Sir Ian McKellen is known for playing one of the greatest wizards in cinematic history as Gandalf in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy. (What’s that? What Hobbit trilogy? Nice try – we both know that never happened. Good joke!) But the actor almost had the chance to play another beloved on-screen conjurer: Harry Potter’s Albus Dumbledore. It turns out the reason McKellen rejected the part was because of some beef he had with the original Dumbledore. Hit the jump to find out why Ian McKellen turned down Harry Potter.
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Even before Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them hit theaters this weekend, we knew that the future of what is now a five-film franchise would have a focus on the villainous plans of Gellert Grindelwald, played by Johnny Depp. This includes his conflict with Albus Dumbledore, who we know eventually stops him in 1945 thanks to the Harry Potter books.
As such, casting is underway to find an actor other than Michael Gambon to play Albus Dumbledore since the character is roughly 60 years younger in the Fantastic Beasts timeline than he is in the Harry Potter franchise. There haven’t been any names mentioned as being in talks for the role yet, so now that audiences are flocking to see Fantastic Beasts this weekend, we thought we’d propose some potential names for who should play young Albus Dumbledore in the future sequels. Find out who made our list after the jump. Read More »
I’ve read all of the Harry Potter novels (although, I’ve yet to finish the last one) and have seen all the Harry Potter films, yet the sexual preference of one of the main characters is a shocking twist that I nor Hardcore Harry Potter fanatics ever expected.
JK Rowling revealed at a book reading in front of over 2,000 fans at Carnegie Hall in New York that the headmaster of the wizarding school Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Albus Dumbledore, is actually gay. Who woulda thought? Rowling said that the character originally fell in love with the wizard Gellert Grindelwald, who, according to Rita Skeeter’s book The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore (read: not very reliable), is the second Most Dangerous Dark Wizard of All Time, under of course, Lord Voldemort.
In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows it was revealed that Grindelwald was an adolescent friend of Albus Dumbledore and that the two of them planned to establish a new world order, where wizards would rule over Muggles “for the greater good”. An argument culminated in a three-way battle between Albus, Aberforth Dumbledore, and Grindelwald in which Albus’ disabled sister Ariana was inadvertently killed by one of them. Grindelwald fled, fearing retribution, which ended their friendship. In 1945, Dumbledore defeated Grindelwald in what is described as the most intense wizarding battle ever to occur.
“Falling in love can blind us to an extent,” Rowling said of Dumbledore’s feelings. “He was horribly, terribly let down.” She referred to this love as Dumbledore’s “great tragedy.”
Rowling went on to reveal that she had recently read through Steve Kloves’ script for the upcoming movie adaptation of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and came across a scene in which Dumbledore was reminiscing about past loves. Rowling says she crossed out the passage and noted “Dumbledore is gay” in the margin.
The audience fell silent, and then after a moment, Carnegie Hall exploded into applause. Rowling said that if she had known that her admission would get that type of response, she would’ve revealed her thoughts on Dumbledore earlier.
Dumbledore is portrayed in the film adaptations by Richard Harris and Michael Gambon.