Variety is exclusively reporting that the prolific actor has signed on to play Albus Dumbledore in the forthcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2. He’ll join Johnny Depp as a first timer for the franchise and become the third actor to play the character, after Richard Harris and Michael Gambon. Harris’ son, Jared, was also up for the role, in addition to Christian Bale, Benedict Cumberbatch and Mark Strong.
The Fantastic Beasts series takes place decades before the Harry Potter films. Dumbledore will just be a professor at Hogwarts during the film, with him taking over as headmaster at the school far off in the future.
One avenue of the character that might be explored in this version is his homosexuality. J.K. Rowling, who created Harry Potter and wrote the screenplay for this film, famously revealed the character was gay after the novel series completed.
The sequel will be directed by David Yates and is set to begin production this summer and will arrive in theaters on November 16, 2018