Warner Bros. Fantastic Beasts‘ follow-up film has found its Dumbledore: Two-time Oscar-nominated actor, Jude Law. Toby Emmerich, President and Chief Content Officer, Warner Bros. Pictures, announced the casting decision via press release earlier today. Law will star opposite Johnny Depp‘s Gellert Grindelwald in an interesting pairing, though it’s yet to be revealed just how their on-screen relationship will compare to that of their history in J.K. Rowling‘s books.
Law will portray Dumbledore long before the iconic wizard became the Headmaster at Hogwarts; audiences will meet him decades earlier, when Dumbledore is still serving as the wizarding school’s Transfiguration professor. He is also a contemporary of Gellert Grindelwald, the charismatic dark wizard who believes wizards are superior to Muggles and No-Majs. Rowling’s screenplay for the sequel also moves deeper into an increasingly dark time for the wizarding world, where Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and our other heroes have to decide on their allegiances.
Here’s what director David Yates had to say about the casting:
Jude Law is a phenomenally talented actor whose work I have long admired, and I’m looking forward to finally having the opportunity to work with him. I know he will brilliantly capture all the unexpected facets of Albus Dumbledore as J.K. Rowling reveals this very different time in his life.
Just what those facets are remain to be seen. In the books, Dumbledore and Grindelwald became friends while staying in Godric’s Hollow during their late teenage years, sharing a love of (and obsession with) powerful magical artifacts. There’s also the fact that Dumbledore is gay, as revealed by Rowling, and had what appears to be an unrequited love for Grindelwald. This aspect that complicates their relationship further as a disagreement leads to a duel in their youth that has drastic, long-lasting effects on their lives. However, given the age of Law and Depp and that of their respective characters, we’ll be seeing them well after their contentious childhood. Without a doubt, we should definitely be seeing their world-famous duel, but don’t expect to experience that event until a few sequels down the road.
And as for Dumbledore’s contemporary, Grindelwald, here’s what producer David Heyman had to say about Depp’s casting a little while back:
“What we wanted was an iconic actor to play Grindelwald, because Grindelwald is an iconic character who has a significant place in this story. His ability to persuade the hearts and minds, to persuade people to follow him is essential to this story. He is dangerous in that way. We were looking for someone who was seductive and could be charming and could be original, who was iconic, who was a great actor; and that’s what Johnny Depp is. He can be irresistible. He’s powerful. He’s created some iconic characters, and not made the obvious choices when doing so. The unpredictability of the choices he makes is part of what makes him so extraordinary and that was very exciting for us. He was the perfect choice for Grindelwald.”
Principal photography begins this summer on the new “Fantastic Beasts” adventure, which is slated for release on November 16, 2018, and is just the second of five planned Fantastic Beasts movies.