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China cuts out gay dialogue from new 'Fantastic Beasts' film

The new Fantastic Beasts film is due for its theatrical release in the US this weekend, having already premiered in the UK to a very mixed reception from critics and audiences. After many disruptions in the production process caused by the pandemic and the exit of Johnny Depp from the latest project, the new addition to the franchise is finally ready.

Titled The Secrets of Dumbledore, the film explores many details about the mysterious life of Albus Dumbledore, whose biography was mentioned in the immensely popular Harry Potter books. Combining the biographical elements within historical frameworks and focusing on magical methods from global communities, the film caught the attention of fans when it was first announced.

According to the reports that have emerged, The Secrets of Dumbledore will have a proper release in China as well, but they have edited out several lines of dialogues that reference gay affection between Dumbledore and Grindelwald in the past. Warner Bros. have defended the decision, claiming that the “spirit of the film remains”.

“Our hope is to release our features worldwide as released by their creators, but, historically, we have faced small edits made in local markets,” they said in a statement. 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.”

The studio said that they anticipated making different cuts for different markets and insisted it should not hamper the experience: “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.”

Watch the new trailer below.