Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will follow on from Johnny Depp’s shock cameo as dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald at the end of the first pic by promoting him to the main villain in the sequel. How’s Eddie Redmayne’s Newt Scamander going to stand any chance at defeating him, though? Well, he’s going to join forces with a legend of the Harry Potter franchise, Albus Dumbledore!
Stepping into the role of the iconic Hogwarts professor here is Jude Law, the third actor to take the part after the late Richard Harris played old Albus in the first two HP movies and Michael Gambon took over for the remainder of the series. Both portrayals cemented Dumbledore as one of the most beloved characters in the Wizarding World, but did their performances influence Law’s own take on the headmaster in any way?
The British star revealed to EW that, though he admires both Harris and Gambon as actors, he deliberately didn’t revisit their Dumbledores too much as he decided with director David Yates that it would be best not to attempt to copy their performances and just make the character his own. Law’s reasoning for this is that Fantastic Beasts‘ Dumbledore is so much younger than when we’ve previously seen him.
“I’m sure they were in the back of my mind, because I’d seen their work and admired both of them as actors, greatly. I talked with [director] David Yates about that and we both decided that it wasn’t necessary to do an impersonation of one of them as a younger man. This is a man with almost 100 years ahead of him before he became that character so we wanted to look at who he was in this moment and construct our own version. It makes me laugh when he’s called “Young Albus” because I’m 45, so I’m more in the middle of a midlife crisis, but I’m happy to hold onto that as long as I can!”
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald has faced a lot of controversy, due to the backlash against Depp’s casting and Yates’ comments about Dumbledore’s sexuality, but Law’s appointment itself has generally been met with a warm reception. Hopefully he’ll nail the part when the sequel apparates into cinemas on November 16th – whether he’s influenced by the old Dumbledores or not.