Could a younger, gayer Dumbledore appear in Harry Potter spinoff?

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Could a young version of Albus Dumbledore be set to appear in the upcoming Harry Potter spin-off, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them?

Filming is underway on the first follow-up to the successful wizard film franchise, though much of the details are shrouded in mystery.

Though the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ film is set in the same universe as Harry Potter, it is not expected to be a direct prequel – instead following the adventures of wizarding author Newt Scamander (played by Eddie Redmayne) in 1920s New York.

Though the setting of the film rules out the return of many fan favourites from the Potter franchise, who were not alive in the 1920s, some are speculating that the film could feature a young version of gay character Albus Dumbledore, who would have been alive and active during the time period.

Nuggets in already-published Potter books suggest links between Scamander and the iconic Hogwarts headmaster – who is revealed to have written the foreword for the author’s most successful textbook.

Dumbledore was revealed to be gay by author JK Rowling after the publication of the final Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. His sexuality is not made overtly clear in the series, though it is hinted at through his relationship with dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald.

However, some fans are hopeful that if the character does appear in the new films, it will more openly deal with his sexuality in a more open way – Grindelwald is still ‘at large’ in the universe at the time the film is set, though the pair are no longer romantically engaged.

Actor Michael Gambon is unlikely to reprise the role if the character does return – and no specific casting has been announced for the role.

However, there are many actors in the film whose roles remain cloaked in mystery. Colin Farrell is set to appear, but all that is known about his character is that he will play “Graves, a wizard that Newt Scamander meets in New York”.