There has been some controversy following the Fantastic Beasts series of movies. One of them comes from the casting of Johnny Depp and the allegations that follow him, but another comes from the fact that director David Yates said that Dumbledore’s sexuality wouldn’t be referenced in the next film. Fans were not exactly happy to hear this, since “by the way” after-the-fact knowledge about a character doesn’t really count as representation. This movie could have changed things, but it looks like they aren’t going to do that. Entertainment Weekly spoke to actor Jude Law, who is playing the young version of Dumbledore in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, and got his thoughts.
Jo Rowling revealed some years back that Dumbledore was gay. That was a question I actually asked Jo and she said, yes, he’s gay. But 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.
So it sounds like they are holding back on this reveal instead of saying that we won’t see it at all. The issue seems to be what they think representation needs to be. No one is expecting Dumbledore to march down the wizard equivalent of Pride with a rainbow flag. It’s true that sexuality is just part of our identity, and it’s very easy to just breeze by talking about it. One line is all it would take to reveal Dumbledore is gay.
Maybe they really are holding off for a reason, because Law revealed that he doesn’t share many scenes with Depp this time around.
I don’t actually have any scenes with Johnny. As I said before, this is only Part 2 of a longer story. I’ve always admired him from afar, but we don’t know each other, and I’ve not yet met him on this. In many ways that suits the relationship as it’s been many years since they’ve seen each other. So there’s complexity in that that’s fun to mine. Again, the past will reveal itself.
At this point Law is right that we’re only two parts into a story that is going to be five parts long. We don’t think anyone expects this to end with Law and Depp making out, but some acknowledgement of Dumbledore’s sexuality would go a really long way.
Summary: The second installment of the ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ series, which follows the adventures of Newt Scamander.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, directed by David Yates, will star Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, with Jude Law and Johnny Depp. It will be released on November 16th.