ByMax Farrow, writer at Creators.co
Fanatical film-watcher, Hill-walker, Writer and Procrastinator Extraordinaire.
Max Farrow

Ever since we learned that a younger version of Albus Dumbledore would be appearing in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them sequel, the internet has been alive with speculation. Who looks good with a beard? Who has the required gentleness and gravitas to portray the most powerful wizard in the #HarryPotter universe? Because if there's one thing we can all agree on its that, in the immortal words of Kingsley Shacklebolt:

[Image: Warner Bros.]
[Image: Warner Bros.]

Indeed, pretty much every middle-aged actor in Hollywood has been thrown in for consideration, from Sean Bean, to Damien Lewis and beyond. However, one actor in particular has been consistently championed for the role, but just how good are his chances? Is Warner Bros. discussing a Dumbledore-deal with him?

Hustlin’ for Harris

There are many reasons why fans want the great #JaredHarris to play the future Headmaster of Hogwarts. As the son of the original Dumbledore, Richard Harris, it would be rather fitting to see him play a younger version of his father’s character. But this is by no means the sole reasoning for his casting. Harris is a tried and tested talent, and he’s also at the right age to star alongside #JohnnyDepp’s Gellert Grindelwald. Check out the above scene from #SherlockHolmes: A Game of Shadows to see him in action!

Jared Harris's gravitas. and that special twinkle in his eye are very well suited to the character. In fact, many have said he’s a perfect fit for the wise and witty wizard. But what says the man himself about assuming the role? Are post-owls swooping between his home and Warner Bros.?

Hopefully the messages aren't sent via Errol...[Image: Warner Bros.]
Hopefully the messages aren't sent via Errol...[Image: Warner Bros.]

Unfortunately not, if his comments to the Evening Standard are anything to go by. Though he seemed very open and welcoming at the chance to play Dumbledore, he ultimately said:

“I haven’t heard anything and I don’t expect to.”

Merlin’s beard! That’s sure to upset a few fans who were hoping that he’d be deep into the studio casting shortlists by now, but let’s not get too dispirited! It’s worth bearing in mind that the second Fantastic Beasts movie isn’t due out until November 16th, 2018, which gives the studio plenty of time to finalize their plans.

Indeed, some casting arrangements have happened very late in the movie-making process, and #Dumbledore is reportedly meant to have a few scenes in Fantastic Beasts 2, so it might not be the most pressing problems for Warner Bros. in these early stages.

See Also:

Pleasing the Potterheads

A mock-up of Harris as a young Dumbledore [Image: Reddit - FancyFool]
A mock-up of Harris as a young Dumbledore [Image: Reddit - FancyFool]

If you take even a cursory glance at the very many internet fan casts for Dumbledore, you can see just how popular Jared Harris is for the role. Lots of moviegoers would have assumed that a surge of public opinion would inform a studio’s casting process, but Harris doesn’t think that his immense popularity will have much of a sway in the decision:

“These [fan] campaigns almost always go in a different direction. Having seen [them] before I find that [film bosses] don’t like to have their hands forced.”

He doesn’t sound too hopeful, does he? And, let’s face it, Harris might have a point. It’s often the case that with big blockbusters, studios don’t pick actors and actresses exclusively because of their ability and suitability; rather, their name and brand recognition play a more vital role. If a performer can draw in the larger crowds because of their fan base, then chances are that the studio will hire them to capitalize on that.

Depp as Grindelwald [Image: Warner Bros.]
Depp as Grindelwald [Image: Warner Bros.]

That certainly seems to have been the case when they hired Johnny Depp for the role of #Grindelwald since, as producer David Heyman said:

“We were looking for someone... who was iconic, who was a great actor; and that’s what Johnny Depp is. He can be irresistible.”

As brilliant as Harris is, he unfortunately doesn’t have that instant recognition that Warner Bros. seems to be going for- at this moment in time anyway. If Depp’s casting is anything to go by, we can assume that our all new, all young-ified Dumbledore will come from the current crop Hollywood darlings (sorry Arthur Darvill, that probably rules you out). Who knows? We might just get Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender or heck, even Daniel Craig as Dumbledore in that case!

“What Can This Mean [For] Albus?”

Harris Snr as Albus Dumbledore [Image: Warner Bros.]
Harris Snr as Albus Dumbledore [Image: Warner Bros.]

However, for those still yearning to see Jared step into the Headmasters’ Office at Hogwarts, the actor admits that before an official announcement, it’s always possible. He said that they “are obviously thinking about it,” following his name-drop by #DavidYates on the recent press tour. The fact that the director is discussing him is good in itself!

Plus, whilst Harris doesn't set much store by fan campaigns, it is worth noting that popular opinion on the internet is becoming more and more influential in the film business.

Deadpool was only green-lit after years worth of interest, which grew stronger and stronger across the internet. Plus 20th Century Fox were forced to rapidly backtrack following the outcry over that controversial X-Men: Apocalypse poster. You never know, they might just take our thoughts into consideration in this case too!

Harris's excellent work with Warner Bros on Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows will certainly curry favor with the executives, and his stellar turn in Netflix’s The Crown will be a good point of reference for the casting agents.

Harris as King George VI [Image:Netflix]
Harris as King George VI [Image:Netflix]

In the mean time, I’d seriously recommend checking out Harris’s aforementioned roles. He's very underrated and a perfect fit for a young Dumbledore, but I still remain hopeful that Warner Bros. will pick the very best man for the job- even if it isn't him.

In the meantime, I can't wait to delve into the Wizarding World once more in Fantastic Beasts 2!

 [Image: Warner Bros.]
[Image: Warner Bros.]

Still think Harris has a chance? Or are you depending on another actor to be Dumbledore? Head to the comments and let me know!

(Source: Evening Standard)