Director David Yates upset a lot of people when he indicated that ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’ wouldn’t address Albus Dumbledore’s sexuality. After the publication of the last ‘Harry Potter’ book, author J.K. Rowling announced “I always thought of Dumbledore as gay. Dumbledore fell in love with Grindelwald, and that added to his horror when Grindelwald showed himself to be what he was.” While that statement caused its own share of controversy, die-hards took it to heart. But in February, Yates said that ‘The Crimes of Grindelwald’ would “not explicitly” address this revelation, causing fans to cry out that he was reinforcing institutionalized homophobia.
But now Yates is singing a slightly different tune. Speaking to Empire magazine (via Hypable), he said:
“In that earlier interview, I didn’t say Dumbledore’s not gay. He is. This part of this huge narrative that Jo is creating doesn’t focus on his sexuality, but we’re not airbrushing or hiding it… 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. A couple of scenes we shot are very sensual moments of him and the young Grindelwald.”
It may be clear as glass. In a recent trailer, Jude Law‘s Dumbledore is seen peering into the Mirror of Erised, which shows someone their heart’s desire. The Mirror shows Dumbledore images of Grindelwald, both in his older form, played by Johnny Depp and his younger form, which is presumably when any romantic feelings were felt.
Yates also shared that the Dumbledore/Grindelwald relationship would take more of a central role in movies going forward, but that ‘The Crimes of Grindelwald’ had other things to focus on.
“The story [of this film] is about other things, fundamentally, but the story of Grindelwald and Dumbledore, going forward, that is the story. I think people just have to wait and see and appreciate that in movies to come that relationship will be explored much more fully.”
Times are changing, but let’s face it, ‘The Crimes of Grindelwald’ is an expensive franchise movie that needs to appeal to as many people as possible. And so far, gay characters have only had minor roles in major releases, like Sulu (John Cho) in ‘Star Trek Beyond’. There is still fear that mainstream audiences won’t embrace gay characters. Maybe the hope is that fans will embrace the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ brand up front and stick around as any gay subplots become more prominent in the future.
Directed by David Yates, ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’ stars Eddie Redmayne, Johnny Depp, Carmen Ejogo, Dan Fogler, Kevin Guthrie, Claudia Kim, Zoë Kravitz, Jude Law, Ezra Miller, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, Alison Sudol, Callum Turner, Katherine Waterston, and Victoria Yeates and opens on November 16, 2018.