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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Film To Start Production

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is barely out of the theaters, but Warner Bros. is already beginning production on the next film in the series.

Photography on Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix begins on February 6, 2006 at England's Leavesden Studios, just outside of London. In the director's seat will be award winning British filmmaker David Yates.

The nucleus of the cast, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson, will once again reprise their roles as close-knit teen wizards Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger.

But there will be several new faces in the upcoming cast, too. Here's a rundown of the names announced so far:

imelda stauntonImelda Staunton has been cast as Dolores Umbridge, the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. Staunton, who is currently appearing in Nanny McPhee, won an Oscar nomination a few years ago for her role in Vera Drake.
george harrisGeorge Harris has been cast as Kingsley Shacklebolt. Some of his more recent films include The Interpreter and Black Hawk Down.
helen mccroryHelen McCrory has been cast as Bellatrix Lestrange. A veteran of the British theater, she has also appeared in recent films such as Casanova and Enduring Love.
natalia tenaNatalia Tena has been cast as Nymphadora Tonks. Another veteran of the British theater, her films include Mrs. Henderson Presents and About a Boy.
kathryn hunterKathryn Hunter has been cast as Mrs. Figg. A fixture on the British theater circuit, she has crossed genders to play both King Lear and Richard III in productions of the Shakespear classics. Her films include All or Nothing and Orlando.
evanna lynch14-year-old Irish newcomer Evanna Lynch beat over 15,000 hopefuls at an open casting call to win the role of Luna Lovegood, a Ravenclaw student who becomes an important ally of Harry, Ron and Hermione's.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is tentatively scheduled for a US release on June 29, 2007, just in time for the ultra-busy July 4th holiday weekend. Other worldwide release dates have not been announced yet.

For more on the Harry Potter films, please visit harrypotter.warnerbros.com.

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