Tom Felton is to star in 'Belle'.

The 'Harry Potter' actor's role in Amma Asante's 18th century romance has not been revealed, but he has joined the cast as have Penelope Wilton, James Norton and Sam Reid.

Producer Damian Jones describes the movie as a ''powerful tale inspired by true historic events.''

'Belle' takes its idea from a 1779 portrait of Dido Elizabeth Belle, who will be played by Gugu Mbatha Raw.

The story follows a mixed-raced girl who is brought up as an aristocrat in a critical, disapproving country.

The seven-week shoot is set to begin on September 23 and will take place at Pinewood studios, as well as locations in Oxford, London and the Isle of Man.

The movie is one of the first beneficiaries of the BFI's new funding apparatus, the replacement for the UK Film Council.

Tom - who is best known for playing Draco Malfoy in the 'Harry Potter' series - joins previously announced stars Tom Wilkinson, Miranda Richardson, Matthew Goode, Emily Watson and Sarah Gadon in the movie.