In the lead up to the release of Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, we’ve learned that Albus Dumbledore will be a part of the series, and that his one-time friend—the baddie, Gellert Grindelwald—is played by Johnny Depp. So clearly the five-part franchise isn’t exactly isolated from the Potter books. At a press conference today for the film, producer David Heyman discussed how the new tale will integrate Potter lore. “I’ve read the second script and it is beyond exciting, and I think the only thing I can say is the connective tissue that you have seen is just the beginning and as the story unfolds,” he said, adding that those ties will “become more explicit.”
During the conversation, J.K. Rowling also carefully teased out information when asked whether the Dumbledore portrayed in the new films will be openly gay. In the past, the author, who now serves as screenwriter, has said that the character is indeed, and even acknowledged that he at one point had feelings for Grindelwald. “Obviously it’s a five-part story, so there’s lots to unpack in that relationship,” Rowling said. “I will say you will see Dumbledore as a younger man, and quite a troubled man, because he wasn’t always the sage.” Still, she was reluctant to disclose too many details. “As far as his sexuality is concerned, watch this space,” she said.
The event couldn’t escape mention of Donald Trump and the presidential election, especially given that Rowling was vocal about her dismay on Twitter yesterday. She explained she didn’t want to say “anymore” on the subject. Still, she did say that while the idea for the movie was generated some years ago, it was in part a reaction to “a rise of populism around the world.” Fantastic Beasts comes out November 18.