The director of the upcoming film Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald hasannounced 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.
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.