JK Rowling has hinted that Dumbledore and Grindelwald’s famous duel will take place in fifth film.
Soon we will explore a whole other side of the Harry Potter universe, and it starts with Albus Dumbledore and Gellert Grindelwald.
As Fantastic Beasts 2 gets closer to opening, the number one question on the minds of fans is exactly what we’ll be getting out of the sequel. A spin-off to the much-loved Harry Potter franchise, 2016’s Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them explored the life of beast expert, master, and scholar Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne). It also mentioned a number of familiar characters, including Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore. Now we learn that both “Young Dumbledore” and “Young Grindelwald” will be featured in the next iteration in the franchise.
While the next film will continue to follow Redmayne’s Scamander, a new casting announcement posted on Pottermore reveals the film will also feature young versions of many of its starring characters, probably via flashback. In addition to “Young Dumbledore” and “Young Grindelwald,” Newt, Leta, and a new character named Sebastian will also be seen as young ones.
What makes this news especially compelling is that Dumbledore and Grindelwald, who was (minor spoiler alert) featured in the first film by actor Johnny Depp, reportedly carried on a romantic relationship as young men.
This relationship has always been of intense interest to fans, especially those curious about Dumbledore’s mysterious life pre-Hogwarts. It’s unlikely this relationship was fully formed by the time they were 16, but we could very well get a long-awaited glimpse at its precursor.
Rowling has since Tweeted that the five-film series will “start in 1926 and end in 1945”. Fans are assuming the fateful battle between the pair will therefore not take place until the fifth film.
It’s unclear if the Fantastic Beasts franchise will explore Dumbledore’s relationship with Grindelwald beyond the friendship that was established in the Harry Potter series, or if the beloved wizard will be openly gay at all. Back in 2007, J.K. Rowling said that Dumbledore, whom she publicly addressed as gay upon the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was in love with Grindelwald and that crush “added to his horror” when Grindelwald revealed his true colors.
Rowling, who wrote the screenplay for the Fantastic Beasts sequel, teased that “there’s lots to unpack” in Grindelwald and Dumbledore’s relationship. “I will say that you will see Dumbledore as a younger man, and quite a troubled man because he wasn’t always the sage,” she told ScreenCrush last year. “As far as his sexuality is concerned, watch the space.”
Expect Fantastic Beasts 2 in theaters in 2018.