Matt Spencer-Skeen suggests five actors for the role of young Dumbledore in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them…
With Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them out next week news and rumours have been ratcheting up around the sequel, with Johnny Depp rumoured to be playing Gellert Grindelwald and David Yates confirming Dumbledore’s return in the sequel. This gives us an ideal opportunity to recklessly speculate who could play the younger Dumbledore around 1926.
First things to point out of course, that while younger we aren’t talking a teenage Dumbledore here. J.K. Rowling has confirmed he was born in 1881 which would make him around mid-forties at the time of the film taking place. The actor would need to therefore be in a similar age range, with Hollywood’s penchant for ignoring actual age I reckon any actor late 30’s into mid 50’s has a shot. My guess is they’ll definitely want him to appear like Newt Scamander’s teacher rather than his peer and with Eddie Redmayne being 34 we can expect them to go older, plus if Johnny Depp (age 53) is playing Gellert Grindelwald that gives us a good idea of what the studio is expecting.
Also I’m obviously excluding any actors that have already played a character in the Harry Potter universe for the pool of those I’m selecting and I’m going with British actors as I imagine this is where the casting team will go with this as well.
That said let’s have a look at 5 actors who I’d love to see take on the role…
At the older end of the age spectrum (57), Laurie fits a lot of the physical aspects of Dumbledore already being tall, slender and the blue eyes that are often described in J.K Rowling’s books. He’s also shown the cheek and whimsy that is a large part of Dumbledore’s character in previous parts but can switch to serious as we’ve seen when playing Dr. House. If the studio can convince him to take time away from his music I think he’d be an ideal fit for the part, also it would make me feel slightly better about them never casting Stephen Fry for anything in the films (personally my choice for Horace Slughorn).
Going to the opposite end of the age spectrum McAvoy could still be a good choice for the role. We’ve already seen him play a Professor in the X-Men series and be an authoritative figure there so it’s possible that him as Dumbledore to Redmayne’s Scamander would be believable. Also his bromance with Michael Fassbender’s Magneto could be mirrored with Grindelwald in this movie and really lend itself to that side of a young Dumbeldore portrayal.
Lewis again fits the physical bill somewhat with his hair and eyes and could definitely be seen as an authority figure next to Scamander. It’s difficult to see him being as whimsical as Dumbledore requires but he’s shown his range across Homeland, Billions and Wolf Hall so it’s definitely not something you can count against him.
The former Dark Knight actor undoubtedly has the charisma necessary to be Dumbledore and has shown us in the past his ability to play a part of someone who has deep secrets and great suffering in their past whilst being able to show an outwardly happy and relaxed character with his Bruce Wayne/Batman in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. He definitely would be suitable playing the most powerful wizard in the world as well having exuded power before.
Although he’s most recently seen as the scathing and sarcastic older brother Mycroft of Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock I think Gatiss could bring his scholarly, intellectual demeanour to the role. He also has the comedic chops and quirkiness to play Dumbledore, seeing as he once built a Victorian Lab in his home he definitely has his own eccentricities that could seep into the part.
Who do you think could play young Dumbledore? Let us know in the comments below!
Matt Spencer-Skeen – Follow me on Twitter