There was a lot of frustration expressed a few months ago when Fantastic Beasts director David Yates said that while they were introducing a young Dumbledore (played by Jude Law) in The Crimes Of Grindelwald, he wouldn’t be ‘explicitly’ gay in the film. JK Rowling rather grumpily defended the announcement, saying that they were only two movies into a five film franchise and people should just hand on. However, that didn’t satisfy those already annoyed with the fact she’d made Dumbledore gay outside the Harry Potter books, but with little in the actual stories to back that up – they felt she was once more trying to have her cake and eat it, while not actually delivering any real LGBT representation.
In the last few days Law has had his first say on the controversy, telling EW, “…as with humans, your sexuality doesn’t necessarily define you; he’s multifaceted. I suppose the question is: How is Dumbledore’s sexuality depicted in this film? 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. You’re just getting to know Albus in this film, and there’s obviously a lot more to come. 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.”
It’s essentially as Rowling has previously said of Dumbledore being gay in the Fantastic Beasts movies, that audiences just have to ‘watch this space’. This will presumably involve a deeper unpacking of the connection between Dumbledore and Grindelwald, as we know they were teenage friends and that Albus may have fallen for Gellert (reading between the lines), but we may discover that there was more to it than that.
Now though we get a fresh look at Law in action as Dumbledore in a new trailer, which includes a very deliberate shot of Dumbledore looking into the Mirror of Erised – a mirror that shows you the thing you desire the most – and seeing Grindelwald. We are presumably meant to wonder whether he’s seeing Grindelwald because he truly want to stop him, or whether it’s because he just wants him. Following the anger earlier in the year, it’s unlikely it’s a coincidence this shot was chosen for the trailer, allowing the makers to suggest that even if Dumbledore’s sexuality won’t be ‘explicit’ in this Fantastic Beasts film, it won’t be completely ignored either. At the moment though it’s two early to tel how it will be dealt with.
Take a look at the new trailer below. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will be in cinemas in November.