Quick casting spells Potter sequel

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The Independent Online

Harry Potter fans may have two more months to wait for his first big screen adventure but preparations are already well under way for the sequel.

While children and adults alike look forward to the boy wizard casting his spell over UK cinemas in November, the producers of his £100m movie debut have begun auditioning young actors eager to join the next intake of pupils at Hogwarts School. In a nondescript office block near Charing Cross Road in central London, children are queuing up for the chance to appear in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the film version of the second instalment in JK Rowling's saga.

News that another round of auditions has already started indicates how desperate studio bosses are to ensure they hit the ground running with the follow-ups before the young cast of this year's blockbuster grow out of their roles. Warner Brothers have made no secret of their desire to avoid the prospect of having to re-cast the part of Harry should 12-year-old Daniel Radcliffe's voice break between films.

Among the roles already being cast are those of Gilderoy Lockhart, a charming but incompetent witchcraft tutor, and Tom Riddle, a villainous Hogwarts alumnus who emerges to haunt the young Harry from the pages of a magic diary.

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