Nope, Dumbledore Won’t Be “Explicitly” Gay In The New ‘Fantastic Beasts’

Weirdly, the brain geniuses of the Fantastic Beasts film series seem utterly, utterly fixated on doing everything they can to piss off the Harry Potter fanbase – who are, I might add, incredibly easy to piss off. Firstly, they didn’t do anything about those Johnny Depp allegations. Now, director David Yates has confirmed the unthinkable: Dumbledore won’t be explicitly gay in The Crimes of Grindelwald.

Gasp! As you might recall, J.K. Rowling confirmed back in 2007 that she had always thought of Dumbledore as gay, and that he had fallen in love with the evil wizard Grindelwald. It seems like rote knowledge now, but back in the heady days of 2007 this was a huge revelation – and stimulated much debate between fans who thought it was excellent and progressive, and detractors who thought Rowling was just rewriting a character in tune with the social climate at the time.

Rowling hinted back in 2016 that she – as screenwriter of the Fantastic Beasts series – would be comfortable exploring Dumbledore’s sexuality in less subtle ways throughout the series. “Well, I’m very comfortable with the question,” Rowling said to reporters when asked about a gay Dumbledore.

“I would like to say because this is obviously a five-part story, there’s lots to unpack in that relationship.”

According to a new interview with David Yates, it doesn’t look like it’ll be this movie. According to him, Rowling’s script doesn’t touch the issue. Here’s what he said when asked whether Dumbledore’s sexuality forms part of The Crimes of Grindelwald:

Not explicitly. But 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.

Many fans have been looking forward to exploring this part of Dumbledore’s character. And they’re mad. Mad is the default mode of the Harry Potter megafan, but this this something else.

There’s good reason for the fans to be displeased: queer representation in Harry Potter has been essentially zero outside of Rowling’s statements in interviews. Seeing another film come out in the year 2018 which doesn’t address the elephant in the room has gotta sting.

Of course, Rowling’s statement back in 2016 about it being “a five-part series” seems to suggest that she’s might address it more explicitly in a later instalment, and its possible that there could be subtle clues towards Dumbledore’s love for Grindelwald in this movie. But at the moment it just looks like a misstep.