The search for a star to play the young Dumbledore is already on, but Harry Potter author JK Rowling has already begun providing tantalising hints about his storyline in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts films.
Rowling has released an updated version of the original Harry Potter text book, first released for Red Nose Day in 2001. In it she’s added a little more back story for Newt Scamander – and some extra details about his relationship with Albus Dumbledore.
“It is true that I was the first person ever to capture Gellert Grindelwald and also true that Albus Dumbledore was something more than a schoolteacher to me,” Newt writes in a new forward to the book. “More than this I cannot say without fear of breaching the Official Magical Secrets Act or, more importantly, the confidences that Dumbledore, most private of men, placed in me.”
So, we know Albus and Newt were particularly close and that it’s likely they shared both professional and personal secrets.
That’s rather interesting, especially given the fact that many fans are almost 100 per cent sure that one of those secrets related to an ‘Obscurial’.
The 2016 film saw Newt coming face to face with the incredibly powerful magical force in the form of Credence Barebone, but Credence’s symptoms – and the revelation that numerous wizarding children developed an Obscurus when forced to suppress their powers – seemed oddly familiar.
Hadn’t Dumbledore’s little sister, Ariana, exhibited similar behaviours following the attack that left her magically stunted? Could she have been an Obscurial too?
It definitely doesn’t seem as though we’ve heard the last of that theory – and Rowling hasn’t debunked it either.
Another paragraph in the updated version of the book offers up an alternative new plot twist too, as Newt defends himself against allegations – made by the one and only Rita Skeeter – about the real reason for his first visit to 1920s New York.
“In her recent biography, Man or Monster? The TRUTH About Newt Scamander, Rita Skeeter states that I was never a Magizoologist but a Dumbledore spy who used Magizoology as a ‘cover’ to infiltrate the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA) in 1926,” Scamander writes.
“This, as anyone who lived through the 1920s will know, is an absurd claim. No undercover wizard would have chosen to pose as a Magizoologist at that period. An interest in magical beasts was considered dangerous and suspect, and taking a case full of such creatures into a major city was, in retrospect, a serious mistake.”
Now, knowing Rita Skeeter (as Harry Potter fans do), chances are she’s talking nonsense, but we’ve got to hand it to her: Newt Scamander the magical super spy is a character we’d love to see in action.
What’s magical truth and what’s magical fiction? What were Newt and Dumbledore hiding? We expect these – and at least some of the many many more – will be answered in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts sequels.