Author J.K. Rowling confirmed at a press conference yesterday that the new ‘Fantastic Beasts’ franchise, a prequel series to the Harry Potter franchise, will see several Potter characters in their younger years. One we know for sure will be the Headmaster of Hogwarts himself, Albus Dumbledore. Rowling hinted that we could see a less private Dumbledore struggling with his own sexuality in the sequels to come, Variety reports.
Well, I’m very comfortable with the question. I would like to say, because this is obviously a five-part story, there’s lots to unpack in that relationship … You will see Dumbledore as a younger man and quite a troubled man. We’ll see him at that formative period of his life. As far as his sexuality is concerned. Watch this space.
Although Dumbledore’s sexuality was never explored in the films or the books, Rowling confirmed the character was gay back in 2007 during an interview at Carnegie Hall.
My truthful answer to you… I always thought of Dumbledore as gay. [ovation.] … Dumbledore fell in love with Grindelwald, and that that added to his horror when Grindelwald showed himself to be what he was. To an extent, do we say it excused Dumbledore a little more because falling in love can blind us to an extent? But, he met someone as brilliant as he was, and rather like Bellatrix he was very drawn to this brilliant person, and horribly, terribly let down by him. Yeah, that’s how i always saw Dumbledore. In fact, recently I was in a script read through for the sixth film, and they had Dumbledore saying a line to Harry early in the script saying I knew a girl once, whose hair… [laughter]. I had to write a little note in the margin and slide it along to the scriptwriter, “Dumbledore’s gay!” [laughter] “If I’d known it would make you so happy, I would have announced it years ago!”
With the inclusion of Grindelwald played by Johnny Depp in the upcoming sequels to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them — which is currently capped at five films — it seems likely the films will explore this challenging time in Dumbledores life.
While the LGBTQ community is majorly underrepresented in Hollywood and still has a long way to go, I applaud Warner Bros. for making the brave choice to stay true to Rowling’s vision and realize such a major character as Dumbledore as a gay character on screen. No doubt the studio — which has been struggling to craft a successful franchise since the end of The Dark Knight trilogy — saw this as a major financial risk and it’s good to see they are going to take the chance anyway. The risk-adverse nature of Hollywood is starting to backfire on studios, evident in the amount of rejected remakes, reboots, and sequels from this past summer. With Netflix taking chances and having them pay off in major ways, it would seem they truly are shaking up the industry and moving us back towards a place where films take bold creative risks.
The first entry in the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ franchise titled Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them hits theaters November 18, 2016.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them opens in 1926 as Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) has just completed a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary array of magical creatures. Arriving in New York for a brief stopover, he might have come and gone without incident…were it not for a No-Maj (American for Muggle) named Jacob (Dan Fogler), a misplaced magical case, and the escape of some of Newt’s fantastic beasts, which could spell trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds.
SOURCES: VARIETY, THE LEAKY CAULDRON