David Yates is clearing up the mystery surrounding the depiction of Dumbledore as a gay man in the “Fantastic Beasts” franchise. The filmmaker spoke about the matter with Empire Magazine (via Advocate) and confirmed that Dumbledore is not “out as a gay man” in the upcoming sequel, “The Crimes of Grindelwald.” However, Yates said he does not intent to conceal Dumbledore’s sexuality in these films.
“This part of this huge narrative that [J.K. Rowling] is creating doesn’t focus on his sexuality, but we’re not airbrushing or hiding it,” Yates said “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.”
Yates added, “A couple of scenes we shot are very sensual moments of him and the young Grindelwald.”
News broke in January that the “Fantastic Beasts” sequel would not be including any direct references to Dumbledore’s sexuality. Yates previewed the movie in an interview and responded “not explicitly” when asked if the film makes it clear that Dumbledore is gay.
“I think all the fans are aware of that,” Yates said in January. “He had a very intense relationship with Grindelwald when they were young men. They fell in love with each other’s ideas, and ideology and each other.”
Rowling first confirmed Dumbledore’s sexuality in 2007 after her book series had already concluded. The character was never given any gay storylines in either the book series or the film franchise, where he was played by Richard Harris in 2001’s “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” and by Michael Gambon in the sequels. Jude Law is starring as a younger Dumbledore in “The Crimes of Grindelwald.”
Yates’ latest comments are similar to the ones Law shared with Entertainment Weekly back in July. The actor reminded fans that “Grindelwald” is the second film in a five-movie franchise and that “there’s obviously a lot more to come” in the future.
“How is Dumbledore’s sexuality depicted in this film?” Law asked. “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.”
Warner Bros. opens “Fantastic Beasts 2” nationwide November 16.