Daniel Radcliffe has discussed his first major role after the conclusion of the Harry Potter franchise.

Radcliffe has been playing the boy wizard since he was 12 years old but apart from an acclaimed stage stint in Equus and parts in December Boys and television movie My Boy Jack has seen his film career largely confined to the Hogwarts grounds.

But with the 18-year-old's move into more thematically-serious movies approaching, he discussed his next major project with Empire magazine.

Radcliffe is to star in Journey as Daniel Eldon, a photographic journalist who was stoned to death by a mob in Mogadishu, Somalia, in 1993.

Though he beat the likes of Orlando Bloom and Joaquin Phoenix to the coveted role, Radcliffe has admitted the film is not as close to commencing production as had been previously reported.

"There's a lot of stuff flying around about this at the moment," he said. "I am absolutely attached to it and it would be amazing to play that part. But people are making assumptions about when it's going to happen and it won't happen – if indeed it does happen – for a while yet.

Eldon's photographs of civil war atrocities in Somalia helped draw international attention to the region and the international community's effort to dismantle the regime of warlord General Farah Aideed.

But after a US-led bombing mistakenly killed 74 innocent men, women and children, Eldon and four colleagues - Hansi Krauss, Anthony Macharia of Reuters and Hos Maina of the Associated Press - were asked by survivors to take pictures of the bombed compound.

The four men were then surrounded, stoned and beaten to death by a hostile mob.

Radcliffe has met personally with the late photographer's family to prepare for the part, he explained.

"They showed me some of his diaries, which the film will be based on mostly," he continued. "They're incredible.

"There have got to be 20 books and they're all inches thick, with things sellotaped into them and with wires coming out and everything."

He added: "He was someone who died very young, but seemed to live as full a life as much as anyone who lived to be a ripe old age. It'll be incredible to play him".

23/01/2008 13:04:22