'December' opens Sept. 14

Warner Bros. is keeping Daniel Radcliffe close to home.

Specialty arm Warner Independent Pictures announced Monday that it is partnering with Village Roadshow Pictures to distribute domestically the Radcliffe starrer “December Boys,” while Warner Bros. Intl. will help Village Roadshow distribute the Aussie-produced and -financed film overseas.

Pic, the first in which Radcliffe has starred since the launch of the “Harry Potter” franchise, opens Sept. 14 in the U.S.

Rod Hardy directed “December Boys,” which was produced by Richard Becker’s Becker Entertainment. Marc Rosenberg adapted Michael Noonan’s coming-of-age tome of the same name.

Set in the 1960s, story revolves around four orphan teenagers growing up in a Catholic convent in the Australian outback. Losing hope that they will ever be adopted, the orphans compete against one another for the attention of a childless couple during a trip to a remote seashore resort. Radcliffe plays the oldest of the four.

Starring alongside Radcliffe are Christian Byers, Lee Cormie, James Fraser, Teresa Palmer and Jack Thompson.

“December Boys” has been long in the making. Producer Richard Becker optioned the book in 1992, but it wasn’t until 2004 that Australia’s Film Finance Group, South Australian Film Corp. and German investor MB 2 Film & Media GmbH agreed to finance.

Pic was shot last year on location in Australia and South Africa.

“I think ‘December Boys’ will connect with audiences in all cultures,” Village Roadshow Pictures Group co-chair Graham Burke said. Radcliffe will be seen this summer in “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” which Warner Bros. unspools July 13.

Looking beyond the role of boy wizard, Radcliffe is presently in London starring in the legit revival of “Equus,” for which he’s received strong notices.

Radcliffe has two more “Potter” pics to shoot, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows.”

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