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"The Chronicles of Narnia" Casting News

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Starring in the film is acclaimed, award-winning actress Tilda Swinton ("The Deep End," "Orlando," "Constantine") as Jadis, the powerful, evil White Witch. Joining Swinton as the Pevensie children are screen newcomer Georgie Henley as Lucy, the youngest of the quartet and the first to enter the portal to the magical land of Narnia; Skandar Keynes as Edmund, the younger boy who follows Lucy into Narnia, only to fall under the bewitching spell of the White Witch; seasoned British actress Anna Popplewell ("The Girl with A Pearl Earring," "Mansfield Park") as Susan, the cautious and practical older sister skeptical about entering the kingdom of Narnia; and, in his motion picture debut, William Moseley ("Goodbye, Mr. Chips") as Peter, the eldest of the siblings whom the others look to for leadership during their adventurous journey.

Co-starring in the film are Scottish actor James McAvoy (HBO's "Band of Brothers," "Wimbledon") as Mr. Tumnus, the kindhearted faun (half-man, half-goat) who risks his own fate to ensure Lucy's safety in Narnia; diminutive British talent Kiran Shah ("Lord of the Rings," "Raiders of the Lost Ark") who portrays Ginarrbrik, the White Witch's dwarfish sleigh driver; Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner Jim Broadbent ("Iris," "Moulin Rouge!," "Gangs of New York," "Topsy-Turvy"), who appears as Prof. Kirke, whose lavish country home houses the magical wardrobe; and veteran Scottish performer James Cosmo ("Troy," "Braveheart") as Father Christmas.

Adamson has also cast several Kiwi performers to portray a variety of human and Narnian creatures in the film, including Judy McIntosh ("Arriving Tuesday," Ngati") as the matriarch of the Pevensie family; Elizabeth Hawthorne ("The Frighteners," "The Tommyknockers") as Mrs. MacReady, the caretaker of the mansion; Patrick Kake ("Hercules: The Legendary Journeys") as Oreius, Aslan's head Centaur; and Shane Rangi ("Lord of the Rings") as Gen. Otman, the fierce Minotaur and leader of the White Witch's army.

To bring the story's magically computer-animated creations to life, Adamson has cast a host of acclaimed performers to lend their vocal talents to the film, including Ray Winstone ("Sexy Beast," "King Arthur") as Mr. Beaver; Rupert Everett ("The Madness of King George," "My Best Friend's Wedding," "Shrek 2") as The Fox, another ally of the children; and veteran British comedienne Dawn French ("The Adventures of Pinocchio," "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," BBC's "The Vicar of Dibley") as Mrs. Beaver. Additional casting announcements are forthcoming, including that of Aslan the Lion.

An Enchanting, Timeless Adventure

Lewis' timeless adventure follows the exploits of the four Pevensie siblings -- Lucy, Edmund, Susan and Peter -- in World War II England who enter the world of Narnia through a magical wardrobe while playing a game of 'hide-and-seek' in the rural country home of an elderly professor. Once there, the children discover a charming, peaceful land inhabited by talking beasts, dwarfs, fauns, centaurs and giants that has become a world cursed to eternal winter by the evil White Witch, Jadis. Under the guidance of a noble and mystical ruler, the lion Aslan, the children fight to overcome the White Witch's powerful hold over Narnia in a spectacular, climactic battle that will free Narnia from Jadis' icy spell forever.

"The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" is the first (appearing in 1950) of Lewis' seven-book "Chronicles of Narnia" series, long regarded as one of literature's most enduring and imaginative classics. Since its publication between 1950-56, Lewis' "Chronicles of Narnia" series, with a long and loyal following, has sold over 85,000,000 books in 29 different languages, making it the second biggest book series (after J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" tomes) the world over. In addition to the first novel, Lewis wrote six additional books, with one published annually between 1951-56. Those titles include "Prince Caspian," "The Voyage of the 'Dawn Treader'," "The Silver Chair," "The Horse and His Boy," "The Magician's Nephew" (the prequel in chronology to the first book) and "The Last Battle." "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" will film on both the north and south islands of New Zealand over a five-month period. After almost four months of sound stage work in Auckland, the company will move to the breathtaking locales of Queenstown, Oamaru and the Christchurch area in the nation's south island before heading to London and the Czech Republic for additional filming. Production will conclude in January, 2005, before Adamson embarks on a yearlong post-production schedule leading to the December, 2005, worldwide release.

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