Just a quick note for all the Harry Potter fans already chomping at the bit for The Half Blood Prince - Warner Bros. announced Friday the final casting for the latest movie installment.
Besides the usual faces (Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and the A-list supporting cast), Order of the Phoenix director David Yates will return to helm his second Potter outing.
For those already familiar with the text (I admit to still being a newbie awaiting the final movie before digging into the books), the role of Potions Professor Horace Slughorn will be played by Oscar winner Jim Broadbent (The Chronicles of Narnia, Hot Fuzz).
Narcissa Malfoy, mom to mischief maker Draco Malfoy and sister to Bellatrix Lestrange, will be portrayed by Helen McCrory, another seasoned veteran.
And among the newcomers making their feature debuts: Jessie Cave as Lavendar Brown, who moons for Ron Weasley; Fiennes Tiffin as Tom Riddle at age 11; and Frank Dillane as the teen Riddle, who will eventually morph into Lord Voldemort.
Personally, I'm most looking forward to seeing how Broadbent -- so good in everything from Moulin Rouge to Bridget Jones's Diary -- will fare alongside the rest of Potter's pedigreed alumni, a veritable who's who of British acting glory.
It's amazing to note that David Thewlis, Gary Oldman, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Emma Thompson, Richard Harris, Alan Rickman, Brendan Gleeson, Maggie Smith, Fiona Shaw and Michael Gambon have all appeared in the Potter film franchise.
Beyond the stories and the emergence of the three young heroes as genuine stars themselves, a lot of the fun in watching the movies has been seeing all these great talents become a part of this original world.
I know the Potter fans have their own opinions on who's right for each role. What are your thoughts on the latest casting choices?