When it was announced that Jude Law would be playing young Albus Dumbledore in the Fantastic Beasts sequel (now called Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Johnny Depp’s Hair), the response was largely: “That sounds fine.” It wasn’t rage-inducing, but it wasn’t cause for an ecstatic fan freakout either. It was, well, serviceable. But executive producer David Heyman sees Law’s casting as something much, much more.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Heyman was asked about why Law was chosen to play the part of young Dumbledore, who will be recruiting former student New Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) to help him take down Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp’s mustache). On the surface, it made sense. His casting, which was announced in April, matched the part just fine. They’re roughly the same age, and Law does look similar to Sir Michael Gambon, the second actor to play Dumbledore in the Harry Potter series. But Heyman said it wasn’t just about his face and age—that there was something special about Law that made him the perfect fit for the part. Sort of a “je ne sais quoi” quality.
One of the reasons we chose Jude is he has many of the qualities we find in Dumbeldore in the Potter films...He’s got authority, he’s got a twinkle in his eye, he’s sometimes a bit elliptical. So you have that but also have this youthful energy and jubilance. So he brings that twinkle, mischief, authority, and power, but at the same time brings far more youthful energy to the film. You understand why he would be your favorite teacher and be someone you believe is an extraordinary wizard.
I guess we’ll find out when Fantastic Beasts 2: The Revenge of Johnny Depp’s Contact Lenses arrives in theaters November 16, 2018. In the meantime, I’m still in the market for Jude Dumbledore’s sweet blue corduroy coat.