David Yates & David Heyman

How does Aurelius fit into the Dumbledore family tree? There are so many possibilities between Aberforth, Ariana, etc.

David Yates: “It was always pretty much of how the script started. It was always the big climax of the script right from the very first draft. And there’s a lot to come in the next story, so at risk of not wanting to spoil what’s to come, I don’t know that we really want to talk too much about the intricacies of the family tree, as it were. Other than, we were all gobsmacked when we read that first screenplay, that first draft, to see that Credence was actually a Dumbledore.”

David Heyman: “We didn’t know it was coming. We all had the same reaction, “Oh my goodness!” All these possible theories is that we want fans to be thinking of for the next couple of years in the run up to … that there are various ways that this could play out of how he fits in.”

David Yates: “Correct. And there’s a very intricate, lovely beginning of 3 that we discover a few things about the family.”

David Heyman: “I think one of the great pleasure of this film and of continuing to work for Fantastic Beasts is that we are getting closer to the beginning of the Harry Potter stories, and the connective tissue between the two worlds, the two time frames, becomes more pronounced. So clearly we do know that Grindelwald and Dumbledore is central to this series, and we have an idea of, in a broad sense, of where that might go. But clearly Dumbledore is a character himself who – he’s not exactly the Dumbledore of Harry Potter. In a way, this is the Dumbledore before. This is the making of the Dumbledore. But Dumbledore is someone who is riddled with demons. When he’s manipulating Newt or Harry, he’s not doing it maliciously. He wouldn’t want to harm them in any way at all. He’s doing it for his own version of the “greater good”. Grindelwald talks about the greater good, but Dumbledore’s really doing it to protect – for wizardkind and mugglekind.”


You mentioned that Dumbledore is a manipulator. One thing we find here is that Dumbledore sent Newt to America in the first place. Is there any possibility that Albus Dumbledore knew about Aurelius?

David Yates: “That’s a very key question. The thing is, if he knows about Credence being his brother, I think that presents certain issues and certain problems. So there’s a level of discovery. He’s always supposed to be all-knowing, but even the brilliant mind of Dumbledore sometimes can’t see around the corner. I think, again, things are evolving in the third draft and Jo has this amazing ability to surprise us often with a revelation or two, here and there, but we’ve been working on the assumption that – and this doesn’t necessarily remain the case ’cause the script storytelling process is a fluid process, as you know, it’s dynamic – that Dumbledore, that it’s a revelation for him, too. But you know what? As we forge the story forward with Jo, she’ll have a much clearer take on that. But in terms of us, we were working into the meat and bones of this story. We worked on the premise that Dumbledore was not aware of Credence’s existence as his brother. Otherwise, he would’ve had a whole different strategy. That was the principle of how we developed the psychology of how the actors were working.”

David Heyman: “It’s funny because I’ve just been looking at some materials that are going to go on the DVD. There’s one about Dumbledore and one of the things that Jo says is she sat down with Jude when he got the part, just the two of them, and she went through everything she knew about Dumbledore. Anything that had happened before and everything that leads up to the Harry Potter films because she felt it was important for him as an actor to understand his character and to have a stronger sense of who he was. She said that she’d never told anybody before because, exactly, because of what they would say. She has very clear ideas, but she is open to change. And, actually, one of the incredible things about developing this screenplay is how she is so collaborative and is fluid, and is figuring some things out as she goes, so she has a pretty clear idea of where it goes, but being open to adapting and changing if needed. But I think now, vis-à-vis what you were saying about Dumbledore and leaving herself room to change, I think she’s now settling in on what he knows and what he doesn’t know and all that.”

Source: Empire Film