Warner Brothers announced yesterday that Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron will direct the third instalment in the Harry Potter franchise.

Cuaron’s previous credits as director include ‘A Little Princess’ released in 1995 and ’Great Expectations’ (1998).

Chris Columbus, who directed ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ and ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’ will produce the new film.

‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’ is expected to go into production early next year with a release date planned for summer 2004.

‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’ will be released in Ireland later this year.