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Wednesday, 10 October, 2001, 12:46 GMT 13:46 UK
Lucas wins Potter effects contract
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Harry Potter: The first movie is expected to be huge hit
Director George Lucas's special effects company has won the contracts for the next Harry Potter movie and Ang Lee's The Hulk.

The blockbuster deals are estimated to be worth tens of millions of dollars for Lucas's Industrial Light and Magic firm, according to trade paper Variety.

The work of Lucas's company has most recently been seen in the movies Pearl Harbor, Planet of the Apes, Jurassic Park III and AI: Artificial Intelligence.

George Lucas
Lucas: His effects company has worked on several of this year's big films

Lucas, is best known as the director of the globally popular sci-fi movie series Star Wars.

His San Francisco-based Industrial Light and Magic company is said by Variety to be the film world's biggest effects studio.

It is said to employ 1,300 special effects artists.

They are currently already working on a strong line-up of high-profile pictures set for release in 2002.

This includes Men in Black II, the re-release of E.T: the Extra Terrestrial and Lucas's own next Star Wars movie Episode II - Attack of the Clones.

Busy

The effects for the first Harry Potter movie The Philosopher's Stone, due out on 16 November, were produced by Sony Pictures Imageworks.

Lucas's company is thought by Variety to have won the contract for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets because Sony was too busy on projects including Spider-Man and Stuart Little II.

Natalie Portman returns as Amidala
Natalie Portman returns as Amidala

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is not expected to be released until late next year. The Hulk, based on the comics and TV series, is not due out until 2003.

At the moment, more than 300 of Lucas's effects staff are said by Variety to be assigned to Attack of the Clones.

The film, the fifth in the Star Wars series, is due to be ready for cinema release in the US in early 2002.

Attack of the Clones follows previous films A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi and The Phantom Menace.

The action is set 10 years after that in The Phantom Menace.

See also:

03 Mar 00 | Entertainment
Lucas tops star earners
15 Jul 99 | Entertainment
Star Wars: Lucas strikes back
21 May 99 | Entertainment
Star Wars breaks box office record
07 Aug 01 | Film
Lucas names fifth Star Wars
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