'As far as his sexuality is concerned...watch this space.'
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is in hot water once again, however it’s got nothing to do with casting this time. Instead, it has to do with some controversial new information about the portrayal of one of Harry Potter’s most beloved characters – Albus Dumbledore.
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, the film’s director David Yates revealed that they would ‘not explicitly’ be touching on young Albus Dumbledore’s sexuality in this instalment. J.K. Rowling confirmed in 2007 that the famous Hogwarts headmaster is in fact gay and had an embittered romance with Gellert Grindelwald in his youth, the titular character of the new film played by Johnny Depp.
David Yates continued, ‘I think all fans are aware of [his sexuality]. 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.’
Many fans have taken issue with what they perceive to be an erasure of Dumbledore’s sexuality, which has been incredibly important to the perception of LGBT characters in literature and fans. Many sounded off on Twitter below.
While Jude Law (who will be playing young Albus Dumbledore) has yet to say anything, J.K. Rowling has fiercely admonished those criticising her for David Yates’ statements and reminded them that this is just one film in a long franchise.
Rowling previously hinted in a press conference two years ago that the Fantastic Beasts series would be referencing Dumbledore’s homosexuality.
She said then, ‘I can’t tell you everything I would like to say because this is obviously a five-part story so there’s lots to unpack in that relationship. You will see Dumbledore as a younger man and quite a troubled man – he wasn’t always the sage. We’ll see him at that formative period of his life. As far as his sexuality is concerned…watch this space.’
This is not the first time that the upcoming Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald film has been embroiled in controversy. Just a couple of months ago, many cast a critical eye towards Johnny Depp’s casting as the titular character as the #MeToo movement quickly gained speed and his alleged history of domestic abuse re-entered the public conversation.
Some called for the role to be recast and even Daniel Radcliffe criticised the decision in a recent interview. However J.K. Rowling doubled down and defended his casting in a statement based on her personal ‘understanding of the circumstances’.
David Yates also spoke highly of Jude Law and Johnny Depp’s chemistry in the new film, saying that, ‘[Jude Law’s Dumbledore is] a really kinetic guy. And opposite Johnny Depp as Grindelwald, they make an incredible pairing.’
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will be released in the UK on 16 November, 2018. The film sees Eddie Redmayne reprise his role as the series’ protagonist Newt Scamander alongside Zoe Kravitz, Ezra Miller and Dan Fogler.