David Yates Says Dumbledore’s Sexuality Not Explicit in “Crimes of Grindelwald”
When J.K. Rowling announced ten years ago that she had always thought of Dumbledore as gay – and even more controversially, in love with Grindelwald – many Harry Potter fans were thrilled. Following that, however, was the disappointment that she had neglected to include any evidence supporting those thoughts in the books or movies.
When it became known that the Fantastic Beasts series was going to cover the history of Dumbledore and Grindelwald, fans anticipated that Rowling would use this opportunity to display Dumbledore’s homosexuality evidently on screen. Unfortunately, fans who have been excited to see this particular detail of the storyline play out may be waiting a little longer than they thought.
During an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Fantastic Beasts director David Yates was questioned directly about whether Dumbledore’s sexuality would be addressed in the upcoming sequel, Fantastic Beasts: 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.
Although it may not be clearly established in this year’s upcoming film, there are still three films left over which this complex storyline may develop. J.K. Rowling certainly hinted that it would be included in the films when she discussed it at a press conference two years ago.
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…You will see Dumbledore as a younger man and quite a troubled man — he wasn’t always the sage… We’ll see him at that formative period of his life. As far as his sexuality is concerned, watch this space.
While it’s certainly not a guarantee that the romantic aspect of Dumbledore’s relationship with Grindelwald will ever be featured in the movies, it seems reasonable that fans who were hoping to see it should not give up yet. If Rowling weren’t planning on including it in the story, it seems unlikely that she would address it specifically in reference to the Fantastic Beasts films.
This doesn’t, however, explain why this seemingly important element of the films will be mostly left out of Crimes of Grindelwald. The simplest explanation is that Rowling felt that it was not quite the right time in the story for this information to be openly presented and that it will fit better in one of the later films. She hasn’t specifically weighed in on the reason behind her decision. However, after receiving a significant amount of backlash on social media, she tweeted about her frustration with the public’s response to Yates’s interview.
Being sent abuse about an interview that didn’t involve me, about a screenplay I wrote but which none of the angry people have read, which is part of a five-movie series that’s only one instalment in, is obviously tons of fun, but you know what’s even *more* fun? pic.twitter.com/Rj6Zr8aKUk
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) January 31, 2018
It is understandable that many fans would be upset after hearing this news. Since it is still not very common to see sexual preferences other than heterosexual well represented in popular films, an evidently gay Dumbledore, a well-respected and beloved character in an extremely popular fiction series with a large fan base, means a lot for those who feel that homosexuality is underrepresented in pop culture.
Rowling’s response on Twitter, emphasizing that the series is only one installment in, suggests it’s likely that fans will still get to see Dumbledore’s sexuality play a role in the future even if it’s not prominent in the sequel. With an additional three movies after Crimes of Grindelwald, it could be years before fans get what they’re hoping for, but that doesn’t mean it won’t still happen. For now, unfortunately, we have no choice but to wait and see.