Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them takes place in the same universe – colloquially known as the Wizarding World – as screenwriter J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. However, it revolves around a previously tertiary character in Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and his attempts to recapture a menagerie of legendary animals accidentally let loose in 1926 New York City several decades prior to Harry’s battle against You-Know-Who.
Now, director David Yates has now confirmed to Screen Rant that Albus Dumbledore will appear in the Fantastic Beasts sequel, with casting already underway.
While it remains to be seen whether fans of the Harry Potter franchise will turn out in similar numbers for a film based on a character who was previously only known as the author of one of Ron Weasley’s Hogwarts textbooks; Warner Bros is bullish on the “Wizarding World” franchise and has already set a sequel in motion with Yates tapped to direct and Rowling herself once again hammering out a storyline. The exact details of the sequel’s storyline are not yet known, but it’s believed that the plot would continue the exploits of Redmayne’s Scamander and his newly-acquired friends.
Johnny Depp has already been cast in the film, believed to be playing Potter-verse “deep lore” character Gellert Grindelwald, a dark wizard who figures prominently in the franchise backstory – chiefly as the fallen onetime friend (and unrequited great love) of future Hogwarts’ Headmaster Albus Dumbledore, but also as part of the events that set the darker origins of many significant characters in motion.
That connection led many fans to speculate that a younger incarnation of Dumbledore himself may appear in the sequel, and with Yates now confirming the character it likely turns the role into one of Hollywood’s hottest casting priorities – despite there being no clear indicator as to whether or not the role would be a featured part of the story or a cameo appearance for fans.
Presumably, the film will be seeking an actor in the same relative age range as Depp (who is 53 this year but typically has been cast to play younger.) Richard Harris portrayed Dumbledore in the original two Potter films but passed away before the series was completed, with Michael Gambon taking over the role for the remaining majority of the franchise’s installments. No word is yet available as to which actors (if any) are being considered for the part at this stage.
Stick with Screen Rant for more updates on this breaking story as it develops.
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them opens November 18th 2016.