Variety has reported exclusively that Jude Law has been cast to play a young Albus Dumbledore in the upcoming sequel to the 2016 fantasy blockbuster “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” The “Fantastic Beasts” franchise, which J.K. Rowling announced last year was being planned as a five-film series, is set in the same wizarding world as “Harry Potter” but decades earlier, so this will be a major interconnecting event.
Dumbledore is known to “Harry Potter” fans as the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where he mentored the title character (Daniel Radcliffe) on his path towards becoming a hero. The role was played in “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” (2001) and “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” (2002) by the legendary Richard Harris, but upon the actor’s death in 2002 the role was recast with Michael Gambon for the remaining six films.
After Rowling’s “Harry Potter” novels were completed, Rowling revealed that Dumbledore was gay, though the books and movies don’t make explicit reference to the character’s love life. However, now that we’re getting a younger version of the character in the “Fantastic” prequels, does that mean the subtext will finally become text? If so, how might Dumbledore’s youthful experiences be portrayed and how might they change the way we interpret him in the original eight “Harry Potter” films?
The “Fantastic Beasts” sequel will begin production this summer, and its release is already scheduled for November 16, 2018. Director David Yates and star Eddie Redmayne will both be back for the sequel, and Johnny Depp is joining the cast as the villain Grindelwald.