Harry Potter could be in fora surprise. David Yates, an acclaimed UK TV director but largely unproven infeatures, is in talks to direct the franchise's fifth instalment, HarryPotter And The Order Of The Phoenix.

Yates' TV creditsinclude political conspiracy thriller State Of Play, which won a Directors Guild of Great Britain prize,and Anthony Trollope adaptation The Way We Live Now, which won a Bafta.

Most recently, SexTraffic, his tale of East Europeanwomen forced to work as prostitutes, was a critical and ratings success. Yates is also directing writer Richard Curtis' latestBBC TV project, a love story set against the G8 Summit titled The Girl InThe Cafe.

His only feature credit todate is 1998's well-received The Tichborne Claimant, which told the 19th century story of analcoholic ruffian claiming to be a shipwrecked English nobleman. But he hasrecently been generating plenty of interest in the features world, and was setto shoot another high-profile UK feature, Ecosse Film's BridesheadRevisited.

Harry Potter producer David Heyman confirmed Yates was one ofnumber of directors he was talking to, with Amelie's Jean-Pierre Jeunet another candidate.

Steven Kloves, who wrote thescreenplay for the first four films, has moved on to direct another bookadaptation, The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-time, for Heyman. Contact and Peter Pan writer Michael Goldenberg is taking over for the fifth film in series,which is to start shooting January 2006.