The final Harry Potter book is to be split into two films, Warner Brothers announced yesterday.

The previous 'Harry Potter' movies have proved huge hits worldwide, with the first five films taking nearly $4.5bn at the box office. A sixth movie is currently in production in the UK, with rumours that some of its scenes may be filmed in Ireland.

By splitting the final book in two, the movie studio will ensure one last huge pay day from the series, which was created by JK Rowling.

Warner Brothers said the first instalment of 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' will premiere in late 2010 and be followed the second a few months later.

In a statement released yesterday, Jeff Robinov, President of Warner Bros Pictures Group, said: "We feel that the best way to do the book, and its many fans, justice is to expand the screen adaptation of 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' and release the film in two parts."

'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows', is the seventh and final book in JK Rowling's series and was published last July.

As the final book, it is much greater in length than previous Potter novels, and many of the character storylines are wrapped up.

According to Warner Brothers, it is with the length of the novel and the complex storylines in mind that Rowling, the movies' producers and the studio decided they would need two parts to tell the story.

Daniel Radcliffe, who plays Harry in the movie version, and his co-stars Emma Watson and Rupert Grint are all filming the sixth movie 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince'. All three have confirmed that they will appear in the final films.