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Thursday, 10 August, 2000, 12:04 GMT 13:04 UK
Rickman and Harris wanted for Potter film
Alan Rickman
Rickman (with actress Lindsay Duncan) is up for the part of Snape
British stars Alan Rickman and Richard Harris are in talks to star in the forthcoming Harry Potter film.

Rickman, 54, has been earmarked to play the role of Professor Snape, says the movie industry magazine Hollywood Reporter.

Acting legend Harris, 70, on the other hand, is wanted by director Christopher Columbus, to play Dumbledore, the amiable headmaster of Harry's mysterious school.

The film is based on author JK Rowling's first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.


Harris (right) recently played the emperor in Gladiator

But it will take the title of the US version of the story, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

Filming has been located in the UK, with Gloucester Cathedral recently chosen as the movie double for Hogwarts' School of Wizardry and Witchcraft.

The book, part of the hugely successful Harry Potter series, tells how the orphaned 11-year-old discovers he has magical wizard powers.

He goes off to Hogwarts to learn his craft - where he comes across Dumbledore and Snape.

Casting

Dumbledore - the role for which veteran thespian Harris has been lined up - also acts as Harry Potter's protector against the evil wizard Voldemort.

Robbie Coltrane
Coltrane is in talks to play the friendly giant

Harris has been used to playing figures of authority or charisma throughout his career, such as King Arthur and King Richard.

In his most recent film, Gladiator, he played the dignified and magnanimous Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius.

For Rickman, the role of the eminent, but sinister, Snape who teaches Harry all about potions, would seem to be equally fitting.

Rickman's height, angular, dark looks and distinctive voice have won him a succession of off-beat character parts, including the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and Rasputin.

The article states comedian Robbie Coltrane is still in talks to play the friendly giant Hagrid.

Dame Maggie Smith is also in discussions with the movie-makers to play the role of Hogwarts' deputy head Professor Minerva McGonagall.

However, the search for a boy to play the title character, as well as someone to play his nemesis, Voldemort, continues.

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See also:

08 Aug 00 | Entertainment
Harry Potter goes to church
20 Jun 00 | Entertainment
Coltrane in line for Potter film
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