Wee wizard found

Brit Radcliffe cast as 'Harry Potter'

Director Chris Columbus and producer David Heyman have found their Harry Potter and yes, he’s a Brit.

Daniel Radcliffe, age 11, who public television audiences know as the young David from the BBC’s production of “David Copperfield,” will take the titular role in Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.”

Tyro thesps Rupert Grint, 11, and Emma Watson, 10 — veterans only of their school plays — will portray Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, Potter’s pals at Hogwarts School.

The actors were cast from the thousands of children who cast their names into the hat to play the roles.

“We saw so many enormously talented kids in the search for Harry,” said Columbus. “The process was intense, and there were times when we felt we would never find an individual who embodied the complex spirit and depth of Harry Potter. I couldn’t be happier to begin work with such talented, inspiring young actors.”

David Heyman added, “While we have been alternately amused and bemused by the rumors about what we’re doing, we are overjoyed to finally put them to rest. These are tremendously talented British kids who will bring so much to the film. We have always been and continue to be devoted to remaining true and faithful to the book.”

“Potter” author J. K. Rowling gave her blessing to the cast. “Having seen Dan Radcliffe’s screen test, I don’t think Chris Columbus could have found a better Harry,” she said. “I wish Dan, Emma and Rupert the very best of luck and hope that they have as much fun acting the first year at Hogwarts as I had writing it.”

Radcliffe also will be seen later this year in John Boorman’s “The Tailor of Panama,” a Columbia Pictures release.

He is repped by Sue Lattimer at Curtis Brown and by attorney Fred Toczek at Nelson, Felker, Levine & Dern.

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