Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them takes place in the magical Harry Potter universe, but it will share more with the Boy Who Lived than the setting. Fantastic Beasts director David Yates confirmed at a press junket on Tuesday that Albus Dumbledore will indeed be part of the five-film arc. Bring on that Dumbledore/Grindelwald backstory!
While Johnny Depp is set to play Gellert Grindelwald, they haven’t cast their Dumbledore just yet. The Leaky Cauldron reports that Yates said, “In the second movie Dumbledore comes back. There are a couple good scenes with Newt.” He added they’re discussing who would play the younger wizard and are open to suggestions. Oh hey, we have some ideas for you.
First, it’s important to pinpoint Dumbledore’s age. According to Pottermore, the venerable wizard was born in 1881. The first Fantastic Beasts film is set in 1926, so that puts Dumbledore at 45—65 years younger than he was when Harry Potter enrolled at Hogwarts. Based on that information and who hasn’t already appeared in the Harry Potter films–which is a lot of British actors, you guys—these are our picks for a young Dumbledore:
1. Jude Law
Assuming the Dumbledore of yore was a bit on the arrogant and self-righteous side, Jude Law would be pitch perfect. He’s more than capable of handling that tone, as well as a softer, more compassionate one. He could bring warmth but also a hard edge to the role.
2. Hugo Weaving
Hugo Weaving has played memorable characters such as Elrond, Agent Smith, and Red Skull. He’d have no problem stepping into the formidable shoes of Dumbledore and bringing gravitas to the character. I think Weaving has the same brand of elegance as Michael Gambon.
3. Ewan McGregor
Think about Dumbledore’s playful, mischievous aspects. I’m not sure how much that side of his personality will be part of his past self, but Ewan McGregor can bring the whole “twinkle in his eye” quality to the table in spades. Plus, all the lightsaber training has to come in handy for wielding a wand, right?
4. Hugh Dancy
Have you seen Hugh Dancy in Hannibal? I admit I’ve only caught a handful of episodes of the series, but Dancy as Will Graham is magnetic. If this Dumbledore is still finding his way and figuring things out, Graham could definitely bring the nuance and inner conflict needed. He might be a touch young, but that’s what makeup’s for.
5. Michael Sheen
You may not know Michael Sheen’s name off the top of you head, but you’ve seen his face in Masters of Sex and the Twilight films among other credits. He can play a character in a wonderfully understated fashion or delightfully over the top. Because of how he portrayed Aro, I could see him bringing something unique but familiar to Dumbledore.
6. Damian Lewis
Damian Lewis has mostly worked in television, but considering his performance as Henry VIII in Wolf Hall, I can see him making the leap to the big screen. He’s skilled at transforming completely to suit the characters he plays; he would be able to own Dumbledore’s robes and the importance of the character.
7. Iain Glen
We’ve seen him as the stalwart and lovesick Jorah Mormont in Game of Thrones, a snobby man with inconsiderate tendencies in Downton Abbey, and as Jack Taylor. I’m convinced Iain Glen has the range necessary to play the younger, presumably even more spirited Dumbledore. Plus, I can totally picture him with a crinkly long beard.
And believe me, if the Harry Potter film universe hadn’t already established Dumbledore as white, Idris Elba would be on this list.
Which actor do you want to see play a young Albus? Share your picks in the comments.