In 2016, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will (finally!) return us to the wizarding world of Harry Potter, albeit some 70 years before Harry learns that he has powers or that there is a he who must not be named. Instead, it's centered on magizoologist and future textbook writer Newt Scamander.
Yesterday, Warner Bros. confirmed that Eddie Redmayne will play Newt.
There have also been reports that Saoirse Ronan and Dakota Fanning are up for the female lead, Tina, while Kate Upton is one contender for Tina’s older sister, Queenie. According to The Wrap, there’s also a rival character named Jacob.
But there’s one character we want to see that hasn’t been mentioned yet: Albus Dumbledore. Beasts is set to take place in the 1920s, which would place Dumbledore somewhere in his late 30s, about 20 years after he's graduated from Hogwarts and two decades before he would return there as Professor of Transfiguration.
We have a very specific reason for wanting a younger Dumbledore to appear, and not just to connect the franchises. It was only after Deathly Hallows came out that Rowling told fans at a reading, “I always thought of Dumbledore as gay.” She has since defended her character's queerness countless times on Twitter, like when someone tweeted her saying he “can’t see” Dumbledore as gay and Rowling responded:
Now you tell us?
Since Rowling penned the movie's script this time around, she has the chance to show us some of that Dumbledore-on-dude kissing. Or at least show one of the most prolific LGBT characters acknowledging his LGBTness. The story is set to take place in New York, but we could imagine Dumbledore taking the floo across the pond. Especially since he eventually wrote the forward for Fantastic Beasts.
Michael Gambon, who played Dumbledore in every movie after Prisoner of Azkaban, aged out of the role, but here are a few actors we wouldn’t mind seeing take over for him:
Hugh Dancy, 39, has that same vulnerability and openness that Dumbledore always showed Harry. Or Richard Armitage, 43, who’s on the older side, but seems like he would be a natural fit for the franchise. Joel Edgerton, 40, may not seem like the obvious choice, but that might prove to be more interesting. Plus, he looks a bit like a younger Gambon.
Lee Pace, 36, is on the younger side, but has the gravitas that makes us believe someday he would end up running Hogwarts. Sharlto Copley, 41, would chew up the scenery in a movie like this. And we always want to see Casey Affleck, 39, in more movies.
Or your choice, J.K. and director David Yates. Just as long as he’s there.
Now, find out what Harry Potter bombshell Draco Malfoy himself, Tom Felton, recently dropped on fans: