Long before Newt Scamander let the Fantastic Beasts out of his case, we discovered that there was a lot to look forward to in the upcoming Potter-Verse movie Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them. Shortly after we learned that a movie was being created around the story of Newt Scamander, we were privy to the news that J.K. Rowling was putting together enough material for FIVE new films. It's a massive endeavor for sure, but fans of the wizarding world are absolutely giddy with delight that we have so much magic to look forward to.
The exciting part of all this is that Fantastic Beasts won't follow any existing book, but rather will be loosely based on the textbook and the people that knew Newt within the Harry Potter books themselves, and the remaining movies will follow along the same path. With so much potential material, we could find that these movies take us anywhere.
Yet one thing that we've recently learned is that a young Dumbledore will make an appearance in the second film of the new series and will be openly gay.
David Heyman and David Yates, director of Fantastic Beasts, have both confirmed that the team is actively developing the script and searching for the right actor to fill the arguably most famous character from the wizarding world, next to the boy who lived - Harry Potter. It's likely that the five films in this new series will at least partially follow the adventures and exploits of Dumbledore's history much like the Harry Potter films explored Harry's origin and rise.
We know that Grindelwald will also appear in the movies going forward and will be portrayed by Johnny Depp. Since Dumbledore and Grindelwald have a relationship it makes sense to have the two characters in the same age range, so as the casting search moves forward, we are left to wonder about the casting for the remainder of the films.
So who could bring young Albus Dumbledore to life?
Now let's get this out of the way, Richard Harris and Michael Gambon's performances are absolutely brilliant, and it seems like an impossible task to cast a role like Dumbledore. The casting of a younger Dumbledore will be more about adding some contextualization and definition as to how he became the character we see in the Harry Potter books rather than recreating a duplicate of the Dumbledore we see in the Harry Potter films.
His role in Fantastic Beasts will likely be quite a while before he takes the headmaster role at Hogwarts and will focus on how he is growing and learning magic on the deep levels that we know that he's learned in the Harry Potter films. Here are 4 actors who I feel could really take on a role like Dumbledore.
Probably the least well known actor in this list, Hugh Dancy also possibly is the most perfect for the role of Dumbledore. At 41, Hugh has had a successful career, albeit, mildly unknown until now. Hugh has taken to the small screen and big screen and given us several electric performances (Hannibal, Black Hawk Down & The Path). With being not quite as mainstream as other potentials, I think it helps him in terms of being able to truly craft the wizards backstory without being compared to other roles.
Hugh would be able to simplify the character while bringing a sense of composure and pride in being who he is. Just look at his presence as Galahad (King Arthur) and Cal Roberts (The Path), both roles showcase Hugh's ability to capture a role and bring it to life - the same could be said for what he would be able to do with Dumbledore.
At a vibrant 45 years old, Damien still has several acting years ahead of him. He is personally one of my favorite actors, and I would love to see his quirky humor in the role of Dumbledore. Although Damien has spent a lot of his career on the small screen (Homeland, Billions & Band of Brothers) he absolutely has the chops to take on a role like this as he regularly transforms himself to truly capture the essence of the character he's set to portray.
It's not difficult to imagine the sly smile and quick wit that he brought with his character Jonesy (Dreamcatcher) with the resoluteness and tenacity of Richard D. Winters (Band of Brothers) would be exactly how I would picture a young Dumbledore: confident and kind but willing to take charge when called upon.
If there is any actor who can portray both power and compassion it's Iain Glen. Iain has been on the small screen and big screen for the better part of the last 30 years, but even at 55 years old he could easily match Johnny Depp (53) as he portrays Gellert Grindewald. Iain Glen has a wide collection of characters to draw from (Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey & Resident Evil), all of which would add great inspiration for Dumbledore.
Even though Iain is the oldest actor in this collection, I think that he is one of the most qualified actors to bring Dumbledore onto the screen again. His presence as Jorah (Game of Thrones) and Jarrod Slade (Cleverman) are spot on to how I would imagine Dumbledore to hold himself. He would be proud but also carry a deep emotional connection, which is what we love about Dumbledore.
Jude Law is another intriguing casting choice for Dumbledore. Somehow Jude Law has managed to capture both arrogance and compassion in several of his roles over the years. He's spent his career crafting brilliant roles in films (Sherlock Holmes, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow & Enemy at the Gates), and there are so many other films that go to show that he could be exactly what is needed to portray a young Dumbledore.
It's actually quite easy to see Jude Law with a crinkly long beard hiding a sly smile. He would bring a hard edge to the character that as he ages is softened to become the Dumbledore that we see in the Harry Potter films. Perhaps taking cues from Dr. Watson (Sherlock Holmes) and Lenny Barlado (The Young Pope) would allow for Jude Law to have just the right mix of cunning and guile to take on this role.
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them is sure to take the world by storm just as the Harry Potter films did, so it's exciting to imagine what J.K. Rowling and everyone involved has planned for the massive undertaking of introducing the back story of some of the most toted characters that created the wizarding world itself. Regardless of who is cast in the role of Dumbledore for Fantastic Beasts 2, make sure to check out the film when it arrives on November 18th.