Since J.K. Rowling's iconic novels first hit bookshelves in the 1990's, Harry Potter has continued to be at the forefront of pop culture, continually releasing new content and expanding the Wizarding World. In addition to the Cursed Child plays and the various theme parks currently going strong, Harry Potter's magical universe is growing with the prequel series Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is nearly upon us, which will include some great connections to the Harry Potter franchise. Chief among them is the introduction of a younger Albus Dumbledore, played by Jude Law. Law has been teasing a very different Dumbledore than the one we know and love, and now he's given more context-- revealing Albus will have some personal issues to grapple with in the upcoming blockbuster.
When you have the opportunity to work with the creator of a character, and a novelist at that, it's like having a well of inspiration and detail. She was very generous with her time and she gave me a very clear picture of who he was from childhood; his motivations and the pivotal moments from his life and the scars that were left. So she and David Yates gave me a real sense early on so we could redefine that period before Dumbledore became the man we know and love from the Potter movies. I was able to dig into the demons and the turmoil and the drama of a younger man and the stuff that he has yet to resolve.
Well, this is certainly intriguing. Jude Law was able to get some detailed information about Dumbledore from J.K Rowling herself, and infuse the beloved character's backstory into his performance for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. That's worth the price of admission for most fans, and it should be fascinating to see how it all comes together in the final cut.
Hardcore Harry Potter fans can at least figure the broad strokes of what Jude Law is talking about here. While Albus grew up as a happy young Wizard, tragedy struck his family due to hatred and tension between the Wizarding and Muggle worlds. His sister Ariana was brutally attacked by a group of muggle boys, and was left mentally and emotionally damaged from her trauma. This may be one of the issues Dumbledore is struggling with, especially as he attempts to stop Grindelwald from starting an all out war with non-magical folks.
Grindelwald himself is likely a large reason for Dumbledore's strife, if J.K. Rowling's earlier comments about their relationship are to be believed. When Rowling revealed that Dumbledore was actually a gay man, she explained that he harbored romantic feelings for the villain. This may make the upcoming battle between the two all the more dynamic, if Johnny Depp and Jude Law play that dynamic in their upcoming performances. Fans are eager to see how young Dumbledore will act, especially regarding his sexuality.
Jude Law's casting as Dumbledore helped build early anticipation for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, before any footage or concrete information was available to the general public. Law as a youthful energy that we've never seen from Dumbledore, and the generations of fans are looking forward to seeing how it all shakes out.
In his same conversation with the Toronto Sun, Jude Law further explained how different his character will be in Crimes of Grindelwald. As he explained,
I guess one of the things that makes him different is he's 45 and not 112. The calm and sense of self that the old Dumbledore has is yet to be achieved. He's a man still going through and figuring out his path. Also, he's still living with demons that are unresolved. There are still issues that he carries that he needs to confront and work through
Age brings a certain amount of wisdom, especially in the Wizarding World. While muggles are expected to be adults by the age of 45, things operate a bit differently when magic is involved. Witches and Wizards can live much longer, allowing for even more life experience. Dumbledore lived until the ripe age of 112, and had more life in him before being murdered by Snap in The Half-Blood Prince.
Dumbledore may be the most significant connection The Crimes of Grindelwald has with the proper Harry Potter franchise, there will be a few other iconic figures making their way to the upcoming sequel. When the trailers began arriving, it revealed actress Claudia Kim was playing the human version of Nagini. Nagini ended up being Voldermort's loyal murderous snake and horocrux, and the Fantastic Beasts franchise will help bridge this gap.
Most recently, it broke that a younger version of Professor Minerva McGonagall will also appear in The Crimes of Grindelwald, although the size of her role is a mystery. While the timeline of the sequel has the potential to break the canon and timeline of the franchise, Potterheads are eager to see the beloved transfiguration professor at a younger age.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will also feature the first live-action appearance of Nicolas Flamel. Flamel created the Sorcerer's Stone, aka how the entire Harry Potter franchise began. It is able to grant never-ending life, and may just come into play for the main narrative of the upcoming sequel. Johnny Depp's villainous Grindelwald is preparing for a war, so he may be trying to amass as much magical power as possible-- including a way to cheat death itself.
The pressure is definitely on to for director David Yates to deliver another Harry Potter movie that will be both a critical and box office success. The Crimes of Grindelwald is supposed to be the second in a total of five movies, should the Wizarding World continue to be such a popular place for new media.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will arrive in theaters on November 16th. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies