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Eddie Redmayne and Benedict Cumberbatch on Graham Norton
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Could Benedict Cumberbatch play Dumbledore in the next Fantastic Beasts movie?

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We now know that Professor Dumbledore, headmaster of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter series, will definitely be appearing in the second Fantastic Beasts movie – set to be released in late 2018.

First, Dumbledore was mentioned in a passing conversation in an early trailer for 'Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them'. Now, the film's director David Yates has confirmed that Dumbledore will be appearing in the next Fantastic Beasts film.

'He's got a couple of good scenes with Newt Scamander,' said Yates while on the promo trail for 'Fantastic Beasts', which opens next Friday. 'We're discussing who would play him. Any suggestions would be good.'

So, who do we think could play the grand old wizard made famous in the Potter movies first by Richard Harris and later Michael Gambon?

Gambon himself is too old, sadly. The Fantastic Beasts stories are set in the 1920s, and Dumbledore was born in 1881, so we need an actor who can play Dumbledore in his forties. We also need an actor who can follow in the grand theatrical footsteps of Harris and Gambon. 

So who does that leave on the shortlist? We think that the makers of Fantastic Beasts should aim very high and plump for a showstopping cameo from a very well-known British actor. Several names would work. How about Mark Rylance or Kenneth Branagh? They both have the thespy chops. But we think the final choice will need to be younger. So, how about Matt Smith? Or James McAvoy? Or even Tom Hiddleston? Or is Hiddleston too baby-faced? We're not sure a beard would suit Loki.

That leaves just one man.

He'll be 41 when they start shooting the second Fantastic Beasts movie next summer. He's as British as they come. He can do a good booming, authoritarian voice, and he definitely has the theatrical presence that could easily dominate the 'couple of good scenes' that David Yates has been talking about. He'll also be as big a star as ever with global audiences after the massive success of 'Doctor Strange'.

Yes, our vote for the younger, rebooted Dumbledore goes to one man: Benedict Cumberbatch.

'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them' opens in cinemas on Friday November 18. 

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