Consider us confunded about this update on the “Fantastic Beasts” sequel.
One element fans of the “Harry Potter” spin-off are most excited to see in the next installment in the series, “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald,” is Dumbledore back on screen. This time around, Jude Law plays a younger version of the character, who author J.K. Rowling revealed was gay in 2007 while promoting the final book in her original series.
The revelation was met with praise and some resistance at the time, since neither the books nor the films gave any indication about the Hogwarts headmaster’s sexuality. But many still eagerly awaited finding out how the new franchise would dive deeper into Dumbledore’s personal life.
Except, it appears the sequel won’t be doing much of that at all, according to director David Yates, who also helmed the final four “Harry Potter” films.
“Not explicitly,” Yates told Entertainment Weekly, about whether Dumbledore will be clearly gay in the film. “But I think all the fans are aware of that. He had a very intense relationship with Grindelwald when they were young men. They fell in love with each other’s ideas, and ideology and each other.”
According to Rowling, Dumbledore fell in love with Grindelwald (Johnny Depp), a dark wizard and early predecessor to Voldemort, during their teenage years. But Grindelwald later became consumed with dark magic, leading to an all-out duel.
“He’s a maverick and a rebel, and he’s an inspiring teacher at Hogwarts. He’s witty and has a bit of edge,” Yates continued. “He’s not this elder statesman. He’s a really kinetic guy. And opposite Johnny Depp as Grindelwald, they make an incredible pairing.”
Fans immediately met the director’s comments with outrage. Many had considered the “Fantastic Beasts” franchise as the long-awaited opportunity to finally explore Dumbledore’s sexuality.
JK Rowling made a huge deal out of announcing Dumbledore was gay after she was done actually writing Harry Potter. Now, given the chance to write new Dumbledore stories with the Fantastic Beasts movies, his sexuality will … still not be explicit https://t.co/Tv8mjckAwl
— Christian Holub (@cmholub) January 31, 2018
Dumbledore being gay has, for better or worse, become one of the most widely discussed elements of Harry Potter lore since Rowling first announced it. The fans are interested in it. Why *wouldn’t* you want to include it?
— Kevin O’Keeffe (@kevinpokeeffe) January 31, 2018
Rowling previously promised that the films will eventually “unpack” the pair’s relationship over the five planned sequels.
“You will see Dumbledore as a younger man and quite a troubled man — he wasn’t always the sage,” the author said. “We’ll see him at that formative period of his life. As far as his sexuality is concerned … watch this space.”
“The Crimes of Grindelwald” is scheduled to hit theaters on Nov. 16.