Harry Potter fans brave wind and rain for premiere

Thu Nov 11, 2010 5:53pm EST
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By Mike Collett-White and Douglas MacLaurin

LONDON (Reuters) - Thousands of fans descended on Leicester Square in central London on Thursday, braving wind and rain to catch a glimpse of the stars on the red carpet for the new Harry Potter film's world premiere.

Young British actors Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, who have played the central roles for the last decade, appeared with J.K. Rowling, the author behind the hugely successful boy wizard books on which the movies are based.

Watson, 20, grabbed the limelight, sporting her new short haircut and wearing a short black dress.

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1," the seventh and penultimate Potter picture, hits U.S. theatres on November 19 and looks set to provide another big pay day for Warner Bros.

The Hollywood studio decided to split the final book about Harry and his wand-wielding pals into two films after the first six movies amassed $5.4 billion at the global box office.

In Deathly Hallows Part 1, Harry, Ron and Hermione set out on a mission to track down and destroy the secret to evil Lord Voldemort's immortality and destruction -- the Horcruxes.

The three are forced to fend for themselves outside the comfort of Hogwarts school, and the pressure to fight the forces of evil sees best friends Harry and Ron come to blows.

The actors have spoken of mixed feelings about a franchise that has turned them into A-list stars and multi-millionaires.   Continued...

<p>A scene from "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1". REUTERS/Warner Bros. Pictures</p>