Heath Ledger, Green Lantern, J.K. Rowling’s ‘Beedle’ all in Everyday Hero headlines


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Here’s the latest edition of Everyday Hero, your roundup of handpicked headlines from the fanboy universe...

The Oscar goes to ... ?: Reporter Rachel Abramowitz of the Los Angeles Times (who also did a great article a few months back on Hollywood’s sad treatment of the heirs of J.R.R. Tolkien) takes a look at the tricky business of campaigning for a posthumous Oscar in a Calendar article on Heath Ledger. ‘How do you run an Oscar campaign for Heath Ledger, the widely admired young actor who died last January of an overdose of prescription drugs? Very carefully, it seems, as Warner Bros., the studio behind ‘The Dark Knight,’ tries to tread the line between tribute and exploitation in rallying academy support for Ledger’s performance as the maniacal, nihilistic Joker.... It is a near-consensus in Hollywood that Ledger is a shoo-in for an Oscar nomination for supporting actor and might even win, which would make the forever young Australian the only actor besides ‘Network’s’ Peter Finch to earn an acting Oscar posthumously. Still, he faces strong competition from other contenders, who could include Philip Seymour Hoffman (‘Doubt’) and Michael Shannon (for his breakout performance in ‘Revolutionary Road’). Already, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences members say that if Ledger is nominated, his spectral presence could help reverse the ratings slide for the Academy Awards show as fans tune in to see if his riveting turn as the demonic Joker is honored.’ [Los Angeles Times] .... ALSO Read my recent interview with Christopher Nolan in which he talks about an Oscar for Ledger.


Super cameo in ‘Green Lantern’?: Screenwriter Marc Guggenheim talked to Jennifer Vineland about the Green Lantern screenplay he is working on with Michael Green and the film’s director, Greg Berlanti. He explains that the core story is locked in and now they are working on streamlining it with an eye on budget matters (such as limiting the number of locations). He also said that during their fanboy tangents they chew on topics such as cameo appearances for other DC heroes: ‘And while there’s already a lot of speculation over who would play Green Lantern -- Ryan Gosling? Matthew Settle? David Boreanaz? -- what about Clark Kent, who will make a small cameo? Will the part go to someone already established on film or television to be the Man of Steel, like Brandon Routh or Tom Welling? ‘There were rumors that Tom Welling would have a cameo in ‘Batman Begins’ as a young Clark Kent, to meet up with a young Bruce Wayne,’ Guggenheim noted. ‘But you have to be careful when you do things like that, because it sounds great in concept, but when you sit down to watch it, it poses the danger of pulling you out of the film.’ But as a self-proclaimed ‘sucker for a good Easter egg,’ Guggenheim said, ‘The fanboy in me would love that. Robert Downey, Jr. in ‘The Hulk’ was awesome. I love that stuff in general, and I think the fans would enjoy it. Brandon Routh or even Tom Welling [in ‘Green Lantern’] would be awesome. And anything is possible. The beauty part of being the writer, though, is that I don’t actually have to make that judgment call.’ ‘ [Splash Page blog at MTV]

Beedlemania!: The boy wizard may be gone, but the magic endures. Here’s a report from Ben Hoyle in the U.K.: ‘A year and a half on from his seventh and final adventure, Harry Potter mania has erupted again. J.K. Rowling’s latest book ‘The Tales of Beedle the Bard’ went on sale early this morning, forcing thousands of parents out of bed and into frostbitten queues outside bookshops long before dawn. Booksellers said that the collection of fairytales, which do not feature the boy wizard, was bound to be the Christmas number one, the first time that a work of fiction has claimed that position in recent memory. More than seven million copies of the book have been printed in 28 languages. Last night it was ranked first on Amazon’s British and US websites. The online retailer is printing 100,000 copies of a leather-bound collectors’ edition priced at £50. While her previous books have made her an estimated fortune of more than £500 million, Rowling has donated all the profits from ‘The Tales’ to the Children’s High Level Group, the charity she set up with Emma Nicholson, the MEP. ‘The Tales’ are a central part of the final Harry Potter book. Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts, bequeathed a volume containing five wizard fairytales to Harry’s friend, Hermione Granger. It offered clues to help Harry to defeat his great enemy, Lord Voldemort.’ [The Times of London]

She blinded me with science: Here’s a fun one. During her channel surfing, Mary McNamara, the TV critic for the Los Angeles Times, has noticed a lot of lab coats lately: ‘In the beginning, there was the Professor. Though he never could figure out how to repair the S.S. Minnow, Russell Johnson’s high school science teacher, stranded with the other castaways on ‘Gilligan’s Island,’ was so ingenious he could re-charge a battery using only bamboo and coconuts, so morbidly cerebral it never occurred to him that he was the most likely mate for Ginger and Mary Ann. Now, there’s Walter Bishop (John Noble), a psychiatrically challenged scientist so ingenious he can take a few wires, some ice cubes and a big battery and talk to the dead on Fox’s ‘Fringe.’ Or Dr. Jacob Hood (Rufus Sewell), who’s too busy deconstructing experiments in cloning and mind manipulation at the ‘Eleventh Hour’ (CBS) to notice that the agent protecting him (Marley Shelton) is pretty hot. Over at ‘Bones,’ also on Fox, it’s the same situation in reverse -- Dr. Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel) would rather be performing her miraculous autopsies on the ancient dead but reluctantly solves more modern crimes with the emotionally irrepressible Det. Booth (David Boreanaz). Flip through prime time on any night, and along with the requisite numbers of cops and docs and lawyers you’ll find an astonishing number of scientists. On CBS alone, there are the adorable physics geeks (played by Johnny Galecki and Jim Parsons) of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ and Charles Epps (David Krumholtz), the mathematician turned detective of ‘Numb3rs,’ and the former fake psychic (Simon Baker) of ‘The Mentalist,’ who uses the power of informed observation to unravel mysteries. More than 40 years after the Professor talked Gilligan out of some ridiculous scrape or another while rigging up an irrigation system, rational thought has taken over television.’ Read the rest, it’s clever and well-written. [Los Angeles Times]

-- Geoff Boucher