Critics hail Mads Mikkelsen's performance of Grindelwald as better than Johnny Depp

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By Carina Murphy

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Mads Mikkelsen has been praised for his turn as villain Gellert Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts franchise.

Many critics have gone so far as to suggest that the Danish actor is a better Grindelwald than Johnny Depp, who played the character in the first two movies before controversy forced him to step away from the Harry Potter prequel project.

Depp first introduced audiences to evil wizard Grindelwald in 2016's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. He reprised the role in the 2018 sequel The Crimes of Grindelwald, before his loss in a libel case against The Sun - who branded him a "wife-beater" - led to him stepping down from the franchise.

[[imagecaption|| Credit: Collection Christophel / Alamy]]

Warner Bros. studio announced that Mikkelsen would be taking over from the Pirates of the Caribbean star in November 2020 when it was confirmed that he would play Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore.

The Danish actor is known for playing bad guys, having starred as Bond villain Le Chiffre in Casino Royale and Dr. Hannibal Lecter in NBC's Hannibal. And if first reviews of the latest Fantastic Beasts movie are anything to go by, Mikkelsen's experience has stood him in good stead to step into dark wizard Grindelwald's shoes.

Since The Secrets of Dumbledore hit movie theaters last week, reviews have begun pouring in. While the movie itself has received a mixed reception from critics, many agree that Mikkelsen is perfectly cast as the villain - even outshining his predecessor's performance.

[[imagecaption|| Credit: Collection Christophel / Alamy]]

"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," Kirsten Acuna wrote in a review for Insider.

"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... Mikkelsen slips into the role of Grindelwald so naturally that it’s easy to forget Depp had ever played the role," she added.

Meanwhile, Variety's Peter Dubrage praised Mikkelsen for his "more grounded, less cartoonishly menacing" version of the character.

And Brian Truitt wrote for USA Today that: "Mikkelsen provides the Voldemort-level evil personality the Beasts movies have been lacking."

Fans have also taken to Twitter to discuss the difference in Mikkelsen and Depp's performances.

[[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/Ulwaz/status/1513276780756578320]]
[[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/N1ghtF4ll_YT/status/1512512010679898116]]

"Now that I've seen Mads, I can safely say he's the PERFECT Grindelwald. Much better than Johnny, by far," one wrote.

A second added: "I think Mads Mikkelsen was LEAGUES better than Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald in #FantasticBeasts3".

Featured Image Credit: Gary Mitchell, GMP Media / Alamy

Critics hail Mads Mikkelsen's performance of Grindelwald as better than Johnny Depp

vt-author-image

By Carina Murphy

Article saved!Article saved!

Mads Mikkelsen has been praised for his turn as villain Gellert Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts franchise.

Many critics have gone so far as to suggest that the Danish actor is a better Grindelwald than Johnny Depp, who played the character in the first two movies before controversy forced him to step away from the Harry Potter prequel project.

Depp first introduced audiences to evil wizard Grindelwald in 2016's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. He reprised the role in the 2018 sequel The Crimes of Grindelwald, before his loss in a libel case against The Sun - who branded him a "wife-beater" - led to him stepping down from the franchise.

[[imagecaption|| Credit: Collection Christophel / Alamy]]

Warner Bros. studio announced that Mikkelsen would be taking over from the Pirates of the Caribbean star in November 2020 when it was confirmed that he would play Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore.

The Danish actor is known for playing bad guys, having starred as Bond villain Le Chiffre in Casino Royale and Dr. Hannibal Lecter in NBC's Hannibal. And if first reviews of the latest Fantastic Beasts movie are anything to go by, Mikkelsen's experience has stood him in good stead to step into dark wizard Grindelwald's shoes.

Since The Secrets of Dumbledore hit movie theaters last week, reviews have begun pouring in. While the movie itself has received a mixed reception from critics, many agree that Mikkelsen is perfectly cast as the villain - even outshining his predecessor's performance.

[[imagecaption|| Credit: Collection Christophel / Alamy]]

"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," Kirsten Acuna wrote in a review for Insider.

"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... Mikkelsen slips into the role of Grindelwald so naturally that it’s easy to forget Depp had ever played the role," she added.

Meanwhile, Variety's Peter Dubrage praised Mikkelsen for his "more grounded, less cartoonishly menacing" version of the character.

And Brian Truitt wrote for USA Today that: "Mikkelsen provides the Voldemort-level evil personality the Beasts movies have been lacking."

Fans have also taken to Twitter to discuss the difference in Mikkelsen and Depp's performances.

[[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/Ulwaz/status/1513276780756578320]]
[[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/N1ghtF4ll_YT/status/1512512010679898116]]

"Now that I've seen Mads, I can safely say he's the PERFECT Grindelwald. Much better than Johnny, by far," one wrote.

A second added: "I think Mads Mikkelsen was LEAGUES better than Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald in #FantasticBeasts3".

Featured Image Credit: Gary Mitchell, GMP Media / Alamy