether the new ownership in place at Warner Bros. Discovery will even greenlight another entry, let alone the two more that were originally planned, seems doubtful.
“Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” is now available on VOD platforms and HBO Max.