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Jude Law promises a new take on Dumbledore in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

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Nov 5, 2018, 7:50 PM EST

Don't expect the same old Albus Dumbledore when Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald hits theaters next weekend. 

The upcoming Harry Potter spinoff, set 70 years prior to the events of the books (and subsequent film series), will feature Jude Law taking on the role of a much younger Dumbledore, as he readies Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) for a showdown with the fearsome Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp). 

Speaking with The Today Show, Law said that as a fan of the books, he was familiar with Dumbledore's backstory. But to help round out his performance, he got some additional notes from author J.K. Rowling, which "filled in a lot more gaps" about the iconic character. 

"It was kind of a unique experience," explained Law. "It's not often you get to play a character who's already been portrayed in his old age. They gave me carte blanche to start again."

It was this freedom — to take his own unique approach to Dumbledore at a much different point in his life from what we've seen before — that appealed to the actor. 

"I didn't feel like I had to recreate him, I felt like I could go back and layer him up and look at the inner turmoil, the dramas that were going on in the man before he becomes more serene, more resolved. So you're seeing the drama of his inner workings unfold."

This echoes what Rowling explained to Digital Spy, that prior to filming, she told Law "everything about Dumbledore" that she's "ever known" to help inform his performance. 

This won't be the first time we've seen a change in Dumbledore's on-screen portrayal. Richard Harris donned the big white beard in the first two Harry Potter films, Sorcerer's Stone and Chamber of Secrets. After he passed away at the end of 2002, Michael Gambon took over the character throughout the remainder of the franchise, giving his own spin on the Hogwarts' headmaster. 

Are you excited to see Jude Law step into the role of a young, swaggering Albus Dumbledore? Let us know in the comments.