In the last few weeks we’ve learned that the Harry Potter spin-off, Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them has expanded from a planned three films to five of them, that a young Dumbledore will feature in the sequels, and that Johnny Depp has come on board as the villainous Grindelwald.
The last fact ignited speculation that he would be Dumbledore’s lover in the movies. That actually seemed unlikely, as from Harry Potter we know the pair were estranged by the 1930s setting of Fantastic Beasts, and there is no definitive evidence they were more than friends as teens. Indeed, many wondered whether rather like the Potter books, Dumbledore would be essentially asexual, even if Rowling has said he’s gay elswhere.
However, now she’s hinted that the Fantastic Beasts movies may show the future Hogwarts headmaster as an openly and actively gay man. However, she’s still keeping people guessing, saying at a press conference about the relationship between Dumbledore and Grindelwald, “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.”
She then added, “As far as his sexuality is concerned… Watch this space.”
That would suggest the films will actively address Dumbledore’s sexuality – something that’s still incredibly rare in big budget Hollywood movies, especially family films.- although at the moment it’s still a wait and see situation, where we could be getting a fully fledged gay character, or one where his sexuality is just vaguely acknowledged. At least it appears the movies won’t ignore it completely and reading between the lines we could be seeing Albus being rather conflicted about his sexuality.