David Yates, director of the upcoming movie Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, revealed today that the character Albus Dumbledore won’t be “explicitly” gay in the film. Dumbledore is best known as the headmaster of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter book series, but in Crimes, which takes place in the 1920s, he will be an enterprising young magician chasing the sinister Grindelwald across Paris.
In the books, Dumbledore and Grindelwald were romantically attached until the latter went off the magical deep end, dipping into taboo wizarding powers and plotting a world-rending revolution. While that relationship is canon, the film won’t focus on Dumbledore’s sexual preferences.
“Not explicitly,” Yates said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “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.”
This will no doubt disappoint fans who have been clamoring to see onscreen LGBTQ representation in the Harry Potter universe for years. Harry Potter series creator J.K. Rowling first revealed Dumbledore’s sexual preference at a 2007 Carnegie Hall appearance. Since then, fans have assumed this revelation would make its way into the movies. It hasn’t yet, and it sounds like Crimes will continue that trend.
What the film will focus on is Dumbledore in his prime. The Harry Potter book and film series have shown the headmaster to be a wise old sage in his old age, but that wasn’t always the case. According to Yates, the younger Dumbledore, who will be played by Jude Law, is a “maverick and a rebel” who is “witty and has a bit of edge.” Law will play opposite Johnny Depp’s Grindelwald.
Crimes is the follow-up to 2016 film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. That film followed the young English wizard Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) in his travels across 1920s New York, which eventually led to him facing off against the dark wizard Grindelwald. The sequel will see Newt again recruited to track down the escaped Grindelwald, who was captured at the end of the first film.
Debuting in theaters on Nov. 16, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is directed by David Yates and stars Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Zoë Kravitz, Callum Turner and Claudia Kim.