Johnny Depp 'to be replaced by Mads Mikkelsen' in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them franchise

ACTOR Mad Mikkelsen is tipped to replace Johnny Depp in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them franchise.

The 54-year-old is reportedly in talks to take over the role of Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts 3 after Depp announced Warner Bros asked him to withdraw from the upcoming film.

A film insider told Deadline: "[Mikkelsen] is Yates’ choice to play Grindelwald and he is in early talks."

The source added that Warner Bros, the studio behind the flick, aims to keep to it's summer 2022 release date and explained that other cast members such as Eddie Redmayne and Jude Law are "already shooting."

Danish actor Mads is known for his portrayal of Hannibal in the series of the same name and previously played villain Le Chiffre in Casino Royale.

Yesterday, it was reported that Johnny will earn his full $10million ($7.5 million) salary for filming only ONE scene on Fantastic Beasts 3.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the production company must pay the 57-year-old actor in full for his work on the movie even though he had only filmed one scene so far.

Production for Fantastic Beasts 3 kicked off in September 20.

The studio informed the film's crew last week that Johnny will no longer play Gellert Grindelwald in the J.K. Rowling series.

The actor had a special provision in his contract called pay-to-play, which meant he would get his full salary whether or not the movie was scratched or his role was recast.

The casting change is not the only shake up for the film, as it's release date has also been pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The movie was originally set to hit theaters on November 12, 2021 but has been delayed until July 15, 2022, according to Deadline.

After his firing became public knowledge, Johnny took to Instagram to say he "respected and agreed" to the production company's request to have him step down from the film.

Johnny was axed from the film after he lost a libel case with The Sun when a judge ruled he abused his ex-wife Amber Heard on 12 occasions.

Last week, a judge defended the Sun's decision to brand Johnny a wife beater in a 2018 article.

Justice Nicol confirmed in a London High Court ­ruling on November 2 that Johnny attacked his ex a total of 12 times.

In a victory for press freedom, London’s High Court ruled The Sun had the right to brand the Pirates of the Caribbean actor a "wife beater" for his brutal attacks on the 34-year-old actress.

Following the verdict, insiders believe Johnny may never work in Hollywood again.

Media lawyer Mark Stephens said: "This is devastating for Depp. He is now toxic.

"He will be known for ever as a wife beater, a drunkard and a druggie. It will be written on his headstone."

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