J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books are a worldwide phenomenon, with than 110-million copies _ in 47 languages _ in print in 200 countries of aspiring wizards. But information about the film has been difficult to come by, as Warner Bros. guards hard facts about its long-awaited movie like a three-headed dog guards its dinner. Our spies inside Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry have uncovered a few secrets about the Potter books and Harry's creation and a cauldron full of fun facts about the upcoming film:
+ Harry Potter's face now adorns Muggle money. The gold, silver and nickel coins are legal tender on the Isle of Man in the United Kingdom and were minted by the Pobjoy Mint. More than 25,000 of the coins, featuring Harry on one side and Queen Elizabeth II on the other, sold out in less than five hours in September.
+ The bones of King Edward II are set in the walls of Gloucester Cathedral, where much of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was filmed. The cathedral in Gloucestershire, England, is one of the locations used as a double for Hogwarts, the school where Harry studies magic.
+ Before starring as title character Harry Potter, 11-year-old actor Daniel Radcliffe (now 12) starred in a BBC production of David Copperfield and John Boorman's The Tailor of Panama. Initially, his parents said "no" to the role of Harry, wary of the pressures on their son being the world's most famous wizard.
+ Because Radcliffe doesn't have Harry's bright green eyes, he was fitted with a pair of green contacts. But they were uncomfortable, so Harry's sparkling emerald peepers were colored by computer for much of the film.
+ Verne Troyer, Austin Powers 2's Mini-Me, makes an appearance in the film as a goblin teller in Gringotts bank.
+ Potter fans can go through the "sorting ceremony" online and get assigned their own house at www.harrypotter.com. And those with with brave hearts and strong stomachs can now sample Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans, available to the Muggle world at places such as FAO Schwartz. Flavors include strawberry jam, horseradish, sardine, lemon drop and booger (yes, you read that right).
+ Rowling gets many of her character names from maps. Snape, for instance, is the name of an English village. Other name origins: Dumbledore is "bumblebee" in an old English dialect, and Hedwig is a medieval saint.
+ Actor Radcliffe, author Rowling and magician Potter all share the same birthday: July 31.
+ Will there ever be a female Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher? Yes, in a future book, Rowling revealed.
+ What character does Rowling most identify with? Hermione. "She's a caricature of me when I was younger," Rowling has said.
+ And Ron, Harry's other best friend, is "a lot like my oldest friend Sean," Rowling said. "I was at school with him, and the second book is dedicated to Sean."
+ Rowling has said Harry Potter will be a seven-book series, so there are only three more to go. The next installment will be Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.