JK Rowling fires back over complaints about portrayal of Dumbledore's sexuality in 'Fantastic Beasts'
With the Harry Potter franchise being as big as it is, it was never going to completely disappear from our screens. Since the books and movie adaptations reached their end, we've not only seen a sequel on the stage, but we've seen a prequel named Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. After the success of that film, we've seen the announcement of its sequel, which was recently revealed to be called Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
The movie will star Jude Law as a younger Dumbledore, with the plot following Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and the future headmaster of Hogwarts trying to take down the dark wizard Grindelwald (Johnny Depp). One interesting thing about this story is that it ties back to something many fans of the books know - the fact that Dumbledore is gay.
We learned in the books that Dumbledore had a close relationship with Grindelwald, but it disintegrated, with them eventually becoming enemies as Grindelwald turned to dark magic. It was made more even riveting when the author, JK Rowling, revealed that they weren't just friends, but were in love. However, it seems that the upcoming movie isn't going to touch on this, despite this relationship being central to the story.
Director David Yates recently spoke to Entertainment Weekly, where he confirmed that while he wasn't denying the known sexuality, it wouldn't come up in the film:
"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.”
This didn't exactly please the fans, who were wondering what the point is in representation in film if it's only a bit of lip service, not even brought up in the film in any way.
One Twitter user wrote: "If you're not going to make Young Dumbledore's sexuality explicitly clear in Fantastic Beasts then why even bother with this film at all tbh?" while another said: "which seems like a weird choice in a movie literally titled "the crimes of Grindlewald," focused on Dumbledore chasing down a man Rowling has said was his great love".
After this outcry, many vented their frustrations to Rowling, but her reply didn't calm many people down. In a tweet she wrote:
"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".
Many fans of the Harry Potter series felt that the author should listen to their concerns, especially when they turned to the books in the first place for comfort "when the world rejected them, and now feel rejected", as one put it.
Another found it frustrating that they found themselves "Wanting to see someone like you represented in a nominally inclusive fantasy universe & then being told, "Here, it's this character whose sexuality is never addressed in the text & which we're not about to start addressing now"?"
It seems like Rowling is planning something down the line, but it may not come up until later sequels. We'll find out exactly how much Dumbledore's sexuality factors into this entry when it's released on November 16th 2018.