The world’s premier gay wizard is coming back to the big screen. Well, he’s not really going to be on-screen. And he isn’t totally out yet.
Albus Dumbledore, late of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, was—like Neil Patrick Harris and so many celebrities before him—forced out of the closet by a big blabbermouth: his creator, J.K. Rowling. After the publication of the final installment (oh God, for now, I guess) of the Harry Potter series, Rowling stated that Harry’s beloved mentor was gay.
You know the old story: young gay falls in love with his straight-but-questioning best friend, yet it’s not meant to be because the BFF becomes the wizarding Hitler precursor to Voldemort—an even bigger Hitler. Young gay Dumbledore’s heart smashes into little bits and he spends the next 100 years not dating anyone because he’s still in love with his first evil boyfriend.
It sounds crazy, but in a way Dumbledore is literally everyone I know.
The Divine Ms. Rowling has been on a Potter renaissance lately, expanding her magical schools to America via the website Pottermore in advance of the new film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Unfortunately, the results of bringing magic to American History have been mixed as Rowling discovered…huh, American History is actually fairly evil and murky and impossible to shrug away in the ugly spots.
The same can be said for British History, but Rowling seemed more at home in her native land. One doesn’t just tackle the slaughter of Native Americans and subjugation of African Americans and say, “Oh, um, wizards knew better, they were less racist.” This point is undercut by the entire premise of the war between Harry Potter and Voldemort: racism and supremacy. If anything, wizards are more racist than muggles (or No-Majes to us Americans). Wizards produced two Hitlers in the same time we only produced one! (TBD on Trump)
Joking aside, Rowling has made clear that Fantastic Beasts is the start of a five film saga, set during the time of Grindelwald’s uprising. Both Grindelwald and Dumbledore are name-checked in the final trailer, but I doubt we’ll see them. Although Rowling has hinted they’ll show themselves in future segments.
Fantastic Beasts is set in 1926, and possibly we’ll build up to the epic battle between Dumbledore and Grindelwald that took place in 1945. By Rowling’s timeline, Dumbeldore was born in 1881, so this would make him a spry 64-year-old finally digging up the drunken courage to confront his shitty ex. It seems crazy to think this new, unfolding saga wouldn’t deal with the Grindelwald battle. And it seems similarly crazy that in said battle, Dumbledore’s incredibly hurt feelz don’t come up. Rowling has said the gay stuff is canon, so there’s going to be little room for interpretation.
Personally, I’m hoping for a Young Frankenstein/Frau Blucher moment where Dumbledore bellows, “YES! YES! Say it! He was my BOYFRIEND!”
So, here’s the deal: TV is better with gay stuff than movies are, and that’s a fact. But by the time film number five rolls around to our screens it could be 2026. I like to think we’ll be able to at least say ‘gay’ explicitly in a Potter film by then. In fact, if young(er) Dumbledore/Grindelwald is to feature in these new films, it’s time for a little gay wishlist:
*Cast Alan Cumming (you know he’d rock that eye twinkling over half-moon specs lewk she has Dumbledore do in every chapter).
*Hey! What if Dumbledore isn’t the only gay/bi/queer wizard in the known universe? So far Rowling has slapped down any talk at all about other characters belonging to the family (Lupin, Sirius, Charlie Weasley, Scorpius Malfoy, Albus Potter, etc). Alright, so make up another one!
*Hey! What if Dumbledore developed affections for some other guy in the last 100 years? Someone who isn’t a warmonger?
*Sneak us a peek into homophobia in the wizarding world (or are they above that, too?)
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them opens November 18. Let's see how much we get!