A desperate Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) taps Magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) in his mission to oppose powerful dark wizard Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) in a new clip from Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
“I cannot move against Grindelwald,” Dumbledore tells Newt under the dark of night. “It has to be you.”
A tepid Newt hesitates.
“Well, I can’t blame you,” Dumbledore says. “In your shoes, I’d probably refuse, too.”
Plucking a magic calling card out of Newt’s hands, Dumbledore apparates into nothingness except for a hand, which nestles the card in the breast pocket of Newt’s coat. “Dumbledore,” Newt sighs, readying himself for the dangerous task entrusted to him by the future Hogwarts headmaster.
Dumbledore, at this point in his history, is a teacher at the magical school eventually attended by Harry Potter and his world-saving friends. The scheming wizard “has to maneuver to try and stop Grindelwald’s rise,” Law says in a trailer highlighting the threatening emergence of the powerful dark wizard Grindelwald, who shares a tragic history with Dumbledore.
In Harry Potter lore, the two former best friends, who met at 17, shared a desire to unite the Deathly Hallows — three immensely powerful mystical objects that, when united, grant its wielder mastery over death — and Dumbledore found himself charmed and attracted to Grindelwald.
Dumbledore and Grindelwald had a falling out that resulted in the death of Dumbledore’s teenaged sister, Ariana, resulting in his hesitancy to directly confront Grindelwald, even as his great enemy terrorizes the wizarding world in his efforts to see wizards and witches rule over muggles, a.k.a. non-magical humans.
Author and screenwriter J.K. Rowling later acknowledged Dumbledore as gay after the series had ended, and his sexuality will not be fully detailed in the Fantastic Beasts sequel — a reserved play that brought its own controversies.
“How is Dumbledore’s sexuality depicted in this film? What you got to remember this is only the second Fantastic Beasts film in a series and what’s brilliant about Jo’s writing is how she reveals her characters, peels them to the heart over time,” Law previously told EW.
“You’re just getting to know Albus in this film, and there’s obviously a lot more to come. We learn a little about his past in the beginning of this film, and characters and their relationships will unfold naturally which I’m excited to reveal. But we’re not going to reveal everything all at once.”
Rowling and studio Warner Bros. have planned a five-movie series for the Harry Potter prequel franchise, which releases its next installment November 16.