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Tuesday, 20 June, 2000, 11:09 GMT 12:09 UK
Coltrane in line for Potter film
Robbie Coltrane appearing on Parkinson, 1999
Robbie Coltrane: In line to play a friendly giant
Actor Robbie Coltrane has been approached to play a friendly giant in the forthcoming Harry Potter film.

The 50-year-old Scot has been asked to play Hagrid in the movie, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.
JK Rowling
JK Rowling's books have become favourites worldwide

The book is based on JK Rowling's first novel about the schoolboy wizard, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, but the film will take the title of the US version of the story.

A spokesman for Coltrane, whose past credits include the ITV drama Cracker as well as the films Mona Lisa and Goldeneye, said: "Robbie is in negotations to appear in the film, but that's all we can say at this stage."

Last week Dame Maggie Smith was reported to be considering a role as the deputy head of Potter's school, Professor Minerva McGonagall.

She is presently appearing in The Lady In The Van on the London stage.

However, producers have yet to find a young actor to play Potter himself - despite being swamped by 40,000 applicants.

Coltrane's possible character, Hargid, is the gamekeeper at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry where the orphaned wizard learns his craft.
Robbie Coltrane
Robbie Coltrane starred in the Bond film The World Is Not Enough

In the film, Potter is summoned there on his 11th birthday after learning he has inherited magical powers.

Director Christopher Columbus is planning to start filming in the UK later this year.

Meanwhile, the fourth Harry Potter book is released on 8 July, with publishers Bloomsbury keeping its title a tightly-guarded secret.

It has a record-breaking print run of one million copies in hardback.

Author JK Rowling received an OBE in the Queen's birthday honours on Saturday for her services to children's literature.

Her books have been translated into 28 languages and at once point she took the top three slots on the US best seller list.

See also:

01 Apr 00 | Entertainment
Harry Potter books vanish from shelves
29 Mar 00 | Entertainment
Columbus sets sail with Potter film
10 Jun 00 | Entertainment
Harry Potter sunk on high seas
29 Mar 00 | Education
School bans Harry Potter
02 May 00 | Entertainment
Harry battles The Godfather
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