Albus Dumbledore was one of the Harry Potter series' most important characters, but because his role primarily revolved around being Hogwarts' headmaster and mentoring the Boy Who Lived, his personal life was barely explored. Following The Deathly Hallows' publication (the movies followed a few years later), author J.K. Rowling revealed that she always considered Dumbledore was gay. Now that the wizard is confirmed to appear in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2, will we see him as openly gay when he was a younger man? With the way the sequel's plot is shaping up right now, it seems to be a possibility.
During a recent Fantastic Beasts press event, Screen Crush asked J.K. Rowling whether Fantastic Beasts 2 would show Dumbledore as openly gay and if the romantic aspect of his relationship with Gellert Grindelwald would be explored. Here's how she responded:
Well, 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. I will say that 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 the space.
When we reunite with Dumbledore in Fantastic Beasts 2, he'll be approximately in his 40s. So like J.K. Rowling said, he won't be the "sage" we're familiar with, but he'll still have a fair amount of life experience. This also leaves room to explore possible romances with a fellow wizard, be it at Hogwarts or the sequel's Paris setting. As far Gellert Grindelwald goes, though, that ship will already have sailed. Although Dumbledore and Grindelwald were once friends, Fantastic Beasts takes place in 1926, which was when Grindelwald (the most famous dark wizard before Voldemort) began his rise to power. It's worth noting, though, that Rowling never specifically stated whether Grindelwald reciprocated Dumbledore's romantic feelings for him.
Warning: mild spoiler for Fantastic Beasts ahead!
Aside from Albus Dumbledore and Newt Scamander already knowing each other from the latter's time at Hogwarts, it's unclear how Dumbledore will fit into Fantastic Beasts 2. However, it's since been revealed that Johnny Depp will play Grindelwald in the sequel after cameoing in the first movie. That means there's a strong chance that these two will run into each other, providing at least one encounter before their climactic duel in 1945. As for Dumbledore's sexuality, depending on how integral of a character he'll be, maybe this prequel series will take the plunge and explore that aspect of him more directly (which would also add another major layer of LGBT representation in blockbusters), but for now, J.K. Rowling isn't willing to spill the beans.
We'll meet up with the younger Dumbledore when Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2 is released on November 16, 2018.