HARRY POTTER SET, BACK IN BUSINESS: After a serious on-set injury, British health and safety officials have cleared the way for work to continue on "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" near Watford, England, according to the BBC: "The Harry Potter film set in Hertfordshire, where a stuntman was badly injured in an accident last month, has been allowed to reopen. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) cordoned off the area but has agreed it can be used again, a spokesman said. David Holmes, from Leigh-on-Sea in Essex, a stunt double for star Daniel Radcliffe, remains in hospital with a serious back injury. ‘We carried out a site visit and the set has now reopened,’ the HSE said. It is understood Mr. Holmes was practising an aerial sequence at the Leavesden Studios, near Watford, when he was injured on 28 January. He is now receiving treatment at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, in Stanmore, north-west London, which counts treatment for acute spinal injuries among its specialities. A spokeswoman for the production team said filming on ‘Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows’ would begin later this month as planned." [BBC]
KENNETH BRANAGH, HAMMER TIME: MTV had a quick chat with Marvel publisher Joe Quesada, who recounted a meeting with "Thor" director Kenneth Branagh at which Marvel Studios exec Kevin Feige and prolific Marvel scribe Brian Michael Bendis were in the room as well: “’We spent seven or eight hours with Kenneth where he meticulously took us through the beats of the ‘Thor’ movie. … We just sat there, and it was almost like he acted out the entire movie.’ As Quesada and Bendis shared with fans via Twitter last week, the pair had no shortage of compliments for Branagh’s willingness to get to know the Marvel universe. ‘You just thought, ‘Wow. This guy has immersed himself in the Marvel culture — not just in Thor — but in the Marvel universe in general,’ said Quesada. ‘He knew a lot of stuff — some things that I didn’t even know. He was reciting Thor stuff from the past, continuity events, quotes from different books, little bits and pieces from stories that he really found fascinating — whether they were old [Jack] Kirby and [Stan] Lee stories or [Walter] Simonson stories or modern stuff that we’re doing,’ continued Quesada. ‘He really got it.’ [MTV’s Splash Page blog]
BY CROM, PUT ME DOWN!: Bad economic times also push desperate people into a life of crime. How else can you explain the shocking events at Graham Crackers Comics in Naperville, Ill., which has been hit more than once by inventory raiders. The latest theft: A copy of "Conan the Barbarian" No. 1. Police reporter Bill Bird has the facts, just the facts: "A written police report indicated the tape showed four heavyset white women moving about the store in a group. All appeared to be between the ages of 25 and 40, and wore black trench coats and other black clothing, the report read in part. One of the women opened an unlocked case where the comic book and figurines were being displayed, according to the report. Members of the group hid the items inside their clothing and walked out of the store, apparently while employees were busy attending to customers, the report stated. Hoffman said the figurines included one of The Incredible Hulk, a Women of the DC Universe Huntress bust, a Women of the DC Universe Batwoman bust, a Batman black-and-white Ethan Van Sciver and a Super Friend Batman. The comic book was valued at $690 and the figurines had a collective value of $560, for a total estimated loss of $1,250, Hoffman said." [Naperville Sun]
CHRISTIAN BALE ON "FAMILY GUY": Oh, could there possibly be a single iota of humor left in the Christian Bale on-set rant? Why yes, yes there is, thanks to Seth McFarlane and company at "Family Guy." Check it out right here. Warning: explicit language.
— Geoff Boucher