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Radcliffe to star as Kipling's son in TV movie

'My Boy Jack' looks at author's son's death in World War I
/ Source: The Associated Press

"Harry Potter" star Daniel Radcliffe will play the son of Rudyard Kipling in a television movie about the author, ITV said Monday.

John Kipling died in World War I, and Nick Elliott, head of drama at the network, said the Iraq war would be part of the subtext of "My Boy Jack," which will begin filming next year.

"For many people my age, the first world war is just a topic in a history book," said Radcliffe, 17, who played boy wizard Harry Potter in the blockbuster film series based on J.K. Rowling's books. "But I've always been fascinated by the subject and think it's as relevant today as it ever was, with young men still sacrificing their lives in the name of war."

"I can't even begin to imagine what it must have been like in the trenches, living amongst the stench of death and knowing that any moment may be your last," he said. "But I think it's important we try to imagine the horrors these young men experienced and to never forget them."

Kipling helped his son get into the military so he could fight in the trenches despite his poor eyesight.

After John Kipling died at the Battle of Loos in 1915, Rudyard Kipling wrote: "If any question why we died, Tell them, because our fathers lied."