When Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was first announced, we expected to hear or see some references to the original Harry Potter films. The trailers even dropped the name Albus Dumbledore a number of times, as well as the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald, who was referenced in The Deathly Hallows. With four more sequels on the way, we know that Grindelwald will be making a physical appearance, and now Dumbledore himself has been confirmed to appear down the line, as well.
Director David Yates told Screen Rant that a younger version of Dumbledore will appear, and it makes sense with the story that’s slowly being unraveled. Before he was headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, he worked at the school as head of Transfiguration. As we know from Deathly Hallows, he also has ties with Grindelwald, having met him in years past.
When we meet Newt Scamander, the new star of the Fantastic Beasts films played by Eddie Redmayne, Grindelwald will be rising to power and amassing an army. The wizard is later defeated in an epic duel with Dumbledore that hasn’t been realized on the page or screen before. We just know from various tidbits in the books that it was epic. Dumbledore’s inclusion in Fantastic Beasts makes it seem as though the films are leading up to this moment, which became a bullet point on Dumbledore’s chocolate frog card.
Johnny Depp was recently revealed for a role in Fantastic Beasts 2 with a cameo appearance in the first film. Many reports and fans speculate he plays Grindelwald, and Yates says casting is already underway for their new Dumbledore. Richard Harris originated the role on film in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, but he was later succeeded by Michael Gambon in The Prisoner of Azkaban after his death.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them opens in theaters on November 18th.