'Potter' Kids Face Ax for Fifth Film

It's too bad Daniel Radcliffe (search) can't put a No Grow spell on himself.

The 14-year-old face of the "Harry Potter" (search) movies is getting too old to play the part, so his role may eventually be recast with a younger actor, producers admitted yesterday.

The same goes for the other young "Potter" stars, Rupert Grint (search) (who plays Ron Weasley) and Emma Watson (search) (Hermione Granger), both of whom are also 14.

"There will come a point when one, two, or all three of them will move on," said David Heyman, who has produced all the Potter films, including "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," which opens June 4.

"I don't know when that will be — with the fifth, sixth or seventh movies — but it's inevitable."

Radcliffe, who will turn 15 on July 23, is now two years older than his character, and the age difference will just get bigger, because Potter only grows one year older in each successive movie and producers haven't been able to keep up the pace.

There was only a one-year lag between 2001's "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" and 2002's "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets," but fans had to wait a year and a half for "Azkaban."

All three "Potter" stars are signed on for the fourth movie in the series, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," which began shooting three weeks ago with director Mike Newell ("Four Weddings and a Funeral") and a projected release date of November 2005.

But they don't have contracts for the fifth film, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," which is slated to begin shooting at the end of next year.

After that, the picture gets even murkier, because the projected sixth and seventh "Potter" books haven't even been written yet.

Author J.K. Rowling (search) has nixed rumors that she would deliver Book Six by the end of 2004 — and she hasn't offered a new release date.