Young Brit Tapped to Play Harry Potter

L O N D O N, Aug. 19, 2000 -- Teenage British actor GabrielThomson has been selected to play the role of the wizard HarryPotter in a movie adaptation of the popular children’s book series, Britain’s Daily Telegraphreported today.

The 13-year-old from south London played the part of youngPip in a BBC adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations opposite actress Charlotte Rampling last year.

He has also worked with Brit-pack actor Jude Law in theupcoming movie Enemy at the Gate.

Announcement Expected Monday Warner Brothers refused to confirm whether or not they hadfound their Harry, and said they would be announcing theirdecision via the Internet on August 21.

There has been much speculation about the cast, withBritain’s Alan Rickman and Irish actor Richard Harris among thenames mentioned in the media.

J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter novels, has so farconfirmed only two of the film’s cast members.

Dame Maggie Smith is to play Harry’s art teacher, ProfessorMcGonagall, and heavyweight Scottish actor Robbie Coltrane is totake the part of Hagrid, the school’s groundsman who befriendsthe young wizard.

Rowling said she has always wanted a British boy to playHarry, the newspaper reported.

Director Chris Columbus is due to begin shooting the filmversion of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone — the first book in the series — in Britain in September or October.

Warner Brothers put out a casting call several months ago,saying they were looking for British children between the agesof 9 and 11 to play the roles of Harry Potter and his friendsRon Weasley and Hermione Granger.

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