Today in learning that one of your favorite franchises is getting tainted, we learned that the Fantastic Beasts sequel is shying away from the homosexuality of Albus Dumbledore. A major character in the Harry Potter universe who helped shape the life of Harry Potter and with that, every person that read the series.
When J.K. Rowling announced that Dumbledore was indeed gay over a decade ago, fans were ecstatic. For such an iconic character in pop culture to be gay was a major deal. We’re just beginning to see more and more characters of various sexualities gracing our screens as Hollywood timidly dips its toe into reality. Dumbledore’s homosexuality meant so much to fans who were struggling to come out and be accepted.
Then, when it was announced that the Fantastic Beasts franchise would show fans Jude Law playing a young Dumbledore, fans were freaking out to witness the young adventures of the wise wizard. Especially since he had a tumultuous love affair with the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald before he went on to commit heinous crimes. Juicy stuff, right?
But that has all come to a halt. While Jude Law will no doubt make a fantastic Albus Dumbledore, those in charge of the story and film are really causing fans like myself to be disheartened by their choices. Director David Yates revealed in an interview (via EW) that Dumbledore’s sexuality will “not explicitly” be clear in the upcoming sequel.
Yates then added a bit more about what Dumbledore is like in the new film: “He’s a maverick and a rebel and he’s an inspiring teacher at Hogwarts. He’s witty and has a bit of edge. He’s not this elder statesman. He’s a really kinetic guy. And opposite Johnny Depp as Grindelwald, they make an incredible pairing.
Dumbledore literally had a love affair with the main villain of the sequel and that’s not going to stir up any feelings?!?! Aren’t they going to trade jabs about their past? Do the usual line in a movie where the ex sneers “hello, lover”? Not a single person that knows either character isn’t going to bring up that they used to be together? Will an elephant be present in all of the scenes to make up for this??
It is absolutely crazy that they are going to bury this major plot point! I know I’m not the writer but I can’t think of a single reason why as to hide that. And don’t come back at me that it was a “different time.” People have loved who they have loved since the dawn of the time even though society has been horrible about accepting that.
The internet, of course, is trying to point to the fact that J.K. Rowling, creator, and screenwriter, stated that there is a lot to unpack about the relationship and they have five movies to do that. But it is really unfair to the LGBTQ community to have that brushed under the rug in the second movie because the relationship needs to be unpacked. The sequel doesn’t need to focus completely on their relationship but it at least needs to bring it up and have it strengthen the story.
This sting burns even more because of who exactly is playing Dumbledore’s lover. Johnny Depp. He was accused of domestic violence against his ex-wife, Amber Heard. While the case eventually was settled between the two without any official charges, a bitter taste was left in the mouths of the public. Especially those that had suffered from domestic abuse or knew others who had dealt with it. Since Depp was never charged with domestic abuse, Rowling and Yates defended their choice of allowing Depp to play Gellert Grindelwald, praising the actor.
To the fans that are disappointed in this franchise, I’m with you. I really wanted to see this story told and for the magic of the Harry Potter universe to continue. I thought the cast of the first movie was fantastic, excluding Depp and I was excited about newcomers, especially Jessica Williams and Jude Law!!! Now I’m just not even the least bit curious about the upcoming sequel.
To those in charge of the franchise, please remember you’re creating a magical universe. Rules can be broken and should be.