Role bewitches Swinton

Thesp to star in Lewis adaptation

Helmer Andrew Adamson has tapped Tilda Swinton to play the evil White Witch in “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.”

Budgeted at around $100 mil, pic is being co-financed by Walden Media and the Walt Disney Co. for Disney to distribute. Mark Johnson is producing.

In the first of C.S. Lewis’ seven Narnia tales, four siblings walk through their magic wardrobe and into Narnia where the White Witch has cast a spell condemning the world to an endless winter.

Production is skedded to start this summer with an aim of a Christmas 2005 release.

Swinton’s upcoming projects include Warner Bros.’ “Constantine” and Warner Independent’s “The Jacket.”

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