Rhys Ifans as Xeno Lovegood in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Although Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince isn't out until July, Warner Brothers has already started shooting Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, primarily because they want to release that split finale back-to-back in 2010 and 2011. Welsh actor Rhys Ifans announced on the "Friday Night with Jonathan Ross" TV show (see YouTube) that he will appear in Deathly Hallows. While he didn't reveal which character he would be playing on the show, The Leaky Cauldron has separately confirmed that Ifans will play Xenophilius Lovegood, Luna Lovegood's father and the editor-in-chief of The Quibbler.
Those of you who have read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows know how important he is to the story. For those who aren't familiar, Xeno is introduced as a friend of the Weasleys and is described as "eccentric looking, slightly cross-eyed, with shoulder-length white hair the texture of candyfloss." He is one of the staunchest supporters of the anti-Voldemort movement through his magazine explains to Harry, Ron, and Hermione the significance of the Deathly Hallows. Ifans, who has starred in everything from Notting Hill to Little Nicky to Elizabeth: The Golden Age to the upcoming The Boat That Rocked, seems like a good fit.
More than anything, I'm so excited by this, because one of the biggest movie events I'm looking forward to in the next few years is the arrival of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and the conclusion to (by then) over ten years of Harry Potter movies. Although we won't get to see that final conclusion until July 15th, 2011, it's exciting to know that it's already in production this early on, with the cast filling up!