A busy Monday edition of Everyday Hero, your roundup of handpicked headlines from the fanboy universe…
A storybook ending for "Fables"?: Writer Bill Willingham has done a sparkling job these past six years on the Vertigo comic book series "Fables," which presents the Big Bad Wolf, Snow White, Jack Horner and other "legends in exile" being part of a sort of storybook diaspora — the secret community of magical peoples living in New York City. It’s got a dash of "Shrek" to it, I suppose, but really it reminds me more of Neil Gaiman’s tales of assorted gods from different cultures struggling to live with one another in the unmagically modern and secular world. Anyway, it’s a great series and now perhaps it will be a TV show. There’s an announcement story in the trades today by Nellie Andreeva and Borys Kit saying that ABC might be bringing the refugees of Fabletown to life: "The network has handed out a put pilot commitment to the fantasy project, based on the comic book created by Bill Willingham and published by DC’s Vertigo imprint. ‘Six Degrees’ creators/executive producers Stu Zicherman and Raven Metzner are penning the script for the hourlong drama set at Warner Bros. TV. David Semel has come on board to direct "Fables," which revolves around characters from fairy tales and folklore living in exile in modern-day New York. ‘Their lives become interconnected in very big way,’ Zicherman said. ‘They share a secret and a bond.’ Zicherman and Metzner wouldn’t elaborate which fairy tale characters will be featured in the TV series but noted that Big Bad Wolf and Snow White, who are central to the comics, will have a similar role on the show. The comic book series’ first storyline followed Fabletown’s sheriff, a reformed and pardoned Big Bad Wolf, who investigates the murder of Snow White’s party-girl sister, Rose Red. ‘We set up a structure to allow any fairy tale character to show up in any one episode,’ Metzner said. The fairy tale characters will keep some of their trademark characteristics. For instance, Prince Charming will be handsome, while Big Bad Wolf will have to shave a four-day shadow from growing back every day." [Hollywood Reporter]
Batman at home: Reporter Scott Bowles visited with "The Dark Knight" director Christopher Nolan to talk about the DVD and Blu Ray release this Tuesday, and it doesn’t sound like there was much laying around the Batcave in the way of extras: "There are features on the staging of the film’s elaborate stunts, alternate angles and a segment on the technology behind Batman’s gadgets, but not a single deleted scene or outtake from [Heath] Ledger’s performance. Nolan says he wasn’t keeping deleted scenes from fans. "For my past three films, I really haven’t had scenes that didn’t make it in the movie," he says. ‘If it’s in the final script, I tend put it on screen.’ Any outtakes, however, were intentionally left off the DVD. ‘I don’t like outtakes or gag reels,’ Nolan says. ‘I don’t think it’s respectful to the actors, who signed on to have their performance on screen, not the takes that didn’t work out. It discourages actors from going all-out if they think every mistake is going on the disc.’ Nolan says he is jotting notes and doing some rough outlines for a third story, but he hasn’t yet found anything he’s willing to commit to film, despite Warner Bros.’ eagerness to get a new film underway. ‘It was obvious when the box office was so big ($530 million domestically) that we had underestimated how ready fans were to reboot the franchise,’ he says. ‘The worst thing you could do now that you’ve gotten the plane back in the air is mess up the landing.’ Bowles also had Nolan talk about four of his favorite scenes in "Dark Knight." [USA TODAY]
Heath Ledger honored: More "Dark Knight" news as the late Heath Ledger picks up a major honor in the country of his birth: "Ledger’s family paid a teary tribute to the Aussie actor in accepting an AFI award on behalf of his ‘precious Matilda.’ Ledger was posthumously given the Australian Film Institute’s international award for best actor for his virtuoso performance as The Joker in ‘The Dark Knight.’ ‘It was this swaggering, psychopathic clown that turned his career into a legacy and the name Heath Ledger into an ongoing inspiration to actors everywhere,’ the AFI said at the glittering awards ceremony on Saturday night. ‘He was the untamed spirit many of us wish we could be. May the legend live on.’ His father Kim, mother Sally and sister Kate accepted the award from actor Michael Caton, receiving a standing ovation from the A-list film and television crowd in Melbourne’s Princess Theatre. ‘It’s been without a doubt the most difficult year, losing such a loved family member,’ said Kate Ledger, fighting back tears. ‘We are so proud of him and humbly accept this award on behalf of his beautiful daughter, who we will cherish forever.’ [ABC News]
Gift shopping? Think big: Reviewer Douglas Wolk weighs in on a heavy new collection that might not even fit down the chimney: "If there’s one book that art-comics enthusiasts would be happiest to find in their stockings this year, it’s probably ‘Kramers Ergot 7‘ [Buenaventura, $125], except for the small matter that it’s bigger than an entire hearth. This is one of the grandest English-language comics artifacts ever produced — a mammoth hardcover anthology, 16 by 21 inches, of new stories by several dozen notable cartoonists, including Daniel Clowes, Seth, Gabrielle Bell, Kevin Huizenga, Sammy Harkham (who also edited the book) and the ‘Simpsons’ creator Matt Groening. Like the early-20th-century broadsheet newspaper comics pages that inspired it, ‘Kramers Ergot’ occupies its readers’ entire visual field, and most of its contributors have some fun with its dimensions, cramming the page with tiny details or opening it up for apocalyptically huge vistas. The cleverest gesture comes from Chris Ware, whose two-page contribution is built around a cartoon of a sleeping baby printed at the child’s actual size." Wolk, the author of "Reading Comics: How Graphic Novels Work and What They Mean," goes on to recommend other comics tomes for the holiday, including "Absolute Ronin," "Swallow Me Whole" and "Herbie, Vol. 1" [New York Times Sunday Book Review]
The dark side of "Twilight": It’s been a great month for "Twilight" director Catherine Hardwicke; what could possibly ruin it? Oh, wait…this weekend Nikki Finke broke the news that the filmmaker won’t be back to continue the tale of Edward and Bella: "I’ve confirmed that Summit Entertainment has rejected ‘Twilight’ director Catherine Hardwicke from helming the sequel in this big new franchise. No doubt my news will speed up the studio’s announcement, and Summit will surely spin this as all going down amicably along the lines that ‘she couldn’t fit the film into her time frame.’ (Summit does want a ridiculously speeded-up sked for the next installment.) But this terrible news for Hardwicke comes just as she and the ‘Twilight’ cast are on their European press tour. Tuesday’s interviews in France will now focus entirely on what, if anything, Catherine did to deserve this treatment. This also could blow up into a scandal for Summit if it chooses a male director over Hardwicke, whose ‘Twilight’ easily beat Mimi Leder’s 1998 ‘Deep Impact’ box office gross as the biggest opener for a female director. That was a record embraced by Hollywood feminists as a sign of growing gal power." [Deadline Hollywood]
Punishment: Reporter Brandon Gray adds up the numbers on a franchise that, despite plenty of opportunities, just can’t shoot straight: "The weekend’s most prominent new release, ‘Punisher: War Zone’, had a pitiful start, grossing an estimated $4 million on around 2,700 screens at 2,508 theaters. It was the smallest opening ever for a Marvel Comics adaptation by far, even lower than ‘Howard the Duck’, and was a quarter of the previous Punisher movie’s opening in terms of attendance. ‘Punisher: War Zone’ tried to reboot the franchise after the disappointment of ‘The Punisher’ in 2004, like ‘The Incredible Hulk’ versus ‘Hulk’ from 2003, but its marketing campaign was murky and made no attempt to entice those unfamiliar with the character. What’s more, distributor Lionsgate released the similar ‘Transporter 3’ last week, stealing some of its thunder. [Box Office Mojo]
CREDITS: "Fables" art courtesy of Vertigo. Christopher Nolan at Spike TV Scream 2008 Awards, photographed by Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images. Catherine Hardwicke on the set of "Twilight," photographed by Rick Bowmer / Associated Press.