Jude Law as Albus Dumbledore in Fantastic Beasts 2

Next year, the Fantastic Beasts series will establish another connective thread to the Harry Potter movies when it brings in the younger Albus Dumbledore for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Jude Law was cast as the future Hogwarts headmaster back in April, and yesterday we got our first look of him in character in the first cast photo. As for why Law was chosen to play Dumbledore in the sequel, Fantastic Beasts producer David Heyman attributed it to Law being able to blend both classic Dumbledore traits and a youthful vibe into this version of the character. Herman explained:

One of the reasons we chose Jude is he has many of the qualities we find in Dumbledore in the Potter films. He's got authority, he's got a twinkle in his eye, he's sometimes a bit elliptical. So you have that but also have this youthful energy and jubilance. So he brings that twinkle, mischief, authority, and power, but at the same time brings far more youthful energy to the film. You understand why he would be your favorite teacher and be someone you believe is an extraordinary wizard.

Jude Law is the third actor to play Albus Dumbledore on the big screen, following behind Richard Harris and Michael Gambon, both of whom portrayed the powerful wizard in his final years. So needless to say that there's a lot of pressure on Law to give audiences an excellent Dumbledore portrayal, especially since it's likely we'll see him reprise the role for other Fantastic Beasts sequels given how Dumbledore and Grindelwald's conflict ultimately concludes. But judging by what David Heyman told EW, Law is up to the task, blending Dumbledore's classic traits with new energy, which is appropriate. After all, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald takes place over six decades before the main Harry Potter events begin, so he's not going to be exactly the same man who was looking after Harry's well-being and ensuring Hogwarts is safe. Even as a spry 40-something, Law's Dumbledore still has a ways to go until he matures into the Dumbledore we know best.

Albus Dumbledore was briefly mentioned in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them as the teacher who argued against Newt Scamander being expelled from Hogwarts, though he was unsuccessful. In Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Dumbledore will recruit Newt to help him apprehend Gellert Grindelwald, who Newt helped capture in the first movie. With Grindelwald having escaped custody and free to wreak havoc on the Wizarding World again, Dumbledore, Newt and their allies will need to work fast to prevent the Dark Wizard from fulfilling his mission of ensuring that pure-blooded witches and wizards rule over all non-magical beings.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will cast its spell in theaters on November 16, 2018. As for what else will come out next year, look through our 2018 premiere guide for release date information.

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