By Alex Green, PA Senior Entertainment Reporter
Mads Mikkelsen has made his debut as evil wizard Gellert Grindelwald in the trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets Of Dumbledore.
The Danish actor took over the role from Johnny Depp, who departed the Harry Potter prequel series after losing a High Court battle against his ex-wife Amber Heard.
The dramatic three-minute teaser, set several years after the events of The Crimes Of Grindelwald, sees Eddie Redmayne’s Newt Scamander and Jude Law’s Albus Dumbledore prepare to face the shadowy figure of Grindelwald in battle.
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Mikkelsen’s take on the character appears markedly different from his predecessor’s, eschewing spiked white hair in favour of a cropped and darker look.
Hollywood star Depp’s Grindelwald also had a pallid complexion, while Mikkelsen appears less pale.
“If you listen carefully enough, the past whispers to you,” Law says before introducing the protagonists, which he describes as “a magizoologist, his indispensable assistant, a wizard descended from a very old family, a school teacher and a muggle.”
Mikkelsen is later seen in character announcing: “Our war with the muggles begins today.”
Viewers are also treated to throwback surprises from the original films, including a visit to Hogwarts and what appears to be the school’s secret Room of Requirement, which was an important location in the original Potter series.
The film – the third in the series – is due to arrive in April 2022 and will see the return of David Yates, director of the later four Harry Potter films and the first two Fantastic Beasts movies.
While the spin-offs take place long before the events involving Harry, Ron and Hermione, fans will be familiar with younger versions of characters such as Dumbledore.
Fantastic Beasts 3 was originally due to begin filming in March 2020 but the coronavirus pandemic prompted Warner Bros to postpone until September.
Depp, 58, later stepped down from the role of Grindelwald after losing his high-profile libel case against the Sun newspaper over an article which labelled him a “wife beater”.
Mikkelsen, 56, whose credits include Bond villain Le Chiffre and Dr Hannibal Lecter in the television series Hannibal, was subsequently announced as his replacement.