The director of the upcoming film Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald has announced that Albus Dumbledore will not live as an openly gay man in the movie but will have some sensual scenes with the love of his life, Gellert Grindelwald.
David Yates, who directed Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them along with four of the last Harry Potter movies, told Empire Magazine, in a story to be released in the print edition this week, that the beloved character is not "out as a gay man in this film." However, he plans not to conceal Dumbledore's queerness, which was announced by author J.K. Rowling in 2007.
For years, Rowling teased that the Fantastic Beasts sequels will deliver fans an openly gay character at Hogwarts. It started in 2016, when she raised LGBTQ fans' hopes of a more inclusive film at a press conference.
“I can’t tell you everything I would like to say because this is obviously a five-part story so there’s lots to unpack in that relationship,” Rowling said. “You will see Dumbledore as a younger man, and quite a troubled man because he wasn’t always the sage. He was always very clever, but we’ll see what I think was the formative period of his life. As far as his sexuality is concerned ... watch this space.”
However, Yates has made it clear that we won't see Dumbledore out of the closet — for now.
“This part of this huge narrative that Jo is creating doesn’t focus on his sexuality, but we’re not airbrushing or hiding it," Yates told Empire, referencing J.K. Rowling's given name, Joanne Murray. “The story [of the romantic relationship] isn’t there in this particular movie, but it’s clear in what you see … that he is gay.”
Meanwhile, fans are overwhelmingly disappointed that the minds behind Hogwarts have not explicitly shown the character they proclaimed as gay living without shame. The series has also come under fire after it was revealed that in the upcoming film Voldemort's pet snake, Nagini, would be portrayed by an Asian woman (deemed by many to be poor representation) while Dumbledore remains in the closet and Johnny Depp in the cast.
us: pleaase show us dumbledore’s canon gay romance! since you brought it up! and it’s important! also please fire abusive shit johnny depp
rowling: nagini was an asian woman all along here she is in a cage
— scare-o ramSKREEE (@caroramsey) September 25, 2018
- said dumbledore was gay yet never wrote him a fleshed out love story
- cast the only Korean woman as a snake-slave
- follows accounts and likes tweets from accounts who post violent anti-trans bigotry
- kept Johnny Depp despite the fact he abused his wife
— Matt (@actuallynotmatt) September 27, 2018
Critics: “There isn’t enough diversity in the Harry Potter novels.”
JK Rowling: “Uh... Dumbledore is gay?”
Critics: “So, he’s gonna be openly gay in the prequel series then?”
JKR, *sweating*: “Oh, uh, well... VOLDEMORT’S SNAKE IS AN ASIAN WOMAN.”
— Austin Ghoulkeson (@osutein) September 25, 2018
HP fans: diversity would be nice
JKR: dumbledore was gay
HPF: cool but he's dead so–
JKR: hermione can be black?
HPF: okay that's better but–
JKR: hogwarts but racist
HPF: no see now you–
JKR: voldemort kept an asian woman for a pethttps://t.co/XQ31fN9Xsc
— Adark Tower(s) (@mspowahs) September 25, 2018
im also crying at jkr being like 'ive been sitting on this nagini reveal for 20 years' because it's just so.... Typical that they will make voldemort's snake girlfriend a plot point and not speak a word about dumbledore being gay
— (@neonacropolis) September 25, 2018
The director did note that Dumbledore's sexuality will be shown subtextually in the film. “A couple of scenes we shot are very sensual moments of him and the young Grindelwald," Yates said.
What those scenes will look like will be revealed when the movie opens November 16.