Noah Wyle turns bookworm in "The Librarian"

March 27, 2008 6:15:48 PM PDT
Noah Wyle, best known as Dr. John Carter on NBC's "ER," says he enjoys playing bookworm-turned-superhero in "The Librarian: The Curse of the Judas Chalice." "After having played serious drama for so long, I needed to scratch the itch of versatility," Wyle said this week during a break from filming.

Set in New Orleans, it's the third installment of TNT's series of films in which Wyle portrays mild-mannered Flynn Carsen, who helps care for some of humanity's greatest treasures hidden beneath New York's vast metropolitan library.

Wyle and co-stars Bruce Davison ("X-Men" and "Knight Rider") and Stana Katic ("Feast of Love") have visited sections of the city where levees broke during Hurricane Katrina. Wyle didn't have to look far, however, for his share of Katrina stories.

"I don't think there's a member of the crew that doesn't have a Katrina story that's tragic in nature and yet their professionalism, their work ethic, their senses of humor all are marvelously intact," he said. "I think it says a lot about the people here."

Katrina was in large part the reason Wyle - who serves as one of the film's producers - and executive producer Dean Devlin decided to set the film in New Orleans. They wanted to contribute to the recovering city's economy.

Besides New Orleans remains a unique, scenic place to shoot a movie, Wyle said.

Scenes were filmed from the nearby Barataria swamp and plantation homes, as well as Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop - the French Quarter spot built before 1772 that is thought to have been a base of operations for the pirate and Battle of New Orleans hero Jean Lafitte.

In the film, Wyle's character attempts to take a break from his job at the library with a trip to New Orleans but soon is battling vampires and Russian thugs trying to get their hands on the Judas Chalice, which possesses special powers.

As in the previous "Librarian" films - "The Librarian: Quest for the Spear," which aired in 2004, and 2006's "The Librarian: Return to King Solomon's Mines" - the message is that "you can be a superhero with your biggest muscle being your brain," Wyle said.

Wyle, 36, and company will film in New Orleans through the end of the month. The movie is expected to air this winter, though a date has not been set.