BURBANK, CA, February 2, 2006 - Principal photography will commence February 6 at England's Leavesden Studios on Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
, the fifth film adaptation of J.K. Rowling's beloved Harry Potter novel series.
Directed by award winning British filmmaker David Yates (The Girl in the Café, Sex Traffic, State of Play), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is produced by Harry Potter film series producer David Heyman and David Barron, from a screenplay by Michael Goldenberg (Where the Wild Things Are, Peter Pan, Contact).
Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson reprise their roles as close-knit teen wizards Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. The production also welcomes back production designer Stuart Craig, costume designer Jany Temime, creature effects supervisor Nick Dudman, special effects supervisor John Richardson and visual effects supervisor Tim Burke. The director of photography is Slawomir Idziak (King Arthur, Black Hawk Down) and the editor is Mark Day (The Girl in the Café, State of Play).
Joining the stellar cast are Imelda Staunton (Nanny McPhee, Vera Drake) as Dolores Umbridge, the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher; George Harris (The Interpreter, Black Hawk Down) as Kingsley Shacklebolt; Helen McCrory (Casanova, Enduring Love) as Bellatrix Lestrange; Natalia Tena (Mrs. Henderson Presents, About a Boy) as Nymphadora Tonks; Kathryn Hunter (All or Nothing, Orlando) as Mrs. Figg; and 14 year-old newcomer Evanna Lynch, who beat over 15,000 hopefuls at an open casting call to win the role of Luna Lovegood, a Ravenclaw student who becomes an important ally of Harry, Ron and Hermione's.
In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry returns for his fifth year of study at Hogwarts and discovers that much of the wizarding community is in denial about the teenager's recent encounter with the evil Lord Voldemort, preferring to turn a blind eye to the news that Voldemort has returned. Fearing that Hogwarts' venerable Headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, is lying about Voldemort's return in order to undermine his power and take his job, the Minister for Magic, Cornelius Fudge, appoints a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher to keep watch over Dumbledore and the Hogwarts students. But Professor Dolores Umbridge's Ministry-approved course of defensive magic leaves the young wizards woefully unprepared to defend themselves against the dark forces threatening them and the entire wizarding community, so at the prompting of his friends Hermione and Ron, Harry takes matters into his own hands. Meeting secretly with a small group of students who name themselves "Dumbledore's Army," Harry teaches them how to defend themselves against the Dark Arts, preparing the courageous young wizards for the extraordinary battle that lies ahead.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix will be released in 2007.