Thursday, October 25, 2007

Rowling Says Dumbledore Is Gay

The news broke on Saturday. I'm more surprised about the reaction than the news itself. Not that I ever really thought about Dumbledore and his sexual preferences. I don't have the time or inclination to think about what anyone does in the privacy of their own home. But a firestorm of conversation has started.

Here are my two cents: It doesn't matter!

The people who love and admire Dumbeldore will continue to love him. Those who have banned the Potter books will just see it as another reason why they won't let their children read them. Why must we pretend to live in a world of moral absolutes when the rest of the world is grey? That's madness!

Here's the story, if you missed it.

For the full story in Newsweek, click

J. K. Rowling, author of the worldwide best-selling Harry Potter series, met some of her American fans Friday night and provided some surprising revelations about the fictional characters who a generation of children have come to regard as close friends.

In front of a full house of hardcore Potter fans at Carnegie Hall in New York, Rowling, sitting on the stage on a red velvet and carved wood throne, read from her seventh and final book, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," then took questions. One fan asked whether Albus Dumbledore, the head of the famed Hogwarts School of Wizardry and Witchcraft, had ever loved anyone. Rowling smiled. "Dumbledore is gay, actually," replied Rowling as the audience erupted in surprise.

She added that, in her mind, Dumbledore had an unrequited love affair with Gellert Grindelwald, Voldemort's predecessor who appears in the seventh book. After several minutes of prolonged shouting and clapping from astonished fans, Rowling added. "I would have told you earlier if I knew it would make you so happy."

In answer to the question "Did Hagrid marry?" Rowling replied that sadly, no. The half-giant had a flirtation with a giantess but she found him "a tad unsophisticated" and the relationship never went forward. In response to the audience's groans of dismay, Rowling said, jokingly, "OK, I'll write another book." And when the audience continued to express disapproval added, "at least I didn't kill him."

Other minor characters, according to Rowling, came to happier ends. Neville Longbottom, Harry's meek and hapless classmate, married Hannah Abbott, another classmate.

Books-to-movies just reached a whole new level

The conversation, and sometimes controversy, about whether great books can turn into great movies is getting even more serious. The agents who 'discovered' "The Kite Runner" manuscript have been lured to Random House from their home at Penguin and are now helping the aforementioned publisher turn great tomes into ideally, great flicks!

See the latest from Variety.

Random House, Focus take 'Dog'
Duo option Beth Raymer's gambling memoir

Random House Films and Focus Features have optioned the bigscreen rights for "Lay the Favorite, Take the Dog," an upcoming gambling memoir by Beth Raymer.

Tome, which traces the scribe's journey into the world of professional sports gambling, is skedded to be published by Random House's Spiegel & Grau division in spring 2009. Division snared book and audio rights in an auction; bigscreen rights were negotiated separately.
Under their partnership, Random House Films and Focus jointly acquire bigscreen rights for lit properties and partner on all stages of development through marketing and publicity; co-productions are jointly owned, with Focus hanging onto worldwide distribution and sales rights.
Raymer fell into professional gambling in Vegas, where she started working as a cocktail waitress in hopes of making fast cash. Her gambling led her to New York and the Caribbean, with gamblers soon becoming her second family. But when she fell in love, she had to re-evaluate her life.

Raymer, an MFA candidate at Columbia U., will continue to report on offshore gambling in Central America under a recently awarded Fulbright Fellowship.

"Beth Raymer has that extremely fortunate and rare combination of having lived through some extraordinary times and having the means to write about them with assurance and style," said Julie Grau. "The world she opens up to her readers is fascinating, dangerous, memorable, and terrifically funny."

Random House Films prexy Peter Gethers said the book proposal "connected perfectly" with the shingle's literary and film sensibilities. "This is going to be a fun one," he said.

The project will be part of Focus's expanded production slate. "Reservation Road," the first film under the partnership, made its limited debut last weekend.