The competition on who will take over the prequel role of Albus Dumbledore is now on fire, with yet another somewhat high-profile actor ready to take up wands.
Arthur Darvill – probably best known for his recurring role as Rory Williams in Doctor Who, but now getting some tremendous recognition for playing Rip Hunter in The CW’s Legends of Tomorrow – told Digital Spy that he’d really like to be considered for the high-profile role in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2.
“Do you know what? I’ve made this pact with myself that when I hit a certain age, I’m only going to play wizards. I want to be that guy. So whether it’s 10 years down the line or … when I can grow a salt and pepper beard, I would be totally happy just playing wizards for the rest of my life.”
At 34, Darvill might be a little young to grow that kind of beard, but he still might be just what Warner Bros. is looking for. The Fantastic Beasts franchise is designed to serve as prequels to the Harry Potter series, and screenwriter J.K. Rowling already has teased that both Dumbledore and Voldemort precursor Gellert Grindelwald will have expanded roles in the later films.
Grindelwald, who was played by both Jamie Campbell Bower and Michael Byrne in the Harry Potter films, already has been cast as Johnny Depp. His close friend in the early days before really going dark was Dumbledore, who some say may have overlooked those dark tendencies because he was smitten with the wizard.
Yet, the casting of Depp might preclude Darvill from even being considered. When the Fantastic Beasts franchise picks up again for its sequel, it will be the 1930s, and both Grindelwald and Dumbledore will be in their 50s. Even if producers decided to de-age the characters a little bit, Dumbledore is actually two years older than Grindelwald, meaning that whoever plays the actor will have to at least look older than the 53-year-old Depp.
That could once again open the door to an actor many fans have been pushing to get the Dumbledore role: Jared Harris. Not only is he the son of the late Richard Harris, the first actor to portray Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, but he also fits perfectly into the age bracket – he’s 55 – both for Dumbledore, and to play off Depp’s Grindelwald.
Even if Darvill doesn’t get called to take on Dumbledore, the actor is quite busy. Not only is Legends of Tomorrow continuing on The CW, but he also is promoting a new musical he helped compose music for, Fantastic Mr. Fox, based on the children’s book by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory author Roald Dahl.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2 is not expected in theaters until 2018. The current film, starring Eddie Redmayne, has grossed $163.1 million domestically through Wednesday and $317.4 million overseas.
It’s ranked 10th so far this year among movies in North America, about $50 million shy of Doctor Strange‘s No. 9 slot.
Fantastic Beasts lost it’s No. 1 weekend slot to the Disney animated film Moana last weekend, but both films have a solid shot of trying to either keep or retake that crown this coming weekend – especially as both Fantastic Beasts and Moana have remained neck-and-neck in box office receipts all week.
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