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Entertainment Weekly snippets: Gambon and Astin

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Posted by: Melissa
January 11, 2003, 11:24 PM

Two bits from EW this week:

"CASTING: Gosford Park star Michael Gambon, 62, is negotiating to play Dumbledore in Warner Bros. Harry Potter franchise. "They've offered, and he wants to do it," says his agent. Gambon would replace Richard Harris, who died in October. The third film in the series, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, is due in theatres June 2004."

WORLDWIDE WEB: The season's two biggest franchises have more in common than bazillions in ticket sales: Wizards, elves, trolls, and animated trees crop up in The Lord of the Rings and the two Harry Potter movies. Rings director Peter Jackson moved a jumbo spider - not unlike the one in The Chamber of Secrets - from The Two Towers, the second in J.R.R. Tolkien's series, to next Christmas' Return of the King. Though Jackson says he made the switch to improve plot development, Sean Astin wonders if there might have been one too many overlaps with Potter - and other recent fare. "When Peter told me they were doing big spiders in Eight Legged Freaks, he had this disappointed quality in his voice," recalls the hobbit. But Astin isn't bitter. "I don't think Tolkien owns the patent [copyright, Sean, copyright!] on spiders or cave trolls or talking tress, althrough you might think so by comparing the films," he kids. "But how many more Potter books do they still have to film? I don't want to talk myself out of a job." - William Keck

Thanks very much to Mary for the text.

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