J.K. Rowling hinted at a handful of secrets during Thursday's New York news conference for "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them." The 51-year-old author appeared at The Waterfront on the West Side alongside the film's stars — Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol and Ezra Miller — as well as director David Yates and producer David Heyman.
The film, set in 1920s NYC and an extension of Rowling's wizarding world, is based on a book Rowling originally wrote for a charity auction. She said the film came about when the book's "author," Newt Scamander (Redmayne), grew in the back of her mind and imagination, and revealed that characters from the "Harry Potter" series — namely, Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore — will appear in future installations set to follow this film.
While not giving away any specifics, Rowling told reporters to "watch this space" when it comes to how Dumbledore's sexuality will be explored. The author and newly minted screenwriter informed fans that Dumbledore was gay in 2007, after the publication of the final "Harry Potter" book. Rowling said the relationship of the Hogwarts headmaster and Gellert Grindelwald — a character director David Yates recently confirmed will be played by Johnny Depp in the five-part film series — will be a key plot line.
"I can't tell you everything I'd like to say because obviously it's a five-part story and there's lots to unpack in that relationship," Rowling said. "I will say you'll see Dumbledore as a younger man and quite a troubled man, because he wasn't always the sage. He was always very clever."
Rowling added that she's working on the next movie's script, and found that doing so on the plane ride to New York for the film's U.S. premiere was therapeutic, particularly in dark times. "I need to do it — I feel strange if I don’t write," Rowling said. "Clearly I don’t need to write but I love it so much and it would feel like, almost some sort of psychic amputation if I didn’t.”
The author declined to comment on Donald Trump's election to the presidency when asked by the press — a topic she has been passionately vocal about on Twitter.