BURBANK, CA, August 21, 2000
-- Director Chris Columbus and producer David Heyman have discovered their Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger from the thousands of children who cast their names into the hat to play the roles. Young actor Daniel Radcliffe will be the film's Harry, with newcomers Rupert Grint and Emma Watson taking on the roles of Ron and Hermione, Harry's best friends at Hogwarts, in Warner Bros. Pictures' upcoming adaptation of the first in the best-selling series of Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling. Lorenzo di Bonaventura, President, Worldwide Theatrical Production, Warner Bros. Pictures, made the announcement today.

"We searched through all Muggle and Wizard households to find just the right young people to play Harry, Ron and Hermione and we have found them in Dan, Rupert and Emma," di Bonaventura said. "These are magical roles, the kind that come around once in a lifetime, and they required talented children who can bring magic to the screen."

"We saw so many enormously talented kids in the search for Harry," said Columbus. "The process was intense and there were times when we felt we would never find an individual who embodied the complex spirit and depth of Harry Potter. Then, Dan walked into the room and we all knew we had found Harry. We were equally elated upon meeting Emma and Rupert who are perfect for the roles of Hermione and Ron. I couldn't be happier to begin work with such talented, inspiring young actors."

Added David Heyman, "While we have been alternately amused and bemused by the rumors about what we're doing, we are overjoyed to finally put them to rest. These are tremendously talented British kids who will bring so much to the film. We have always been and continue to be devoted to remaining true and faithful to the book."

Added J. K. Rowling, "Having seen Dan Radcliffe's screen test, I don't think Chris Columbus could have found a better Harry. I wish Dan, Emma and Rupert the very best of luck and hope that they have as much fun acting the first year at Hogwarts as I had writing it."

Eleven year old Daniel Radcliffe recently portrayed young David in the BBC's David Copperfield and will be seen later this year in the John Boorman film The Tailor of Panama. Ten year old Emma Watson and eleven year old Rupert Grint have both acted in school plays.

Harry Potter is the central character in a series of books for children and adults alike that has swept the world. Written by British author J.K. Rowling, the books follow the exploits of a boy who learns on his eleventh birthday that he is the orphaned son of two powerful wizards and possesses unique magical powers of his own. He is summoned from his life as an unwanted foster child to become a student at Hogwarts, a boarding school for wizards. There, Harry meets a close circle of friends that becomes his new family. Ultimately, with their help, he takes on the powerful figure who was responsible for his parents' death.


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