'Fantastic Beasts' sequel has found its young Dumbledore — and it's a veteran actor

jude law dumbledore fantastic beasts 2
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One of the Harry Potter franchise’s most popular characters is returning to the big screen.

Warner Bros. Pictures has announced that two-time Academy Award nominee Jude Law will play Albus Dumbledore in the upcoming sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The film will explore the character’s early years as a professor at Hogwarts School For Witchcraft and Wizardry, before he became the school’s headmaster.

The announcement was made by Toby Emmerich, president and chief content officer at Warner Bros. Pictures, who said the studio was “thrilled” to have Law — who has a long history with the studio — take on the role.

“Jude has been a member of the Warner Bros. family for years, and we’re excited to embark on this new adventure with him,” said Emmerich.

Previously, Dumbledore was played by veteran British actor Richard Harris in the first two films of the Harry Potter franchise and then, after Harris’ death, by fellow stage and screen veteran Michael Gambon. Reign actor Toby Regbo also portrayed the young Dumbledore in a brief scene in 2010’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.

Set to be directed Fantastic Beasts filmmaker David Yates — who also directed multiple installments of the original Harry Potter franchise — the upcoming sequel will be set during Dumbledore’s time as the “Transfiguration” professor at Hogwarts. Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling once again provides the script for the film after making her screenwriting debut with Fantastic Beasts, and the film is expected to chronicle Dumbledore’s relationship with Gellert Grindelwald, the dark wizard portrayed by Johnny Depp in Fantastic Beasts.

Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne will reprise his role as Newt Scamander for the still-untitled sequel, which continues a story set decades before the events of the Harry Potter films.

Currently starring in the HBO series The Young Pope, Law earned Oscar nominations for his performances in 1999’s The Talented Mr. Ripley and 2003’s Cold Mountain. He’ll appear later this year in Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.

The sequel to Fantastic Beasts is expected to begin filming this summer, and is currently scheduled to hit theaters November 16, 2018.

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