'Fantastic Beasts' Lines About Dumbledore's Gay Romance Cut for China, Studio Calls It 'Minor Edits'

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore — which explores the wizard's inner conflict facing off against his now-evil former lover Grindelwald — had lines about falling "in love" removed for its Chinese release

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore
Photo: Warner Bros.

Mentions of a past romance between Jude Law and Mads Mikkelsen's Fantastic Beasts characters have been edited out for its release in China, where censoring of LGBTQ+ content is common.

The third installment in the Harry Potter prequel series, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, has already opened overseas (it hits theaters in the U.S. this Friday). After an international news outlet reported that dialogue directly referencing a relationship between wizards Albus Dumbledore and Gellert Grindelwald had been removed for rollout in China, Warner Bros. confirmed the decision to Variety.

About six seconds were cut, including one of Law's lines about "the summer Gellert and I fell in love."

Warner Bros. said in a statement to Variety, "As a studio, we're committed to safeguarding the integrity of every film we release, and that extends to circumstances that necessitate making nuanced cuts in order to respond sensitively to a variety of in-market factors."

"Our hope is to release our features worldwide as released by their creators but historically we have faced small edits made in local markets," the studio added.

"In the case of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, a six-second cut was requested and Warner Bros. accepted those changes to comply with local requirements but the spirit of the film remains intact. We want audiences everywhere in the world to see and enjoy this film, and it's important to us that Chinese audiences have the opportunity to experience it as well, even with these minor edits."

A spokesperson for Warner Bros. did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

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Back in 2007, Potter author J.K. Rowling — now a controversial figure for her outspoken views on feminism and transgender rights — first revealed that her character Dumbledore is gay. However, this third entry in the Fantastic Beasts franchise, for which she writes the screenplays, is the first to explore his romantic life.

In 2018, while promoting the second Fantastic Beasts film, Law, 49, told Entertainment Weekly about playing a younger Dumbledore and how the character's sexuality factors into the unfolding story: "Jo Rowling revealed some years back that Dumbledore was gay. That was a question I actually asked Jo and she said, 'Yes, he's gay.' But as with humans, your sexuality doesn't necessarily define you; he's multifaceted," he said at the time.

Mikkelsen joins the franchise as villain Grindelwald, replacing Johnny Depp in the role after he was asked to resign in 2020 after losing a U.K. libel case that involved allegations of domestic violence.

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore — which also stars Ezra Miller, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler, Callum Turner, William Nadylam and Jessica Williams — is in theaters Friday.

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