Strathairn Prepares For The Magical World Of 'Spiderwick Chronicles'

'The Spiderwick Chronicles'With the global success of "Harry Potter," you'd think everybody and their brother would be jumping at the chance to compare their fantasy films to J.K. Rowling's creation, maybe hoping a little of that Boy Who Lived magic would rub off on them.

Think again. "It's a lot different, well, at least in the books I read," David Strathairn said of "The Spiderwick Chronicles," an upcoming fantasy movie based on a popular series of children's books. "I don't think it's going to be the next 'Harry Potter.'"

Both "Spiderwick" and "Potter" center on a group of young children as they're introduced to a magical world full of faeries, and goblins, and other fantastic, mythical creatures. The big difference, Strathairn giggled, might be his character - not so much a mentor as "the mad scientist, the mad botanist, the guy who maybe took too many mushrooms," he laughed. Try THAT on for size Albus Dumbledore!

"I play Arthur Spiderwick, the man who discovered the magical world of fairies and sprites and goblins and trolls and recorded it down into this secret tome," Strathairn continued. "This tome has been latched and you open it to your detriment. The kids [Freddy Highmore and Sarah Bolger] find it release all the secrets. There is this big battle for the power of the magical world."

Also starring Nick Nolte and Mary-Louise Parker, "The Spiderwick Chronicles" opens February 2008.