Harry Potter, ‘Arkham Asylum’ game and Hugh Jackman in Everyday Hero headlines


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Today’s edition of Everyday Hero, a roundup of handpicked headlines from the fanboy universe ...

The magic of Christmas: Muggles, mark your calendars. It’s sad that you can’t spend this holiday season with a new ‘Harry Potter’ film, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a bit of the boy wizard’s magic. Here’s a press release that came over yesterday: ‘ABC Family continues the holiday cheer with its “Harry Potter” weekend on December 5-7, airing the first four installments of the popular film series as part of the network’s “25 Days of Christmas” programming event. In the world television premiere of the special extended edition of “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” viewers will also see deleted scenes not included in the original film version. To add to the magic, ABC Family will also be airing exclusive first looks at the new film “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” (opening in theatres July 17) throughout the weekend’s 3-day event. Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson and Michael Gambon discuss the upcoming film’s exciting story lines as well as revealing insider information. ABC Family’s first looks at the latest Harry Potter feature film also offers viewers a sneak peek of never-before-seen footage of love running rampant through Hogwarts, a look into Tom Riddle’s past and an introduction of Hogwarts new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Professor Horace Slughorn. [ABC Family press release]...If you want to see a day-by-day program listing, click through to the second page of this post.


Where there’s a Wil...: Writer Matthew Fleischer went out for beers with child-star-turned-blogger Wil Wheaton, who is apparently just as geeky as you thought he was. ‘It’s three o’ clock on a weekday afternoon and I’m in an Old Town Pasadena bar having drinks with a former child star. Were this person a faded pop tartlet, or perhaps named Corey, we might be planning a trip to a nudie bar or recollecting days spent riding the silver bullet. But this star is Wil Wheaton, and instead of strippers and blow, we’re talking science fiction with the bartender — a squirrelly looking but pleasant British fellow who looks as if he’s been playing this moment on loop in his head for a decade, waiting for it to finally come true. ‘I’d have to say the past two seasons of ‘DSN’ [‘Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’] are as good as anything I’ve seen on television,’ he tells Wheaton provocatively. ‘The storyline with the Cardassian war is unparalleled.’ For many former Star Trek actors — Wheaton played Wesley Crusher on ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’, or ‘TNG’ in today’s parlance — I imagine this is the kind of conversation they dread getting sucked into. Out for a quiet afternoon drink when suddenly a nerdy fan-boy wants to talk phasers and Cardassians, the stuff of ‘Galaxy Quest’ parody. But for Wheaton, such a statement can’t go unchallenged. ‘No way!’ he responds with genuine incredulity, jumping to his Chuck Taylor–clad feet to lean over the bar. ‘Better than ‘Battlestar Galactica’?’ Wheaton, you see, is an unabashed geek. “It’s like high school,” he tells me later, “you’re either one of the cool kids or you’re not — and I am definitely not.” [LA Weekly] And Wheaton’s blog is here.

Batman crank calls Wolverine: Actor Hugh Jackman is in the new Baz Luhrmann film ‘Australia’ but Hero Complex readers are likely far more interested in his reprising his clawed mutant role in ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine,’ due in theaters in May. Jackman has been doing press for the Luhrmann epic and dealing with the fallout of being named the ‘sexiest man alive’ by People magazine: ‘George Clooney rang me at two in the morning,’ Jackman told ‘People’ Monday at the ‘Australia’ premiere in New York City. ‘I was half asleep and I said to him, ‘Ah, George sweetie, good to hear from you.’’ But this was not a courtesy call. ‘He goes, ‘Shut up, Jackman!’’ the Aussie actor jokingly recounted. ‘[He said,] ‘I know what you did! You started this big campaign that’s been going on and [you] took the title away from me.’ I thought that was unnecessary,’ Jackman deadpanned. The Wolverine star has also been getting a ribbing from his friends and family. ‘My old man traveled over with me and we landed in America ... and all of sudden we were stopped at the airport and saw the ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ magazine and everyone is talking about it,’ the actor said. ‘My father found it really uncomfortable. [My dad] said to me, ‘I can’t really talk to you about being sexy. It’s a little weird,’’ Jackman recalled. ‘Mind you, I’m still waiting for the birds and the bees pitch from him. That hasn’t happened either!’’ [People ]... More from Jackman: Here’s video from an MTV News interview with the Aussie actor that suggests that a second ‘Wolverine’ film would likely take the hero into the character’s history with samurai and ninja. “The most intriguing thing to me was the Japan story. I love the Japan story,” Jackman says. “I wanted to do the Japan story from around ‘X-Men 2.’ Can you just picture Wolverine in Japan with the triads and the samurai? It’s just genius.”

Seeking ‘Asylum’: The new video game ‘Batman: Arkham Asylum’ isn’t due until sometime next year but, of course, when it comes to the fanboy audience there’s no such thing as ‘too early’ when it comes to a promotional campaign. Here’s a preview below showing the atmosphere of Gotham (rainy) and the vibe of Arkham (unhygienic). The most famous looney bin in comics comes off like an HMO version of ‘Hostel’ or perhaps a Transylvania revamp of ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.’ Anyway, the game will feature a considerable connection to the great ‘Batman: The Animated Series,’ as Mark Hamill again handles the lunatic laughs of the Joker, Kevin Conroy gives voices to Gotham’s stolid manhunter and Paul Dini contributes his considerable expertise to the game story. Killer Croc and the Riddler are among the villains expected to be in the game, and here’s a guess that there will be many, many more.

-- Geoff Boucher

Harry Potter and ‘Batman & Robin’ photos courtesy of Warner Bros.

Here’s that day-by-day programming info for ABC Family’s Harry Potter fest:

Friday, Dec. 5
(7:30 – 11:00 PM ET/PT) “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”

Saturday, Dec. 6
(1:30 – 5:00 PM ET/PT) “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”

(5:00 – 9:00 PM ET/PT) “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”

(9:00 PM – 12:00 AM MIDNIGHT ET/PT) “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”

Sunday, Dec. 7
(12:30 – 4:30 PM ET/PT) “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”

(4:30 – 7:30 PM ET/PT) “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”

(7:30 – 11:00 PM ET/PT) “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” – *Special Extended Version World Television Premiere