It says something about the cultural significance of Harry Potter when an announcement about Helena Bonham Carter being in the new Harry Potter film is almost as big news as Mel Gibson commenting on a woman's sugary baps.
But it is, so get used to it. Helena Bonham Carter has signed up for the movie of Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix, where'll she'll star as Bellatrix Lestrange, a woman who guides Harry Potter through the treacherous task of taking all of his clothes off in front of a crowd of strangers and stabbing six horses in the eyes with a metal spike.
The amount of Harry Potter news that we've read over the last few days has been phenomenal, especially when there aren't even any Harry Potter books, movies or DVDs to sell. First Harry Potter himself – Daniel Radcliffe – announced that he was going to indulge in some naked horse-eye stabbing for a little while, then Stephen King told JK Rowling not to kill off Harry Potter and now this. Seriously, there'd be less Harry Potter news at the moment if JK Rowling, in a moment of madness, decided to call the forthcoming book Harry Potter And The Fucking Jews.
Anyway, the new Harry Potter film, Harry Potter And The Order of The Phoenix, is coming out next year and – since the book roughly had the dimensions of a massive loaf of bread – there'll probably be a load of new characters in there to be introduced. One of them is Bellatrix Lestrange, a woman who – from what we can gather – is a witch, Gary Oldman's cousin and Lord Voldemort's bezzie mate eva. And she's a death eater, which is a bit like a Happy Eater, but with slightly less gloomy waiting staff.
The casting of Bellatrix Lestrange has been a drawn-out affair. First it was rumoured that Elizabeth Hurley would be taking the role, but this didn't happen because a) Elizabeth Hurley is getting married soon and b) most people would rather pull their eyes out with corkscrews than watch Elizabeth Hurley act in a film. So instead Bellatrix Lestange will be played by the far safer Helena Bonham Carter, wife of Tim Burton and star of all kinds of rah-rah posho films. Helena Bonham Carter will be joined on Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix by Imelda Staunton, who'll be playing Dolores Umbridge, who may or may not be a dour wartime abortionist.
And, of course, Daniel Radcliffe will return as Harry Potter in Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix. He doesn't die until the next one.
[story by Stuart Heritage]