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After Fantastic Beasts 3’s Queer Dialogue Was Cut From China Release, Warner Bros. Issues A Response

Jude Law in The Crimes of Grindelwald
(Image credit: Warner Brothers)

Minor spoilers ahead for Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore.

The Wizarding World has been entertaining audiences for decades, and is showing no signs of slowing down. On the big screen, the Harry Potter franchise has been expanding thanks to the prequel series, Fantastic Beasts. And after Fantastic Beasts 3’s queer dialogue was cut from the China release, Warner Bros. has issued a response.

The Fantastic Beasts franchise is peeling back the layers of Hogwarts’ Headmaster, specifically his romantic connection with the villainous Grindelwald (who is now being played by Mads Mikkelsen). The Secrets of Dumbledore features a few lines of dialogue where Jude Law’s character reportedly admits he loves the antagonist, which have been cut out of the movie’s release in China. This is a disappointing bit of news for LBGTQ+ advocates and those who have been calling for more on screen representation. Now Warner Bros. has issued a response to Variety, which reads:

As a studio, we’re committed to safeguarding the integrity of every film we release, and that extends to circumstances that necessitate making nuanced cuts in order to respond sensitively to a variety of in-market factors. Our hope is to release our features worldwide as released by their creators but historically we have faced small edits made in local markets. In the case of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, a six-second cut was requested and Warner Bros. accepted those changes to comply with local requirements but the spirit of the film remains intact. We want audiences everywhere in the world to see and enjoy this film, and it’s important to us that Chinese audiences have the opportunity to experience it as well, even with these minor edits.

Well, there you have it. Despite the relationship between Dumbledore and Grindelwald being a key aspect to the storyline of Fantastic Beasts 3, Warner Bros. ultimately complied and cut a few seconds out for the version that’ll be in theaters in China. This is sure to turn a few heads for the LGBTQ+ communities and their allies, especially after similar edits were made in projects like Bohemian Rhapsody.

This upcoming release of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is far from the first time an international market has asked for a movie to be edited, especially when it comes to the portrayal of queerness. Eternals director Chloé Zhao recently fought against the queer content from her Marvel movie being cut, resulting in the project being pulled from a few countries. But it seems that Warner Bros. was willing to leave some of Dumbledore’s dialogue on the cutting room floor in order to get the upcoming threequel into the most theaters possible.

In the end, only a few seconds of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore were cut out in order for the movie to be released on the China market. The Middle Kingdom has proven itself a powerful force in the film industry, able to single handedly bring movies back from financial ruin. We’ll just have to see how David Yates’ upcoming blockbuster ultimately performs. Reviews have already started rolling in.

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore will hit theaters on April 15th. In the meantime, check out the 2022 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience. 

Corey Chichizola
Corey Chichizola

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.