Doubling down on the Michael Gambon version of the character, it has been announced that Jude Law will play the younger version of The Greatest Wizard of His Generation.
One might have hoped that, for continuity’s sake, that J.K. Rowling and company would cast the great Jared Harris as the young version of Albus Dumbledore in the new Potter franchise, as his father, Richard Harris played the original Dumbledore in the first two movies. But sadly this was not to be. Instead, they will be doubling down on the second version of the character, played with aplomb and vigour by Michael Gambon, with an actor who chews the scenery with just as much gusto.
Jude Law, lately of the bizarre The Young Pope one off on HBO has, according to Variety, been tapped to take the role. Director David Yates, who only ever worked with Gambon in the role, seemed chuffed.
“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,” Yates said. “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.”
Of course, the first question that everyone has is if we will see Law’s version of the character get into a romance with the dark wizard Grindelwald, as Rowling hinted he might have been, post Potter publications. Grindelwald is unfortunately portrayed by box-office-poison Johnny Depp, for reasons no one is quite clear on. variety had no answers on that front, but it didn’t stop instant speculation that Rowling will have to make good on her outing of Dumbledore after she thought she’s safely finished the series.
After all, Rowling herself seems to be planning to do just that.
“You will see Dumbledore as a younger man and quite a troubled man,” Rowling added. “We’ll see him at that formative period of his life. As far as his sexuality is concerned,” she said taking a beat, “watch this space.”
Warner Brothers Pictures is hoping like hell that everyone will watch this space. With their other major tentpole franchise world of Justice League now having all their eggs in the Wonder Woman basket (and Justice League itself in the Fantastic Beasts release slot from last year), the movie studio is praying the Potter prequel plans pan out. So far, Fantastic Beasts has not met with the unfavorable reviews of the last two high-profile franchise to go prequel at a later date (ahem, Phantom Menace, The Hobbit), but it seemed like reviewers last year were mostly reserving judgement until they saw where the story was going.
Fantastic Beasts 2: Francophilic Fauna comes out in 2018.