Dean Devlin’s Electric Entertainment banner has set up action adventure pic “The Librarian” at TNT with Noah Wyle playing the title character.
“Around the World in 80 Days” scribe David Titcher wrote the telepic and will co-produce with Electric execs Marc Roskin and Kearie Peak.
Devlin will exec produce and the pic will be directed by Peter Winther, who did second unit directing work on Devlin-produced films “The Patriot” and “Godzilla.”
The pic will air later this year, and the hope is to spawn a series of three films toplined by the “ER” star.
“Dean’s pitch was a refreshing take on the hero story,” TNT senior veep of original programming Michael Wright said. “Instead of a muscle-bound, spandex-clad superman, we get an insecure but brilliant guy who thinks he’s taking a safe job as a librarian, but instead gets taken on a ride in a world we’d like to believe exists.”
The Librarian’s responsibility is a repository of artifacts, which contain magical powers. When an artifact is checked out unexpectedly, the librarian must recover it and he enlists a young female martial arts expert who becomes the muscle in the relationship.
“I actually do get to throw a punch in the last act, but I thought that the chance to be the world’s first cerebral superhero was too good to pass up,” said Wyle, who’ll shoot the film before returning for his 11th season of “ER,” the final doctor rotation under his latest contract extension. Wyle, the “ER” cast member with the longest tenure, doesn’t know if he will be back when that deal expires.
“Alan Alda went 11 seasons with ‘MASH,’ so there seems a certain doctor symmetry there,” he said. “It’ll be a tough job to leave if I decide to do that, because the show has retained its vitality and the money is fantastic. This seemed like a good opportunity because I liked movies Dean has made and he promised me he would be present throughout the shoot and involved in every aspect.”
Devlin, who just produced the David Ellis-directed “Cellular” for New Line, said TNT has an option to make more episodes, with hopes they can become an annual occurrence.
The project is ambitious for television, he said, with 250 special effects shots in the planning. That made Winther an easy choice, said Devlin, who shared second unit directing chores with him on “Independence Day,” the pic directed by Devlin’s former partner, Roland Emmerich.