Louth girl lands key Harry Potter role

Louth schoolgirl Evanna Lynch has beaten more than 15,000 hopefuls to scoop the role of Luna Lovegood in the next Harry Potter blockbuster.

Avid Harry Potter fan Evanna, who is 14 and from Termonfeckin, had dreamed of playing a part in a big-screen version of one of the books, and has now heard that her dream is to come true, her father Donal has confirmed.

Luna Lovegood is a Ravenclaw student who becomes an important ally of Harry, Ron and Hermione’s in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Principal photography will commence on February 6 on the film, which is the fifth film adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s Potter 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.

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 and Kathryn Hunter (All or

Nothing, Orlando) as Mrs Figg.

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.

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