Harry Potter & The Prisoner Of Azkaban: The official word is in. Michael Gambon, who is best known for his work in Gosford Park and Sleepy Hollow has been cast in the role of Dumbledore in the next Harry Potter film, taking the place of Richard Harris who passed away in October of last year.

"Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" is filming in England, and Gambon's casting had been a closely guarded secret. Others mentioned as possible candidates for the role included Christopher Lee , Ian McKellen and Peter O'Toole , who had a longtime friendship with Harris.

Harris, who died in October at 72, was best known for playing combative, iconoclastic characters in films such as "This Sporting Life," "Unforgiven" and "A Man Called Horse."

Related: 4 New Harry Potter History of Magic Books Are Coming from J.K. Rowling

He took the role of the gentle, professorial old wizard in the "Harry Potter" films because a young granddaughter was a fan of the books.

In other Potter related news, Warner Bros. also announced that Gary Oldman would play the "Prisoner" of the title, a mysterious character named Sirius Black who escapes from the magical prison of Azkaban and seems to be stalking Potter and his friends.

Stay tuned for more on the next Harry Potter by visiting our official Movie Vault page for the film. CLICK HERE

Dont't forget to also check out: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Brian B.