Merlin’s Beard! Things are surely hotting up for #WarnerBros. — at least, where Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is concerned. With the first of the five planned movies due out next week (!), talk has already turned to the future of the series, which tells the story of the Wizarding World prior to the events of the #HarryPotter saga.
Indeed, director David Yates has confirmed that a certain Headmaster of #Hogwarts is set to appear in a more youthful form, and even appealed to fans for suggestions.
And boy, did they respond! However, among the many multitudes of fan casts, one choice is being championed in particular by many cinema goers, who are yearning to see this special actor go up against Johnny Depp’s Gellert Grindelwald…
He Who MUST Be Named!
As we all know, Sir Michael Gambon superbly played Albus Dumbledore from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban onward. Many people were therefore assuming that he’d make a return to the role, albeit with de-aging technology like the sort that we saw used on Robert Downey Jr in #CaptainAmerica #CivilWar, as well as Michael Douglas in #AntMan.
Gambon himself openly campaigned for the part, yet recent comments from JK Rowling and the other filmmakers have hinted that #Dumbledore and #Grindelwald might have a more extensive presence in the series than we’d originally assumed. Having to digitally alter Gambon’s appearance by CGI might run up a pretty hefty bill for the studio, and a casting a younger actor seems like the more viable option. So, after Yates confirmed that Gambon wasn't being considered, fans have turned to scrutinize his predecessor…or rather, the predecessor’s son!
Didn’t know that Sir Richard Harris had an actor for a son? I don’t blame you, since lots of people hadn’t realized the connection until recently! But Jared Harris is a fine actor in his own right, and he has forged a stellar career of his own that is not to be sniffed at.
You may recognize him from his roles in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln (2012) or the movie adaptation of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015) but his most prominent projects have been on the acclaimed TV series Mad Men, and the scintillating, sinister, Moriarty to Robert Downey Jr’s #SherlockHolmes in Guy Ritchie’s #GameofShadows. Harris is also currently getting a lot of applause for his role in #Netflix’s #TheCrown. But why do fans want him as Dumbledore so badly?
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Though it has been some time since Richard Harris passed away, his time as Albus Dumbledore is still revered by many Potterheads who lament the fact that we didn’t see him progress through the movie series, and who still prefer him to Michael Gambon.
And, let’s face it — Harris was an amazing Dumbledore, so getting his son to follow in his footsteps would be one of the greatest things that could possibly happen to the Fantastic Beasts series. This selection out of the many fans on Twitter seems to think so anyway!
If we’re going on looks, then it’s safe to say that Jared has what it takes to pick up the mantle after his pa. Not only does he massively resemble his dad — particularly around the eyes and nose — but he also has the same tone of voice. Plus, as many of his roles show, he brings a charismatic presence and an innate intelligence to the silver screen. Plus, he has one of the key prerequisites for Dumbledore: the ability to carry off a large amount of facial hair.
And speaking of hair, Jared’s reddish brown locks can’t hurt his chances; because before he got that silver ‘do, the books describe Dumbledore as being in possession of an auburn mane!
Some enthusiasts may decry that Jared is too old for the role of Young Dumbledore, but at 55 years old, he is in actual fact a very good fit. Albus was born in 1881, meaning that that by the mid-1920’s setting of Fantastic Beasts, he was in his mid-forties. Seeing as Johnny Depp (53) is on hand to play the similarly aged Grindelwald, the casting of Jared Harris as Dumbledore all adds up!
Seriously, check out the above clip of Jared as #Moriarty, and you can see how similar his deportment is to his father's. Sure he’s playing a far nastier character that Richard was as Dumbledore, but there is that same twinkle in his eye and the same commanding nature. Furthermore, not only does he have experience of wearing robes (of a sort), he also has the approval of David Yates, who said his name was being considered for the Fantastic Beasts sequel. So what are the odds of it happening?
Could We See Jared Harris Play Dumbledore?
Whilst it would be great to see Jared Harris’s Dumbledore age into his father’s iteration in the Philosopher’s Stone during our inevitable chronological binge-watching, there are still a lot of factors that may mean it won’t not happen. Though David Yates has certainly filed him under consideration, Warner Bros. may want to diverge from the Harry Potter series and cast someone younger and more well-known. The casting of superstar Johnny Depp, as well as the Oscar-winning Eddie Redmayne may highlight that the studio are aiming for the spotlight by hiring those who will draw in the crowds, and the big bucks.
Harris is certainly good enough for the role, but he may not feature in that proposed vision, and he may not even want the role at all. In some interviews, Jared has discussed his deep love for his father, yet he has also shirked away from comparisons between the two of them, and expressed his desire to be a distinct figure of his own. Playing a younger version of Dumbledore would definitely invite the kinds of discussions he has tried to avoid.
Yet you never know! The fact that David Yates seems keen means that we could surely see it happen. Won’t it be great to see Dumbledore on our screens again? And wouldn’t it be even better to see him played by an actor who we know is going to bring the beloved and magical character to life?
Warner Bros.: Make it happen!
Would you like to see Jared Harris as Dumbledore?
[Source: Radio Times]