First glimpse of Potter's broomstick

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Harry Potter fans have been given their first glimpse of the schoolboy wizard flying on his broomstick in pictures taken from the film version of the first of the best-selling series of books.

The book's author, J K Rowling, has praised the authenticity of the scenes from the British-made movie, which is due for release in November.

"I've been watching it in my head for nine years now – and finally I'll get to see it along with everybody else," she told Vanity Fair magazine, which has published a series of photographs from the film taken by Annie Leibovitz. Ms Rowling said she had turned down all bids from film companies until Warner Brothers convinced her it would stay true to the books. "Obviously there are some things that don't work on screen, but I didn't want the plot to change very much at all," she said. "The crucial thing is that the characters won't be led off in any inappropriate directions."

David Heyman, the producer of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, said Rowling was amazed by the set when she first saw Diagon Alley, the gathering place in London for wizards. "She was gobsmacked," he said. "She said the layout was exactly the way she'd been thinking of."

Chris Columbus, the film's director, said he had to turn to his Harry Potter-reading daughter for advice when he shot the film. "She would be the first person to say 'that looks fake', or 'that's the wrong colour'," he said.

But there was bad news for fans with the announcement that the next book in the series, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, will not appear until the middle of next year at the earliest, despite reports it would be published in spring.

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