Director Robbins in line for Harry Potter film

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The Independent Culture

The American director Tim Robbins is emerging as the favourite to make the film of the bestselling English children's book Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone.

Robbins, who is married to the Oscar-winning actress Susan Sarandon and directed her in Dead Man Walking, is thought to be one of the most intelligent directors. Also in the frame for the Potter movie is the lesser known Brad Silberling, who directed the weepie City of Angels.

The film magazine Empire, which reports that the two directors are the leading contenders now that Steven Spielberg has decided against the project, also confirms a British child actor will have the starring role - a condition stipulated by the author, JK Rowling. Warner Brothers is also looking for British actors to play two other characters, Ron and Hermione, friends of Harry.

Karen Westbrook, of Empire, said: "It's a very good thing that it's going to be an English boy. The worst thing you can do with a story like Harry Potter is ignore its Englishness, and put in American cheerleaders."