[UPDATE: We have a second extended clip from Half-Blood Prince!]

For you Harry Potter fans out there: today we have a new extended clip from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, some (sorta) good news about the film’s premiere in IMAX theaters, plus a rumor that a certain famous British actor may have finally gotten the casting call he’s been pining for.

First let’s start with the good stuff. Check out this new extended clip from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, released (for free!) exclusively on iTunes (so you’ll need iTunes to view it!):

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince iTunes Clip

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UPDATE: Here is the second clip from Half-Blood Prince:

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If you couldn’t tell from the scene of Dumbledore cutting himself, Half-Blood Prince is going to be the darkest, most adult-oriented chapter of the Harry Potter franchise yet. It’s good news for me, as my appreciation for this series has grown in almost direct proportion to the darkening tones of each subsequent installment. I fully expect to enjoy Half-Blood Prince, and am hoping I’ll love Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Speaking of Deathly Hallows, there are reports swirling that actor Bill Nighy (Underworld, Valkyrie) has been cast in the final installments of the Harry Potter franchise. The rumor was sparked by an interview between Nighy and British paper The Independent, in which the actor was quoted as making the following statement:

I don’t think I’m allowed to say it but I’m going to be in the next Harry Potter film…I won’t say which character, but he’s a goodie. I just got the gig.

Harry Potter fan site The Leaky Cauldron first hinted a few weeks back that Nighy would be joining the cast of Deathly Hallows – according to their best guestimate, he’ll be taking on the role of Rufus Scrimgeour, an  “Auror” in the Ministry of Magic (i.e., the wizard cops who hunt down and capture rogue wizards).

If that casting rumor turns out to be accurate, it’ll be a win-win for both Nighy and Harry Potter fans: the actor has previously (and jokingly) expressed his hurt feelings at being the sole British actor never cast in a Potter film, and I’m sure fans would like to continue having accomplished actors portraying the characters they love so much. With Nighy taking on the role, everybody wins.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is set for release on July 15, 2009 (in standard theaters).

Now, you may remember that recently we reported that the IMAX release of Half-Blood Prince had been delayed two weeks, due to the month-long obligatory run of Transformers 2 in IMAX. However, Collider has learned that three theaters across the country WILL be debuting Half-Blood Prince in 3D IMAX on its original July 15th release date. The theaters are listed below with links to their pages so you can purchase the tickets ASAP.

AMC Century City 15 (L.A.), Henry Crown OMNIMAX (Chicago), and AMC Loews Lincoln Square (NYC).

Unfortunately, unless you live near one of those three theaters, you’ll have to wait until July 29, 2009 to see Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in 3D IMAX.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I is slated to hit theaters on November 19, 2010.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II is slated to hit theaters on July 15, 2011.

Sources: Coming Soon, First Showing, iTunes, Collider

Update Source: Film School Rejects