Rising French star Eva Greenhas been cast as Serafina in New Line's adaptation of The Golden Compass, the first instalment of Phillip Pullman's HisDark Materials fantasy trilogy.

Green, who plays Bond's love interest Vesper Lynd opposite Daniel Craig in theupcoming Casino Royale, is thelatest addition to the $150m project.

Earlier this week it emerged that Nicole Kidman will play the villainous MrsCoulter, while British newcomer 12-year-old Dakota Blue Richards playsthe lead role of Lyra Belacqua, who journeys through parallel universes to saveher best friend. Green's character is a benign witch that helps Lyra.

Chris Weitz adapted the screenplay and is directing the long gestating project,which is set to begin shooting on Sept 4 at Shepperton Studios in London intime for a Nov 16 2007 North American release.

Deborah Forte of Scholastic Entertainment, Weitz's Depth of Field productioncompany and Bill Carraro are producing, with Paul Weitz and Andrew Mianoserving as executive producers.

Green is represented by Endeavor and Angharad Wood of the UK's TavistockWood Management.