After JK Rowling completed the book series of Harry Potter back in 2007, she had one last surprised left in store for fans: the revelation that Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore is gay.
The great wizard’s sexuality is never fully addressed on the pages or even in the mutli-billion-dollar film franchise that followed, but the author’s word on the mater was clear enough.
So when it was revealed that a new five-part Fantastic Beasts film series penned by Rowling for the big screen would include a younger version of Dumbledore played by Jude Law, fans immediately assumed we’d finally get a glimpse at the popular character’s romantic life.
As we all know, Dumbledore and Gellert Grindelwald – played by Johnny Depp in Fantastic Beasts – had an intense and personal relationship when they were young men.
It’s never been clear if Grindelwald reciprocated the same affection that Dumbledore felt for him, but fans of the Wizarding World were hoping these questions would finally be answered in these new films.
However, comments from Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald director David Yates has poured cold water on that relationship being explored anytime soon.
In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Yates confirmed that, for now at least, Dumbeldore’s sexuality will not be presented on screen – at least, “not explicitly”.
He added: ““But I think all the fans are aware of that. He had a very intense relationship with Grindelwald when they were young men.
“They fell in love with each other’s ideas, and ideology, and each other.”
There was an immediate backlash from fans online, with many calling for the makers of the film to “let Dumbledore be gay”.
But not all is lost.
If you cast your mind back to 2016 when JK Rowling held a press conference talking about her plan for the new five-part Fantastic Beasts film series, she teased that Dumbledore’s sexuality will be addressed eventually.
“Well, I can’t tell you everything I would like to say because this is obviously a five-part story, so there’s lots to unpack in that relationship,” she said.
“I will say that you will see Dumbledore as a younger man, and quite a troubled man because he wasn’t always the sage. He was always very clever, but we’ll see what I think was the formative period of his life.
“As far as his sexuality is concerned, watch the space.”
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them already touched upon an LGBTQ metaphor with Ezra Miller’s character Credence.
The young wizard was forced to suppress who he really is by his ultra conservative adopted mother, ultimately causing tremendous inner turmoil and producing an obscurus.
But to have clear LGBTQ representation in the form of a hugely popular character and hero like Dumbledore being unapologetically himself would be a huge step forward for Hollywood, where gay characters are very rarely portrayed in massive blockbusters.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will be in cinemas from 16 November, 2018.