With J.K. Rowling announcing last month that next week’s “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” film would be the first of not three but FIVE new films set in an earlier time of the Potter universe.
This quickly led to speculation regarding what other material the new films might cover. With the project’s expansion, the spin-offs certainly seemed to be looking less and less like a standalone thing and more a ‘filling in the blanks’ of events leading up to the original film series.
In the wake of that announcement came the news that a younger version of Dumbledore will appear in the ‘Beasts’ sequel and has yet to be cast, while Johnny Depp has come onboard as the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald – effectively the Voldemort of this series.
Author J.K. Rowling confirmed during a 2007 Q&A that Dumbledore was gay and had romantic feelings towards Grindelwald which the latter used to manipulate him. Dumbledore’s sexuality and previous romantic relationships were never stated in the books so the revelation, which came as a surprise to some, doesn’t go against canon.
We do know the pair had a falling out due to a fateful duel during which Dumbledore’s sister was killed, and ‘Beasts’ kicks off years later with Grindelwald assembling an army across Europe – a revolutionary effort that will culminate in another famous duel between Dumbledore and Grindelwald in 1945.
Rowling, who has penned the first two and will likely write all five film screenplays, says the sequel may explore the relationship and all its aspects and as she’s writing them it will become part of the canon of this universe. She tells Variety:
“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. I will say that you will see Dumbeldore as a younger man and quite a troubled man because he wasn’t always the sage [mentor]. He was always very clever, but we’ll see him at what I think was the formative period of his life. As far as his sexuality is concerned, watch this space.”
Director David Yates as previously asserted that Grindelwald will become “a much more prominent part of the stories going forward” with the follow-up film in 2018 set to shift the action to Paris and London. Production on the sequel is expected to begin mid-2017.