The next Harry Potter movie to go into production will center on the boy wizard's fifth year studying at Hogwarts, but the filmmakers will be first-years. Variety reports that David Yates, a little-known British filmmaker with one feature to his credit, is close to a deal to direct Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. The news comes days after the announcement that Phoenix will also have a new screenwriter, Michael Goldenberg, making it the first Potter picture not to be written by Steve Kloves. The fifth of J.K. Rowling's Potter novels to reach the screen, it's due to go into production in late 2005 for a summer 2007 release.
Yates' sole feature credit is 1997's The Tichborne Claimant, a film not released in America, which offers a comic take on a real-life celebrity scandal trial in 19th-century England. But what sold producers on him, according to Variety, was his TV work, particularly his acclaimed 2001 miniseries adaptation of Anthony Trollope's sprawling Victorian satire The Way We Live Now. Before he turns to the Potter franchise, Yates is due to direct Jennifer Connelly and husband Paul Bettany in a new screen version of Brideshead Revisited.
Goldenberg wrote and directed the 1996 Christian Slater-Mary Stuart Masterson romance Bed of Roses. He cowrote the screenplays for 1997's Contact, last year's live-action version of Peter Pan, and Spike Jonze's upcoming adaptation of Maurice Sendak's classic bedtime storybook Where the Wild Things Are.