I:M

Fantastic Actors and Where To Find Them

I:M
Fantastic Actors and Where To Find Them

Tim Bustin goes full-on fantasy casting for the role of young Albus Dumbledore.

Harry Potter, the fantasy franchise we love to pretend is reality, came back strong this weekend with Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them. With this standalone film setting up numerous sequels that are looking more like Dumbledore-prequels, we’ll soon need an actor to play the younger wizard master. But, apart from working against Johnny Depp’s dark wizard Grindlewald, what qualities will this actor need – and who should get the role?

According to J K Rowling’s website, Dumbledore was born in 1881, making him 45 in Fantastic Beasts’ 1926 setting. Even when we knew him as an 115-year old, Dumbledore was full of life; a younger man could be an unstoppable energetic force but also headstrong and more vulnerable. We know Dumbledore’s weakness is Grindlewald, his best friend growing up and perhaps even a lover at times. Dumbledore here is still intelligent, caring and open-minded but also reeling from losing his friend and delaying their final confrontation, despite all the monstrosities Grindlewald creates.

So, with that in mind, who should play him? Here are some of the best suggestions fans, experts and the internet have to offer:

 Jared Harris

Son of Richard Harris, who played Dumbledore in the first two films. Fans love the idea of continuity in the series and Jared is game to play the role. One look at the man suggests it’s worth considering.

Son of Richard Harris, who played Dumbledore in the first two films. Fans love the idea of continuity in the series and Jared is game to play the role. One look at the man suggests it’s worth considering.

 Stephen Fry 

The award-winning narrator for the Harry Potter audiobooks. He’s the first of many suggestions for a gay actor to take the role and possibly the best choice.

The award-winning narrator for the Harry Potter audiobooks. He’s the first of many suggestions for a gay actor to take the role and possibly the best choice.

Ewan McGregor 

Having done a great job bringing a young Obi Wan Kenobi to life in the Star Wars prequels. Another wise, magically-gifted character isn’t too much of a stretch and we’d certainly get a nuanced performance.

Having done a great job bringing a young Obi Wan Kenobi to life in the Star Wars prequels. Another wise, magically-gifted character isn’t too much of a stretch and we’d certainly get a nuanced performance.

 

·Hugh Laurie 

Known for Blackadder, House, and his recent fantastic turn in The Night Manager, Laurie would perfectlycapture both the quirky and deadly serious sides of Dumbledore. When pitched to director David Yates he admitted “That’s not a bad idea”

Known for BlackadderHouse, and his recent fantastic turn in The Night Manager, Laurie would perfectlycapture both the quirky and deadly serious sides of Dumbledore. When pitched to director David Yates he admitted “That’s not a bad idea”

Ciarán Hinds 

He played Albus Dumbledore’s brother in the latter Potter films and again fans like the idea of continuity. Unfortunately, he’s probably too old for the role.

He played Albus Dumbledore’s brother in the latter Potter films and again fans like the idea of continuity. Unfortunately, he’s probably too old for the role.

And here’s a few quickfire names the internet dug up:

·         Ben Winshaw

·         Colin Firth

·         Hugo Weaving

·         Tom Hanks

·         Mark Rylance

·         Eddie Izzard

·         Michael Gambon (aided by youth-making technology)

The internet and fans aren’t exactly known for their accuracy with reactions to casting decisions, however, just look at all of Marvel’s controversial choices and how brilliantly they all turned out. And with that in mind it’s important to remember that just as significant the casting is, it’s the story that will be told in the Fantastic Beasts sequel, not just who plays Dumbledore, that will make the film truly magical. With Newt and Dumbledore hinted at being close in Fantastic Beasts, are we going to eventually return to Hogwarts? It’s unclear where this franchise is heading geographically, but seeing Johnny Depp and a young Dumbledore go toe-to-toe is going to be worth the screentime for that alone. 

TIM BUSTIN