When we finished the final page of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, we all thought that was it: our adventures inside the wizarding universe had finally come to a close.
How wrong we were.
Not only were we delivered a sequel in the form of play The Cursed Child, but JK Rowling also revealed that there are five (yes, FIVE) movies planned for the Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them franchise.
As we already know, Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) is the Big Bad for the series – and it’s long been hinted that he’s set to do battle with fan favourite Albus Dumbledore in the upcoming prequels.
Now, finally, we know who will be bringing young Dumbledore to life in all his twinkly-eyed glory: please step up to the Pensieve, Jude Law.
That’s right, Jude Law will portray a much younger version of the magical professor, decades before he ever became Hogwarts’ headmaster. In the prequels, Dumbledore will simply be a powerful Transfiguration teacher, fighting to right the wrongs of his troubled past.
“Jude Law is a phenomenally talented actor whose work I have long admired, and I'm looking forward to finally having the opportunity to work with him,” the film's director David Yates said in a statement following the casting.
“I know he will brilliantly capture all the unexpected facets of Albus Dumbledore as JK Rowling reveals this very different time in his life.”
Toby Emmerich, president and chief content officer of Warner Bros. Pictures, echoed similar sentiments: “Jude has been a member of the Warner Bros. family for years and we're excited to embark on this new adventure with him.”
Reactions on Twitter, however, were far less restrained.
Some people were incredibly, incredibly excited:
Others pointed out that their inexplicable crush on Albus Dumbledore wasn’t… well, it wasn’t quite so inexplicable anymore:
Holy Hopping Hallelujah! Jude Law as younger Dumbledore! Be still my heart! GREAT casting!!— Lisa Oestreicher (@oddbit) April 12, 2017
Some just didn’t feel he was right for the part:
Not exactly happy with the decision to make Jude Law young Dumbledore. I realize it could have been a lot worse, but I'm just not satisfied.— Skyler. (@skylermadison_) April 12, 2017
I can't see young Dumbledore in Jude Law. Like, not at all. As if Depp wasn't enough. Sigh.— C (@FlutterbyCas) April 12, 2017
Still looking forward to Fantastic Beasts 2.
And others were still angry about Depp’s controversial involvement in the film:
the idea of Jude Law being young Dumbledore in the next movie having to be in love with Johnny Depp's Grindelwald is gross. it makes me sad— Sim (@generic_storie) April 13, 2017
Now that they have a face to put to the young Dumbledore, fans are attempting to connect the dots based on Rowling's previous statements, especially around the wizard’s sexuality.
Speaking at Carnegie Hall in 2007, Rowling confirmed what some fans had always suspected - that she “always thought Dumbledore was gay”.
Responding to a question from the audience, she explained Dumbledore fell in love with Grindelwald but when Grindelwald turned out to be more interested in the dark arts than good, Dumbledore was “terribly let down” and went on to destroy his rival.
That love, she said, was Dumbledore's “great tragedy”.
“Falling in love can blind us to an extent,” she said.
But will this be explored in the films?
Well, in 2016, the author and screenwriter explained that Dumbledore will be depicted as “quite a troubled man”.
"We'll see him at that formative period of his life," said Rowling. “As far as his sexuality is concerned… watch this space.”
Law and Depp will be joined in Fantastic Beasts 2 by Eddie Redmayne, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler, Katherine Waterston, and Ezra Miller.
The second of the five-part series is slated for release on 16 November, 2018.
Images: Rex Features