Heath Ledger, ‘Watchmen,’ Tin Tin and Jonah Hex, all in Everyday Hero headlines

Jan. 13, 2009 | 12:10 a.m.

Heathjoker330 HEATH LEDGER WINS A GOLDEN GLOBE: I went to the Golden Globes last night and contributed to the Los Angeles Times team coverage (we go all out for Hollywood trophy shows, too much in fact) and I got to say hello to Christopher Nolan as he crossed the banquet hall during one of the early commerical breaks. (The Globes are by far the best award show to cover; it’s dinner seating, all the stars are liquored up and you can walk over and talk to anyone, which is why I got to interview Bruce Springsteen and Tom Hanks in the span of 10 minutes last night.) Not long after I spoke to Nolan, the late Heath Ledger won for his performance in "The Dark Knight." Here’s what my colleague John Horn wrote about it, as well as the surprise victory for "Slumdog Millionaire" as best picture: "If ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ provided the most joyous moments at the 66th annual award show, Ledger’s posthumous win for supporting actor offered its most poignant. Ledger died last January from an overdose of prescription medications, before ‘The Dark Knight’ was released and became the second-highest-grossing movie in Hollywood, trailing only ‘Titanic.’ ‘The Dark Knight’ was the actor’s last completed film role. ‘I for one will start to be able to look less at the gap in the future and the incredible place Heath made for himself with his talent and with his dedication,’ Chris Nolan, the film’s director and co-writer, said in accepting Ledger’s award for his haunting performance as the Joker." [Los Angeles Times] To see all the awards won to date by Ledger’s performance, check out this story in the Hollywood Reporter.

Frank_quitely_jonah_hex_2HORTON HEARS A "HEX": There was a story in the trades a few days ago about yet another change in the lurching effort to make a film adaptation of Jonah Hex, the grim, disfigured DC Comics western antihero. The movie has the great Josh Brolin locked in as the star but everything else seems to change every few months. The latest new face in the process is an animation specialist looking to saddle up with a live-action, six-shooter tale: "Jimmy Hayward, who directed the animated ‘Horton Hears a Who!,’ will make his live-action debut with ‘Jonah Hex,’ the Warner Bros. western based on the DC Comics character. Josh Brolin is attached to star in the film, which previously had Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor (‘Crank’) on board as directors. The duo, who also wrote the script, bowed out over creative differences in November. The studio, which hopes to put the movie into production in March or April, went on a fast-track search, putting together a short list that included such names as Andy Fickman and McG before narrowing it down to Hayward. The character of Hex, known for having the right side of his face disfigured and wearing a Confederate army uniform, was a rough-and-tumble gunslinger and part-time bounty hunter whose adventures always ended in blood. One incarnation of his comic book series saw the Western genre combined with supernatural elements, and it’s this aspect that was featured in Neveldine and Taylor’s script. The studio will likely keep the script, though it’s expected that Hayward will put his stamp on it." [Hollywood Reporter]

MORE "WATCHMEN" TO WATCH: Here’s a television promo for the March release…

Tin_tinIS TINTIN GAY?: Journalist and former politican Matthew Parris is quite the firebrand figure in England and his latest essay might ruffle some feathers of fans of the classic "Tintin" comics, which are soon to be adapted into a film: "Billions of blue blistering barnacles, isn’t it staring us in the face? Sometimes a thing’s so obvious it’s hard to see where the debate could start. What debate can there be when the evidence is so overwhelmingly one-way? A callow, androgynous blonde-quiffed youth in funny trousers and a scarf moving into the country mansion of his best friend, a middle-aged sailor? A sweet-faced lad devoted to a fluffy white toy terrier, whose other closest pals are an inseparable couple of detectives in bowler hats, and whose only serious female friend is an opera diva… And you’re telling me Tintin isn’t gay? And Liberace was a red-blooded heterosexual…But really, what next? Lawrence of Arabia a ladies’ man? Richard the Lionheart straight? And I suppose the Village People were a band of off-duty police officers, "YMCA" was a song about youth-hostelling, and Noddy and Big Ears are just good friends. But I’d better make the case because, astonishingly (and though when I googled “Tintin” and “gay” I got 526,000 references), there are still Tintin aficionados who remain in denial about this. Last year, as part of my BBC radio ‘Great Lives‘ series, my guest, the international photojournalist Nick Danziger (who had nominated the life of Tintin), and my expert Tintinologist, Michael Farr (author of ‘Tintin: The Complete Companion‘ and numerous other Tintin-related works), stunned me by not only denying hotly that their hero could have been gay, but even insisting that the thought had never occurred to them. Don’t you find, though, that it’s often the people closest to someone who never tumble to it?" [Times of London]

Batman_in_tv_magazineON THIS DATE: The ABC series “Batman” premiered on this day in 1966 with the episode “Hi Diddle Riddle,” featuring Frank Gorshin as the Riddler and, in a unforgettable moment of farce, Adam West dancing the Batusi. If lore is to be believed, the show was inspired in part by the hooting crowd reactions to vintage Batman serials that were screened at the Playboy Club in Chicago (we all know what a comics and movie fan Hugh Hefner is) and its pop-art camp sensibility was a direct result of executive producer (and uncredited narrator) William Dozier’s deep disdain for comic books. To celebrate this milestone in television history, let’s punch people today and make our own zany sound effects. To see some video from the show, go to the end of this post…

The birth of the Batusi…

Was there anything better than the rope-climbing scenes? Here Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder meet Green Hornet and Kato (the latter, of course, played by the late Bruce Lee)…

And citizen Jerry Lewis…

And citizen Sammy Davis Jr

And citizen Dick Clark (the rare person who didn’t recognize them)

And citizen Lurch, from"The Addams Family"

And a creepy Santa Claus

Holy never-ending post, Batman! I’ve got to get back to my day job, thanks for reading.

— Geoff Boucher

CREDITS: Jonah Hex art by Frank Quitely courtesy of DC Comics.  Heath Ledger photo by Associated Press and Warner Bros.


One Response to Heath Ledger, ‘Watchmen,’ Tin Tin and Jonah Hex, all in Everyday Hero headlines

  1. Craig Ranapia says:

    Um… I have enormous respect for Matthew Parris — despite being a former Conservative MP, his columns avoid partisan hackery but are often very funny — but Tintin gay? Wow… so the case for the prosecution is that a character in a cartoon written for children is "androgynous" (what do gay people look like, Matt?) and lives alone with a middle-aged sailor and a dog (let's not even go there). Even the best columnists scrape the bottom of the inspiration barrel from time to time, but this is a doozy.

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