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Last Updated: Monday October 30 2006 11:29 GMT

His Dark Materials Lyra revealed

Dakota Blue Richards and Nicole Kidman

The first official picture of the actress playing Lyra in the film version of Northern Lights has been released by the film makers.

Alongside 12-year-old Dakota Blue Richards, from Sussex, is the evil Mrs Coulter played by Nicole Kidman.

Dakota won the part of Lyra after going to an open casting held in Cambridge earlier this year.

She's such a big fan of the books that she also went to see the stage version at the National Theatre.

In the film, Lyra lives in a version of Oxford in a different universe, and goes on a journey that takes her into other worlds.

The movie is based on the first book in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, and is called the Golden Compass after its title in America.

Filming started on the movie in September with the producers visiting location in Oxford and London. The film should be in cinemas next year.

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