Accio 18th November!
I’m sure that that’s the spell which many #HarryPotter fans would use if they could. Everyone is looking forward to seeing the upcoming adventures of Newt Scamander’s (Eddie Redmayne) in 1920s America in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Everyone knows that it will focus upon Scamander and his story, but the soon-to-be-five-movie series is also set to star a pair of characters we've heard a lot about: Gellert Grindelwald and Albus Dumbledore!
Johnny Depp has been confirmed as Gellert Grindelwald, but as yet no one has been cast as Dumbledore in the Fantastic Beasts sequel. Indeed, in a recent interview with ScreenRant director David Yates even asked for our input!
"...We’re discussing who would play Dumbledore, any suggestions would be good. [Laughs]...”
So I think it's high time that we helped David Yates out! As we all know, Dumbledore’s already been brilliantly portrayed by Sir Michael Gambon, as well as the late, great Richard Harris, but who could play a younger version of #Dumbledore in this time period? And what does the actor need to possess to embody the saga’s sorcerer supreme?
Don't be silly Albus! Look no further than below for the list of the best possible candidates...there’s no need to turn to page 394!
What Do We Need From a New Dumbledore?
Whilst the news of Grindelwald's casting has got many fans fuming, the revelation that Dumbledore will soon be on the scene is sure to delight moviegoers everywhere. Like Severus Snape, the infamous Headmaster of Hogwarts is a fan-favorite character, known for his substantial levels of both sass and kindness.
However, not just any actor can wear a wig and a beard, wave a wand and be called Dumbledore. The part requires something far more subtle. To ascertain what we require in our wondrous wizard, we need to look at the canon of the book series.
By this time, Albus has already suffered the tragic demise of his mother and sister, and his estrangement from his brother. Plus, he will be still be heartbroken following the departure of a certain Gellert Grindelwald. However, though his arrogance will have been reduced and he will be no doubt weathered by these emotional blows, he is well on his way to becoming the powerful character that we know and love. Even so, it might be surprising to consider that at this point in time, a “young” Dumbledore won’t actually be that young!
According to JK Rowling, Albus was born in 1881, meaning that that by the mid-1920’s, he was in his mid-forties. As a result, in Hollywood, any actor between his mid-thirties to mid-fifties is a viable candidate. Studios are notoriously lax about age after all, but it does make sense to have a slightly more seasoned version of Dumbledore appear in Fantastic Beasts. As we learned in the first trailer for Fantastic Beasts he is Scamander’s teacher, so it would be strange for Dumbledore to appear as similarly aged as our new hero!
So without further ado, here is my sensational selection of talent for our new version of the Hogwarts Headmaster.
1. Richard Armitage
Most Famous Role: Thorin Oakenshield in The Hobbit Trilogy
Why He'd Be The Perfect Dumbledore: We should expect that the younger Dumbledore is a little less refined, but is no less skilled with a wand. Able to hold his own against #LordVoldemort, Dumbledore is the most powerful wizard in the world. We need an actor with gravitas who will make us believe in his serenity as well as his power, and in this way particularly, Richard Armitage is a marvelous fit.
Our boy Richard is a very capable actor, who can broaden any role, no matter how minor (see Captain America: The First Avenger). His sensitivity in BBC's Inspector George Gently, and the intensity of his time as Thorin could be well utilized in Dumbledore. After all, the below clip shows how the #Hogwarts Headmaster is usually a well of serenity, but he can become deadly when provoked!
2. Rufus Sewell
Most Famous Role: Count Adhemar in A Knight's Tale (2001)
Why He'd Be The Perfect Dumbledore: Known for his villainous movie roles such as his recent turn as Obergruppenführer Smith in The Man in the High Castle, Rufus Sewell has had an expansive and varied career, which couldn’t be hurt by playing a young Dumbledore.
If the Hollywood execs are looking for someone who resembles Michael Gambon, then Sewell definitely has an advantage over his competition. There’s definitely a similarity around the eyes and nose, so much so that Sewell played a younger version of Gambon’s character in the #BBC miniseries Restless!
At 49 years of age Sewell might be one of the oldest choices on this list, but his soft voice and intriguing presence would mean that he could deliver a mysterious yet captivating iteration of Dumbledore.
3. Luke Evans
Most Famous Role: Bard the Bowman in The Hobbit Trilogy
Why He'd Be The Perfect Dumbledore: Many might question why I’ve selected this other #Hobbit alumni, but Evans has proved to be a very capable thespian in recent years (see his fantastically brash turn in Ben Wheatley's High Rise) so he's more than capable for the task.
Additionally, since Dumbledore is a gay character, it seems only fitting that a gay actor should play him. Hollywood still has many strides to make in its representation: why not start here?
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4. Lee Pace
Most Famous Role: Ronan the Accuser in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Why He'd Be The Perfect Dumbledore: He may be an American, but that doesn’t hinder Pace's impressive British accent, or his ability to plunge himself into any role, whether it’s an aloof and cold Elf-king (The Hobbit), or a shy and endearing pie-maker (ABC’s Pushing Daisies).
I’d love to take credit for thinking up this great casting choice, but unfortunately I can’t since have to thank the guys at ETOnline for it. Regardless, Pace has the poise and charm that could be the makings of a great Dumbledore, if given the chance.
5. Mark Gatiss
Most Famous Role: Mycroft Holmes in BBC's Sherlock
Why He'd Be The Perfect Dumbledore: Another aspect of Dumbledore is his fierce intelligence and his wit. Let’s not forget all of those pithy put-downs that he served to the Minister for Magic, or the numerous times that he demonstrated his deep knowledge on the most complex pieces of magic. If you want an actor who can embody these qualities, look no further than Mark Gatiss.
He’s a fan-favorite, who many will recognize from his excellent work as smart yet slimy characters in #Sherlock and #DoctorWho. It also helps that he has an auburn shade of hair, which Dumbledore sported in his youth. Slap a beard on there and presto!
6. Chiwetel Ejiofor
Most Famous Role: Solomon Northup in 12 Years a Slave (2013)
Why He'd Be The Perfect Dumbledore: It's an unavoidable fact that Dumbledore was canonically ginger-haired and blue-eyed, so it's extremely unlikely that Warner Bros. will want to confuse audiences with a young black Dumbledore. However, it's worth noting that JK Rowling is not averse to race swapping her beloved creations, so a black Dumbledore not be as unlikely as you think.
If you're still unsure, then check out the genteelness and sincerity that he breathes into characters as steely and ruthless as the Operative in #Serenity, or as conflicted as Mordo in #DoctorStrange. What makes Dumbledore is not simply a pair of blue eyes, but an innate kindness, and a knack for championing the underdogs of the Wizarding World. Ejiofor would surely do a brilliant job at personifying these essential attributes.
7. Michael Fassbender
Most Famous Role: Young Magneto in X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
Why He'd Be The Perfect Dumbledore: Some fans may groan, and cite the fact that Michael Fassbender is on every fan-cast these days. But there is a very good reason for that: he’s so damn versatile. He can be the charming Mr Rochester in Jane Eyre, or become the increasingly insane Macbeth at the drop of the hat.
Since Dumbledore canonically has Irish heritage, Fasssbender's natural brogue surely can’t hurt his chances. With his experience of playing younger versions of famous characters in the #XMen Series. I’d be shocked if he’d be wasn’t on the lists of any casting agent in Warner Bros.
So there you have it! All of the people who could potentially be Dumbledore! Whether or not any of them are chosen, I’m sure that Warner Bros will pick someone worthy of the task, who is able to command respect, convey a deep and sincere kindness, yet be eccentric enough to randomly say “Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!” Whoever is chosen to be the new Dumbledore, I’m sure we’ll all look forward to seeing the character return to our screens once again!