×

Jude Law to Play Young Dumbledore in ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Sequel (EXCLUSIVE)

Jude Law has been tapped to play young Dumbledore in the “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” sequel.

David Yates is returning to direct and Eddie Redmayne will be back to star alongside Johnny Depp, who will play the villain Grindelwald.

Albus Dumbledore is one of the most iconic characters in J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world. Richard Harris made the role famous in the first two “Harry Potter” pics. Michael Gambon later took over the part after Harris’ death in 2002.

The two-time Academy Award nominee will portray Dumbledore long before the wizard became the headmaster at Hogwarts and Potter’s mentor. Set decades before the original “Harry Potter” films and books, Dumbledore is still serving as the wizarding school’s transfiguration professor in “Fantastic Beasts 2.”

The studio had been considering every major British actor in the biz — from Christian Bale to Benedict Cumberbatch to Mark Strong to Harris’ son, “Mad Men” alum and “The Crown” actor Jared Harris — for the role.

Popular on Variety

Rowling, who made her screenwriting debut on “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” has also written the script for the second installment, which is set in an increasingly dark time for the wizarding world, where Newt Scamander and company have to decide on their allegiances.

Jude Law is a phenomenally talented actor whose work I have long admired, and I’m looking forward to finally having the opportunity to work with him,” Yates said. “I know he will brilliantly capture all the unexpected facets of Albus Dumbledore as J.K. Rowling reveals this very different time in his life.”

Toby Emmerich, president and chief content officer of Warner Bros. Pictures, echoed his sentiment.

“As fans ourselves, we are thrilled to have Jude Law joining the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ cast, playing a character so universally adored,” Emmerich added. “Jude has been a member of the Warner Bros. family for years and we’re excited to embark on this new adventure with him.”

Law will next be seen in “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword,” and currently stars in the HBO series “The Young Pope.”

The first movie in the planned five-part “Fantastic Beasts” series grossed more than $813 million at the box office.

The sequel, which begins production this summer, also reunites producers Rowling, David Heyman, Steve Kloves, and Lionel Wigram. Neil Blair, Rick Senat, and Danny Cohen are serving as executive producers.

“Fantastic Beasts 2” hits theaters on Nov. 16, 2018.

Law is repped by WME, LBI Entertainment and Julian Belfrage Associates.

More Film

  • Time's Up U.K. Teams With British

    British Stars Carey Mulligan, Himesh Patel Compile 'Alternative BAFTA' Nominees List

    British stars including Carey Mulligan, Himesh Patel and Gemma Arterton have contributed to an ‘Alternative BAFTAs’ list of nominees that honors talent overlooked by this year’s awards. The campaign is organized by Time’s Up U.K., which is rolling out a social media blitz this week in the lead-up to Sunday’s BAFTA awards honoring the women [...]

  • Rebecca Hall appears in The Night

    'The Night House': Film Review

    A knack for creepy atmospherics and individual scares goes a long way in the horror genre, and it takes “The Night House” pretty far. Though this tale of a new widow’s apparent haunting gets progressively lost in a narrative maze that’s complicated without being particularly rewarding, . Rebecca Hall plays Beth, an upstate New York [...]

  • Herself

    Amazon Studios Buys Phyllida Lloyd's 'Herself' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Amazon Studios has nabbed North American rights to Phyllida Lloyd’s “Herself,” an Irish drama about a woman who builds her dream house after escaping an abusive marriage, Variety has learned.  The streaming service is planning a theatrical release for later this year. The film debuted at the Sundance Film Festival, where it enjoyed a warm [...]

  • Blast Beat

    'Blast Beat': Film Review

    Back home in Bogota, teen brothers Carly and Mateo — played by siblings (and Disney Channel veterans) Mateo and Moisés Arias — are metal-blasting, skateboard-riding punks, and reluctant partners in crime. Carly, the sensible one, can’t prevent Mateo from dynamiting a dollhouse. But he’ll swoop in, hair flapping like a vampire’s cape, to rescue his [...]

  • Rebecca Hall appears in The Night

    Rebecca Hall's 'The Night House' Sells to Searchlight Out of Sundance

    Searchlight Pictures is closing in on the worldwide distribution rights to “The Night House,” a supernatural thriller that premiered to strong reviews at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, insiders close to the deal said. Directed by David Bruckner and starring Rebecca Hall, the deal is reportedly valued at roughly $12 million. It marks the first [...]

  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell in

    'Downhill': Film Review

    Pete (Will Ferrell) and Billie (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) are a prosperous American couple who’ve taken their two sons on a ski vacation to the Alps. Are they having fun yet? That’s a question that hovers over the movie, as the family members hit the slopes and make pilgrimages to the alpine-lodge restaurant, or retire to their [...]

  • Joe Keery appears in Spree by

    'Spree': Film Review

    It didn’t seem like there was a large portion of the movie-going population who felt that Todd Phillips’ “Joker” was too subtle, in either its commentary on the modern era of those who are involuntarily celibate, or its homage-like appropriation of classic Martin Scorsese movies. But maybe writer-director-producer Eugene Kotlyarenko has other information, since that’s [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content