Muggles around the world can finally rejoice with these first official images from “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.”
The fifth film in the magical franchise will follow Harry’s struggles to alert the wizard world about the return of He Who Shall Not be Named — the dark wizard Lord Voldemort.
At every turn, Harry is seemingly thwarted by Senior Undersecretary to the Minister Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton), seen for the first time in picture four taking an afternoon tea in her refurbished office. But Harry would be wise to keep “Constant Vigilance!,” as the tea Umbridge serves him might very well be spiked with Veritaserum, a powerful truth potion.
As the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher and High Inquisitor of Hogwarts, she would love to get her hands on Harry’s godfather, the escaped convict Sirius Black (Gary Oldman) — last seen onscreen fleeing Dementors in the series’ third installment, “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.”
Harry could use his help. When the sinister guards of Azkaban arrive unexpectedly in Potter’s Muggle hometown of Little Whinging, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) will have to protect his “normal” cousin Dudley (Harry Melling) from a fate worse than death — the Dementor’s kiss. The only way he’ll be able to repel these creatures of the night is by conjuring a happy thought or memory — in short supply these days for the young hero ever since Voldemort’s return to power.
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What thought does Harry conjure? Well, memories of his friends Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint), of course. In “Order,” the three will become leaders of a group known as the DA, or Dumbledore’s Army, a secret school organization designed to teach Hogwarts students practical defense against the dark arts. Their organization becomes necessary when Umbridge restricts the curriculum at the ancient boarding school — and even takes it upon herself to fire staff.
“Phoenix” has Umbridge dismissing Sybil Trelawney (Emma Thompson), the disgraced professor of divinity whose prophesy at the end of “Phoenix” changes the series — and young Potter’s life — forever.
New to the cast is Evanna Lynch, who plays Luna Lovegood, an eccentric Ravenclaw. Introduced to the group by Ginny Weasley at the beginning of “Order,” Luna distinguishes herself as much for her emotional bravery as for her personal oddities and is crucial in fighting the Death Eaters at the Department of Mysteries. A member of Dumbledore’s Army, Luna (called “Loony” by many students) shares with Harry the ability to see Thestrals — the winged horses that haunt the grounds of Hogwarts and are invisible to anyone who has not seen death.
The fifth movie comes out July 13, 2007.
Check out everything we’ve got on “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.”
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[This story was originally published on 09.25.2006 at 8:13 p.m. ET]