Hopes that “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” would make strides toward inclusivity were dashed earlier this year when director David Yates said his film would not portray Albus Dumbledore as an “explicitly” gay man.
Yates’ remarks ― as told to Entertainment Weekly in a January interview ― instantly caused controversy among “Harry Potter” fans. Many of them had been hopeful that the sequel to 2016′s “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” would depict the younger Dumbledore (played by Jude Law) as his authentic self.
Now, Law himself is chiming in. The 45-year-old Academy Award nominee tells EW that he met with Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling to discuss his take on the Hogwarts headmaster before filming on “The Crimes of Grindelwald” began.
Stating that his portrayal of Dumbledore would be “multifaceted,” he said, “As with humans, your sexuality doesn’t necessarily define you.”
The actor, however, went on to note that just because the subject of his character’s sexuality wouldn’t be incorporated into “The Crimes of Grindelwald” didn’t mean that future films would also shy away from addressing it.
“What you got to remember this is only the second ‘Fantastic Beasts’ film in a series, and what’s brilliant about Jo’s writing is how she reveals her characters, peels them to the heart over time,” he said. “You’re just getting to know Albus in this film, and there’s obviously a lot more to come.”
He continued, “We learn a little about his past in the beginning of this film, and characters and their relationships will unfold naturally, which I’m excited to reveal. But we’re not going to reveal everything all at once.”
Speculation as to how future films in the “Harry Potter” canon would reference (or ignore) Dumbledore’s sexuality has been rampant for more than a decade. Though none of the books provide much insight, Rowling herself revealed that she “always thought of Dumbledore as gay” during a 2007 appearance at New York’s Carnegie Hall.
It looks poised to remain a hotly discussed topic in “Harry Potter” lore until a future film tackles it head-on.
“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” hits theaters Nov. 16.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misstated the director’s name as David Gates.