Casting has been completed on the much-anticipated sixth installment of the Warner Bros. Pictures Harry Potter film franchise, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The announcement was made by Jeff Robinov, President of Production, Warner Bros. Pictures.
David Yates, who directed this year's summer blockbuster Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, returns to direct Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. David Heyman, the producer of all of the Harry Potter films, is producing the film, together with David Barron. Screenwriter Steve Kloves, who scripted the first four installments of the film franchise, is adapting the screenplay based on the book by J.K. Rowling.
David Heyman said, "I am really excited that David Yates and all our cast are back for the sixth film and welcome some wonderful new additions to our ensemble. We all share a commitment to Jo Rowling and to Harry Potter fans around the world to keep making these films the best they can be and, as we head into the final installments, I can promise that this level of commitment will not waver."
Once again heading the cast, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson are reprising their roles as young wizards Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, who are facing new challenges and dangers in the wake of Lord Voldemort's return. They will be reunited with returning Harry Potter cast members, including Helena Bonham Carter, David Bradley, Robbie Coltrane, Warwick Davis, Tom Felton, Michael Gambon, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, Natalia Tena, Julie Walters and David Thewlis, as well as Evanna Lynch, Matthew Lewis and Bonnie Wright.
Two award-winning actors are joining the film's all-star cast in their first Harry Potter film. Academy Award winner Jim Broadbent (Iris, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe) has been set to play Potions Professor Horace Slughorn, who gives Harry an old Potions textbook that had once belonged to the Half-Blood Prince, which proves invaluable to the young wizard. Award-winning actress Helen McCrory (Becoming Jane, The Queen) will play Narcissa Malfoy, mother to Draco Malfoy and sister to the evil Bellatrix Lestrange.
Additionally, several young newcomers will be making their feature film debuts in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Jessie Cave has won the role of Lavender Brown, who has eyes for Ron Weasley. Nine-year-old Hero Fiennes Tiffin is playing the role of the young Tom Riddle at age 11, while 16-year-old Frank Dillane is playing the teenage Riddle, who is already on the path to becoming the evil Lord Voldemort.
In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Lord Voldemort is tightening his grip on both the Muggle and Wizard worlds and Hogwarts is no longer the safe haven it once was. Harry suspects that dangers may even lie within the castle, but Dumbledore is more intent upon preparing him for the final battle that he knows is fast approaching.
Two-time Oscar nominee Bruno Delbonnel (A Very Long Engagement, Amelie) will serve as the director of photography, marking his first Harry Potter film. He will be joined by returning Harry Potter veterans, including production designer Stuart Craig, editor Mark Day, costume designer Jany Temime, creature & make-up effects designer Nick Dudman, special effects supervisor John Richardson, visual effects supervisor Tim Burke and composer Nicholas Hooper.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince will be released on November 21, 2008, by Warner Bros. Pictures.