JK Rowling sure does seem to be obsessed with the number 19. First, her epilogue to the final Harry Potter book The Deathly Hallows was set “Nineteen Years Later”; so was the starting point of stage play The Cursed Child; and now she’s revealed that the five Fantastic Beasts films will cover a time period of 19 years too.
Speaking to Variety at the US premiere of the upcoming Potter prequel (which opens in UK cinemas on 18th November), Rowling revealed that the new movies will take us right the way up to 1945, the year Gellert Grindelwald and Albus Dumbledore had their infamous wizarding duel.
“Originally, to tell you the truth, we said ‘a trilogy’ as a placeholder,” the Harry Potter author admitted. “We were feeling our way, and then there came a point in the drafting of the story where I said to David, you know, this feels like five movies.”
“It’s ambitious to tell it in five, to be honest,” she continued, “because we’re spanning 19 years.”
And in those 19 years there’s room to tell a tale many fans have been eager to hear: what life was like for the young Albus Dumbledore, struggling with his sexuality and the very real possibility that he’d have to face his old friend and crush Grindelwald in battle.
“I would like to say because this is obviously a five-part story, there’s lots to unpack in that relationship,” Rowling said at a press conference earlier in the day.
“You will see Dumbledore as a younger man and quite a troubled man,” she said. “We’ll see him at that formative period of his life. As far as his sexuality is concerned, watch this space.”
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them opens in UK cinemas on 18th November