British actress Tilda Swinton has beaten tough competition from Hollywood's leading ladies to win one of the most coveted roles of the year (04) - as the wicked WHITE WITCH from CS LEWIS's classic novel The Lion, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE.

The YOUNG ADAM star, 43, will play the ice queen of Narnia in the fictional land created by Lewis - after beating a string of top female actresses to star in the blockbuster.

Swinton will prepare for the part once she completes her ten-day service on the Cannes Film Festival jury - alongside jury president QUENTIN TARANTINO.

The film will begin shooting next month (JUN04) in Wellington, New Zealand at the same studios where most of the special effects for The Lord Of The Rings trilogy were shot.

07/05/2004 13:44