Warner Bros Pictures has confirmed James Bond actor Mads Mikkelsen will take over the role of dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald from Johnny Depp in the third Fantastic Beasts film.

Depp stepped down from the role after losing his high-profile libel case against The Sun newspaper over an article which labelled him a "wife beater".

Danish actor Mikkelsen, 54, rose to prominence as shady banker Le Chiffre opposite Daniel Craig in 2006 Bond film Casino Royale.

He also played Dr Hannibal Lecter in the television series Hannibal.

In the Harry Potter universe, Grindelwald is an immensely powerful evil wizard, who is regarded as second only to Voldemort.

Johnny Depp as Grindelwald

Depp, 57, said he was asked to step down from the franchise by Warner Bros following his legal defeat. He was refused permission to appeal against the judgement, but has been given until December 7 to apply directly to the Court of Appeal.

Production on Fantastic Beasts 3 has been taking place in the UK, with Eddie Redmayne returning as Newt Scamander and Jude Law as Albus Dumbledore.

The film is scheduled to be released on July 15, 2022. 

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