'Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore': Jude Law continues on 'regression' journey from 'Harry Potter'

'Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore': Jude Law continues on 'regression' journey from 'Harry Potter'
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For over 20 years, Albus Dumbledore has been one of the most beloved characters in J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” world but actor Jude Law, who continues to play the character in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, reveals that Dumbledore is going through “a process of regression” from the older Harry Potter stories to the new movie (in theatres Friday, April 15 in North America).

“One of the joys that David [Yates] really allowed me to investigate was, rather than feeling the weight of the brilliant performances by Michael Gambon and Richard Harris, was to really go back and understand that he's not the fully formed Dumbledore of the Harry Potter books and films,” Law told reporters ahead of the movie’s release. “He's a man still finding his way, still confronting and resolving his demons, and that's what I mean by regression.”

“In this film, in particular, he's facing the past, he's facing himself and his own guilt. But if there were a quality that links him, I would say it's his mischievousness, his humour, and his belief in people. He sees the positive. You think of how Dumbledore believed in Draco, he believed even in Tom Riddle, he sees the good, or the potential good, and I think that's something that he's always had.”

(L-R) JESSICA WILLIAMS as Eulalie “Lally” Hicks, CALLUM TURNER as Theseus Scamander, JUDE LAW as Albus Dumbledore, FIONNA GLASCOTT as Minerva McGonagall, DAN FOGLER as Jacob Kowalski and EDDIE REDMAYNE as Newt Scamander in Warner Bros. Pictures' fantasy adventure

In Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, professor Dumbledore is aware that Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen) is working to seize control of the wizarding world, which results in him having Magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) lead a group of wizards, witches and one Muggle baker on a mission to save not just the wizarding world, but the world without magic as well, while the number of Grindelwald followers grows.

For Law, playing Dumbledore, again but even originally, was a “no brainer” for the actor.

“I felt like I'd been in preparation, subconsciously, from the minute I started reading the books to my children and gosh, there's just so much in the character to mine and to investigate as an actor,” Law said.

“That's before you even get into this extraordinary world of magic, that's just him as a human, but the magic is really fun, too.”

(L-R) Pickett the Bowtruckle and EDDIE REDMAYNE as Newt Scamander in a scene from Warner Bros. Pictures' fantasy adventure
(L-R) Pickett the Bowtruckle and EDDIE REDMAYNE as Newt Scamander in a scene from Warner Bros. Pictures' fantasy adventure "FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE SECRETS OF DUMBLEDORE,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. (Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures)

Eddie Redmayne, who plays Newt Scamander, describes the relationship between his character and Dumbledore as “fraternal.”

“There's a moment in this film where, when Newt even takes it upon himself, sees the vulnerability in Dumbledore and tries to pass on a mode of wisdom to him,” Redmayne said. “But what I love about Newt is fundamentally he's an introverted guy and is most comfortable with his creatures and in his own world, but Dumbledore has seen a quality in him that has the potential for leadership, albeit in an unconventional way.”

“What I love about this movie, it's like a wizarding heist movie, in which this group of outsiders all band together. All of us are unconventional, the leader is unconventional and there's a kind of wonder in that.”

(L-R) JUDE LAW as Albus Dumbledore and EDDIE REDMAYNE as Newt Scamander in Warner Bros. Pictures' fantasy adventure
(L-R) JUDE LAW as Albus Dumbledore and EDDIE REDMAYNE as Newt Scamander in Warner Bros. Pictures' fantasy adventure "FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE SECRETS OF DUMBLEDORE,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. (Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures)

No magic wand to fix 'Fantastic Beasts' scandals

While Harry Potter movies were exceptionally successful, it’s no secret that the Fantastic Beasts films have been riddled with controversy, including J.K. Rowling going from being a literary icon to being called out for her transphobic rhetoric.

While there had also been pushback from fans that Albus Dumbledore’s sexuality was never mentioned in the franchise, and his romantic relationship with Grindelwald. It was reported this week that Warner Bros. accepted requested changes from China to cut six seconds of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, which refer to the romance between the two characters.

Scandal specific to Fantastic Beasts also includes the fall of Johnny Depp, who played Grindelwald in the first two films, but was forced to leave the franchise after he sued The Sun for libel following the tabloid calling him a “wife beater” in a 2018 article, and Depp lost the case.

“It was quite chaotic,” Mads Mikkelsen who now plays Gellert Grindelwald in the new film told The Hollywood Reporter.

“You don’t want to copy anything [Depp was] doing — that would be creative suicide... But you still have to build some sort of bridge between what came before.”

EZRA MILLER as Credence in Warner Bros. Pictures' fantasy adventure
EZRA MILLER as Credence in Warner Bros. Pictures' fantasy adventure "FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE SECRETS OF DUMBLEDORE,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. (Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures)

But the controversy did not stop there. Just a month ago, a day before the Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore premiere, Ezra Miller, who plays Credence Barebone, was arrested for disorderly conduct and harassment in Hawaii. This came after criticism in 2020 when a video surfaced of Miller appearing to choke a woman at a bar in Reykjavik, Iceland.

While there is no magic wand, spell or potion that can rid Fantastic Beasts from it's stacked decked of controversies and scandals, it has certainly added to the seeming difficulty to get audiences to fall in love with this version of the wizarding world, when compared to the intense Harry Potter fame years ago.