Story by: Jack Foley
JUST AS Harry Potter
& The Prisoner of Azkaban receives its DVD release, a
new director has been announced for the fifth film in the series,
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
David Yates will follow in the illustrious footsteps of Mike
Newell, Alfonso Cuarón and Chris Columbus to bring JK Rowling's
popular novel to the screen.
The news has come in a busy period for the Harry Potter franchise,
following the revelation that screenwriter, Steven Kloves, will
be stepping aside for the fifth film, to be replaced by Michael
Goldenberg, of Peter Pan and
Yates is more a TV veteran than a cinema film-maker, having directed
John Simm to memorable effect in State of Play, but he is set
to make a name for himself on the big screen with his eagerly-anticipated
version of Brideshead Revisited, starring Paul Bettany and Jennifer
Shooting on the Order of the Phoenix
is due to begin in late 2005, pretty soon after Mike Newell's
fourth instalment, The Goblet of Fire is completed, with a release
date pencilled in for 2007.
In other related Potter news, it has also been reported that
the character of Professor Sprout, played by Miriam Margoyles,
will be axed from the fifth film.
The Herbology teacher and Head of Hufflepuff house at Hogwarts
is not thought to be appearing in the film, even though she features
in the book.
Says Margoyles: "I am not making the fifth Harry Potter.
They made a great mistake and cut my character."
Also disappointed by recent events is Gary Oldman, who portrayed
the eponymous Prisoner
of Azkaban in the most recent film.
He had been hoping that his appearance in the franchise might
be one of several, but was disappointed to hear that author, JK
Rowling, had killed his character off.