"Fantastic Beasts 3" director David Yates wants Mads Mikkelsen to play Grindelwald after Johnny Depp resigned from the role.

The "Hannibal" star is number one on the list of actors who are in the running to be cast in the role. Yates, who also helmed the first two films of the "Harry Potter" spinoff from author JK Rowling, thinks the Danish actor will be a great replacement for the "Pirates of the Caribbean" star. Sources for Deadline claimed that he is also a big fan of the Mikkelsen.

Mikkelsen can definitely pull off a believable villain character. After all, he gained notoriety for playing the forensic psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal Lecter in "Hannibal." The TV show ran for three seasons on NBC. The 54-year old won Best Actor for his portrayal of the titular character. He has also won several "Best Actor" awards from his previous movies.

News about the "Polar" star playing Grindelwald in "Fantastic Beasts 3" comes after Warner Bros. asked Depp to resign from the role. The request was made after he lost his libel case against The Sun in the U.K. ruling.

Judge Justice Nicol ruled that he was violent towards his then-wife Amber Heard during their marriage and so it was only right for the publication to call him a "wife-beater" in its article. Depp plans to make a plea against the "surreal" ruling.

Warner Bros. released a statement thereafter to confirm Depp's exit. The studio also announced its plans to recast Grindelwald and push back the movie's release date. It will now arrive in theatres in Summer 2022 instead of its original schedule on Nov. 12, 2021.

The studio also revealed that the "Rum Diary" star has only done one day of filming for his scenes in "Fantastic Beasts 3."

However, he will be paid the full salary owed to him despite the fact that his tenure has been cut shorter than the five-picture deal he initially signed.

Mikkelsen has yet to confirm his involvement with "Fantastic Beasts 3." Depp's exit, on the other hand, begged the question if Colin Farrell will reprise Grindelwald after he played the disguised character in the first film.

Unfortunately, his schedule is booked for "The Batman," where he plays Oswald 'Penguin' Cobblepot.

Mads Mikkelsen
Mads Mikkelsen is in "early talks" to replace Johnny Depp as Grindelwald in "Fantastic Beasts 3." Vittorio Zunino Celotto / Getty