Monday, 31 May 2004

"Harry Potter" charms London crowds

Sunday May 30, 09:17 PM
Actor Daniel Radcliffe, who plays Harry Potter, arrives at the European premiere of 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban' at the Odeon Leicester Square in London, May 30. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is the third film in the series of books by author J K Rowling about the young Hogwarts wizard.

Spellbound fans have flocked to central London for the European premiere of "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban", the third film in a blockbuster series about the schoolboy wizard.

Actors Daniel Radcliffe (Harry), Emma Watson (Hermione Granger) and Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) struggled to make themselves heard above the din of screaming fans, many of whom arrived at dawn to secure spots alongside the red carpet.

"It's amazing, the dedication of people is terrifying, it's brilliant though and fantastic," 14-year-old Radcliffe told reporters at the Leicester Square premiere on Sunday.

"I never thought I'd see scenes like this when we were doing the first movie... It's beyond comprehension", he added.

"Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban", based on the book by British author J.K. Rowling, had its world premiere in New York City last week to rave reviews that described it as deeper and darker than the earlier "Potter" instalments.

"This film is a lot more sophisticated and I think it will appeal to a wider range of ages," Radcliffe said.

Directed by Mexican Alfonso Cuaron, "Prisoner of Azkaban" has won generally favourable reviews from critics in Britain and opens on wide release on June 4.

The latest adventure of Harry Potter and his magical friends is the third of a planned seven films based on Rowling's best-selling books.

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