Dumbledore Won’t Be ‘Explicitly’ Gay In ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Sequel

Albus Dumbledore—whom author JK Rowling famously revealed was gay months after she published the seventh Harry Potter book—will not be overtly gay in this year's Fantastic Beasts sequel.

On Wednesday, Director David Yates told Entertainment Weekly that The Crimes of Grindelwald will "not explicitly" reference the Hogwarts headmaster's sexuality.

The news came as a disappointment to fans, given that the film will focus on a young Dumbledore (Jude Law) and his relationship with the evil wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp). In 2007, Rowling confirmed the two wizards had a romantic relationship when they were young. "I always thought of Dumbledore as gay. Dumbledore fell in love with Grindelwald," she said at a Carnegie Hall appearance.

dumbledore-grindelwald A young Dumbledore and Grindelwald in 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.' Warner Bros.

Yates acknowledged the notoriety of a gay Dumbledore, the only confirmed queer character in the series. "But I think all the fans are aware of that," Yates said. "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."

He added that Law's Dumbledore is not quite the same Dumbledore fans know from actors Richard Harris and Micahel Gambon. "He’s witty and has a bit of an edge. He’s not this elder statesman. He’s a really kinetic guy. And opposite Johnny Depp as Grindelwald, they make an incredible pairing."

Yates' statement seemingly contradicts an earlier comment from Rowling, who hinted at a press conference two years ago that Dumbledore's sexuality would be explicitly addressed. “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. … We’ll see him at that formative period of his life. As far as his sexuality is concerned … watch this space.”

fantastic-beasts The cast of 'Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.' Warner Bros.

Perhaps Yates and Rowling plan to devote screen time to the issue later in the series. Crimes of Grindelwald will be the second of a five-film franchise. All will be written by Rowling and directed by Yates. 

Unhappy Potter fans were quick to denounce the decision on Twitter. 

Fans were already angry with Yates for casting and defending Depp, who is accused of domestic abuse.

"With Johnny, it seems to me there was one person who took a pop at him and claimed something," Yates said in November. "I can only tell you about the man I see every day: He’s full of decency and kindness, and that’s all I see. Whatever accusation was out there doesn’t tally with the kind of human being I’ve been working with.”