The sequel Fantastic Beasts 2: The Crimes of Grindelwald will not "explicitly" reference Albus Dumbledore's sexuality. So says director David Yates, who also helmed 2016's Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, as well as four of the eight films based upon the Harry Potter book series.
The subject of future Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry Dumbledore's sexuality was first raised by author J.K. Rowling in a 2007 appearance at Carnegie Hall. Rowling stunned fans with two bombshell revelations. First, that Dumbledore (who mentored Harry Potter and prepared him for his eventual battle with the dark wizard Voldemort) was gay, and then that Dumbledore had once been romantically involved with Gellert Grindelwald: an infamous evil wizard, who was considered the worst wizard of all time up until the rise of Voldemort. Seeing as the Fantastic Beasts sequel focuses on the crimes of Grindelwald (played by Johnny Depp) and has Jude Law cast as a young Albus Dumbledore, it was speculated that the relationship between the two wizards would be addressed on-screen.
Yates has now informed EW that The Crimes of Grindelwald will "not explicitly" address the relationship between Dumbledore and Grindelwald. He also said that's because the film's story focuses more on Grindelwald's criminal nature than anything else, as opposed to a desire on the filmmakers' part to avoid any controversy that might be caused by referencing a homosexual romance onscreen:
“I think all the fans are aware of that. He had a very intense relationship with Grindelwald when they were young men. They fell in love with each other’s ideas, and ideology and each other.”
Yates went on to say that the character of Dumbledore in Fantastic Beasts: The Grimes of Grindelwald will be a far different figure as a young man than he was as the elderly statesman who trained Harry Potter. Describing Dumbledore as “a maverick and a rebel" as well as "an inspiring teacher," Yates further praised Law and Depp as "an incredible pairing.”
It should be noted that Yates' comments do not deny the possibility that the romance between a young Albus Dumbledore and Gellert Grindelwald will be addressed in one of the three Fantastic Beasts sequels planned for release in coming years. Indeed, J.K. Rowling - who is also serving as the screenwriter on all of the Fantastic Beasts films - has all but confirmed that it will be addressed eventually. Here is what Rowling offered on the subject of Dumbledore's sexuality, at a press conference for the original Fantastic Beasts movie back in 2016:
Well, I’m very comfortable with the question. 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 [mentor]. He was always very clever, but we’ll see him at what I think was the formative period of his life. As far as his sexuality is concerned, watch this space.
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald/Fantastic Beasts 2 (2018) release date: Nov 16, 2018