Wyle hopes ‘Librarian’ franchise continues

By Rick Bentley

Noah Wyle has had to prepare himself for what could be the end of a popular television franchise. No, it’s not “ER.” Although the actor is going back to appear in a few more episodes, he knows the NBC series is coming to an end.

He’s not so certain about his “Librarian” cable-movie series. TNT is promoting “The Librarian: The Curse of the Judas Chalice” (8 p.m. Sunday) as the third and, if you believe the TNT promotions department, final adventure for Wyle’s character of Flynn Carsen.

“I hope it is not the last,” Wyle says during a telephone interview. “I think saying it is the last movie was more of a marketing decision.”

Wyle, who served as an executive producer on the television movies that also have included “The Librarian: Quest for the Spear” (2004) and “The Librarian: Return to King Solomon’s Mines” (2006), always had it in the back of his mind if the cable series built enough fan support it would continue on the big screen. There also has been talk the franchise could become a weekly series.

“The Librarian” is a little bit of “Indiana Jones” with a touch of “Romancing the Stone” and a dash of “National Treasure.” By day, Flynn is the master of the Dewey Decimal system. But when his expertise is needed in the field, he becomes a world-traveling seeker of ancient artifacts.

The world traveling was a little closer to home this time. A tight budget was the culprit. The lack of money ended up not being as bad as Wyle feared. It forced everyone to be more creative with location, which was how they hit upon the idea of the search for the Judas Chalice, the one thing that can bring back a notorious vampire.

Louisiana became the primary film location. Wyle liked that between the city’s heavy religious influences and the nocturnal subculture, New Orleans provided a rich place to tell an adventure story.

“The city is phenomenal,” Wyle says. “This was my first trip to New Orleans and I had a tremendous time.”

Not only did the city provide the perfect background for the film, it was a chance for the production company to inject some money into the Louisiana economy. Most of the areas outside the city are still trying to rebound from the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

While most of the filming was in the city, Wyle and members of the cast and crew ventured into some of the badly damaged areas. What he saw left him with the feeling there is still a long struggle ahead.

But Wyle has faith in the people of Louisiana.

“I think what impressed me about the state was the people. They all had horrific stories. And yet they had a sense of hope and professionalism that was incredible,” Wyle says.

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