Warner Bros. maintains that “the spirit of the film remains intact”.
The U.S. premiere of the highly anticipated third installment of the Fantastic Beasts franchise is almost here. Though fans are eager to learn what secrets Albus Dumbledore has been hiding, a teaser for the film has confirmed one mystery Potterheads have been waiting years to see come to fruition. Grindelwald is Dumbledore’s former lover. Now, however, there are reports that Dumbledore won’t be gay in China.
Rowling says Dumbledore Is Gay
J.K. Rowling first revealed Dumbledore’s intimate bond with Gellert Grindelwald in 2007. The news of Dumbledore’s sexuality stirred up mixed responses. Some fans were excited. Other fans felt that Rowling either purposefully omitted it from the book, or she shared it then for clout. Many more fans were more concerned with whether or not this plot would ever see the big screen. Then came Fantastic Beasts in 2016.
The first movie introduced the world to creature-loving Newt Scamander (played by Eddie Redmayne). As the story progressed, we met the power-hungry dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (previously played by Johnny Depp) and a dashing, young Professor Dumbledore (Jude Law). As of yet, there was no direct reference to Dumbledore’s sexuality. Fast forward to film number three, The Secrets of Dumbledore, with Mads Mikkelsen as Grindelwald.
The movie’s plot seemingly relies heartily on the relationship between Dumbledore and Grindelwald. Especially so as leaders on opposing sides of a developing wizarding world war. But film censorship may prevent this romance from seeing the light of day in other countries. And we know China is already one of them.
China Says Dumbledore Is Not Gay
The version of Fantastic Beasts that premiered in China on April 8 did not include a gay Dumbledore. Two of the lines said by Law’s character about his romance with Grindelwald (“Because I was in love with you” and “the summer Gellert and I fell in love”) were cut.
Warner Bros. said historically, they have had to make minor edits to films in local markets to ensure the release of their features worldwide.
“In the case of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, a six-second cut was requested and Warner Bros accepted those changes to comply with local requirements but the spirit of the film remains intact,” the studio told Variety.
China has a history of censoring LGBTQIA+ storylines from their media, but seeing it happen in 2022 is hard to swallow. Whether or not other countries will also make this six-second cut is still unknown. The full feature will premiere in the U.S. on April 15.