What Is the Next Possible Grindelwald, Mads Mikkelsen, Known For?

With Johnny Deep no longer slated to star in Fantastic Beasts 3, reports concerning his replacement have begun to surface. As of now, Mads Mikkelsen is the forerunner for Grindelwald. So, what is the actor best known for? Can he fill Depp’s shoes, stepping in for one of the most celebrated character actors of the modern cinematic age? 

Mads Mikkelsen
Mads Mikkelsen at 15th Rome Film Fest. Red carpet Druk. Rome, Italy | Mondadori Portfolio / Contributor

Mikkelsen rose to stardom on the back of The Punisher film trilogy as Tonny; he starred in the first two installments before going on to appear in Open Hearts, The Green Butchers, and Adam’s Apples. All of these films premiered in the early 2000s, cementing the foundation for the actor’s more heavy-hitting roles in recent years. 

Mads Mikkelsen played Hannibal Lecter in NBC’s ‘Hannibal’  

From 2013 to 2015, Mikkelsen starred as Hannibal Lecter in a TV series that reimagined the infamous cannibalistic serial killer — the one who enjoys the human liver with a side of fava beans. Hannibal’s refined and professorial nature starkly contrasted the character’s inner amorality and beastly inclinations. 

RELATED: ‘Hannibal’ Season 4: Is a Revival Still Happening?

He captured the character with ease — fright settled and boiled within his victims (and within viewers at home). The show ran for three seasons, each premiering to strong critical and audience reviews. 

Mikkelsen also starred in 2012’s ‘The Hunt’

The 2012 film The Hunt follows a kindergarten teacher, Lucas (Mikkelsen) whose life collapses when one of his students accuses him of committing a lewd act in front of her. Lucas maintains his innocence as those around him question his decency, turning him into the towns’ despised outcast. 

Mikkelsen delivers a heartwrenching performance, carrying the film as a man desperate to reclaim his life as rumors poison his reputation as a good and honest man. The film premiered to critical adulation, as the narrative dared to ponder and answer difficult societal questions. 

Mikkelsen is familiar with the franchise world; he starred in 2016’s ‘Doctor Strange’

In 2016’s Doctor Strange, Mikkelsen portrayed the primary antagonist — Kaecilius. The sorcerer and former member of the Masters of the Mystic Arts becomes disillusioned with the Ancient One, for he disagrees with her wish to keep other dimensions from coming to Earth. He forms a group of sorcerers known as the Zealots and plans to defeat the Ancient One. Doctor Strange and allies challenge him. 

Mikkelsen made for a convincing antagonist. He was stern and self-assured, omniscient in a way. He was determined and unwilling to let anyone stand in his way, which seems like a strong match for Grindelwald. 

Johnny Depp inevitably has more experience playing characters covered in makeup — characters designed to bring the fantastical to life. From the Mad Hatter to Jack Sparrow, Depp is at home in roles that ask for extravagance without overacting — that beg for realism within the most unrealistic of circumstances. Mikkelsen has the look, but does he have the chops? Does he have the portfolio to hint at future success in the role?