In an unforeseen announcement, Warner Bros. has revealed that two-time Oscar-nominated actor Jude Law (Sherlock Holmes, upcoming King Arthur: Legend of the Sword) has been tapped to play the younger incarnation of the legendary Hogwarts headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, in David Yates’ next chapter of the Fantastic Beasts franchise. He’ll join returning characters played by Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler, and Johnny Depp, who was revealed as the notorious dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
For those who are not familiar with story, Dumbledore and Grindelwald were once close friends back in the early days of their teenage lives. They both became obsessed with the powerful objects known as the Deathly Hallows. But as their plans to conquer the Hallows became more and more preposterous, Albus’ younger brother, Aberforth, came forward and intervened, which infuriated Grindelwald. This resulted to a duel between the three of them and ultimately cost the life of Ariana, Dumbledore’s younger sister. Their friendship came to an abrupt end, forcing Grindelwald to flee and grow into one of the most powerful dark wizard in history.
“Dumbledore fell in love with Grindelwald, and that added to his horror when Grindelwald showed himself to be what he was,” Harry Potter author and Fantastic Beasts screenwriter J.K. Rowling has said. Talking about the sequel, she added, “you will see Dumbledore as a younger man and quite a troubled man. We’ll see him at that formative period of his life.”
The Hogwarts headmaster was first brought to life by the late Richard Harris in the first two Harry Potter films, and was replaced later on by Michael Gambon after the former passed away in 2002. As for Law’s casting, several actors were shortlisted for the role of the young Dumbledore, including Christian Bale, Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark Strong, and even Harris’ son, Jared.
“Jude Law is a phenomenally talented actor whose work I have long admired, and I’m looking forward to finally having the opportunity to work with him,” director Yates said in a statement. “I know he will brilliantly capture all the unexpected facets of Albus Dumbledore as J.K. Rowling reveals this very different time in his life.”
While the Fantastic Beasts sequel still doesn’t have an official title, it is already slated for a November 16, 2018 release.