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Rebecca Romjin to Star in ‘The Librarians’ on TNT

At the TNT/TBS Upfront presentation for the 2014-15 television season, model-turned-actress Rebecca Romijn promoted The Librarians. This is a ten-episode show set in the world of The Librarian trilogy of telefilms starring Noah Wyle (E.R.), Bob Newhart (The Bob Newhart Show, Newhart), Jane Curtin (Saturday Night Live, Kate & Allie, 3rd Rock from the Sun), and Olympia Dukakis (Moonstruck).

Noah Wyle, Christian Kane, and Rebecca Romijn speak onstage at the TBS / TNT Upfront 2014 at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on May 14, 2014 in New York City to promote THE LIBRARIANS.
Noah Wyle, Christian Kane, and Rebecca Romijn speak onstage at the TBS / TNT Upfront 2014 at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on May 14, 2014 in New York City to promote THE LIBRARIANS.
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Turner
Rebecca Romijn, star of T.N.T.’s new series THE LIBRARIANS, at the 2014 T.B.S. T.N.T. Upfront presentation at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Turner Entertainment Networks, Inc. A Time Warner Company

David N. Titcher wrote the telefilms, which Dean Devlin produced for TNT. Devlin wrote the screenplay for Universal Soldier (1992).

With Roland Emmerich, he wrote and produced Stargate (1994), Independence Day (1996), Godzilla (1998), and The Patriot (2000). He met his beautiful wife, Lisa Brenner, on the set of The Patriot.

The underlying premise of The Librarian films is that the Library of Alexandria still exists as an organization and its collections are kept in a secret section of a fictional version of the New York Public Library called the Metropolitan Public Library, and not only is it a repository of ancient books, but also sacred and magical objects, including The Ark of the Covenant, Pandora’s Box, and Excalibur, as well as prototypes for cutting-edge technologies, such as a working jetpack and Tesla’s Death Ray. The emphasis in the telefilms was on the supernatural.

In The Librarian: Quest for the Spear (2004) Noah Wyle plays Flynn Carsen, a perpetual student with twenty-two degrees. His despairing mother, Margie Carsen (Olympia Dukakis) tries to set him up on a date with Debra, played by (Lisa Brenner), but things do not go well.

After a strange interview at the Metropolitan Public Library with Charlene (Jane Curtin), a bureaucrat, and Judson (Bob Newhart), the head librarian, Flynn is offered the job of being the Librarian. They are more interested in his esoteric knowledge than in his having memorized the Dewey Decimal System.

In that first telefilm, they introduce Flynn to the secret collections and reveal the Serpent Brotherhood murdered his predecessor, Edward Wilde (Kyle MacLachlan), and stole part of the Spear of Destiny.[1] If they can steal the other two parts hidden at other secure places in the world, their leader will be able to conquer the Earth.

As the Librarian, Flynn Carsen must retrieve the piece stolen from the Library and secure the other two pieces. His only guide clue to the other two pieces of the Spear of Destiny is a book in an untranslated ancient language, called the Language of Birds, which he is able to translate in a matter of hours.

Sonya Walger, who would go on to play the recurring character of Penelope “Penny” Widmore on Lost (2004-2010) and Olivia Benford in Flashforward (2009-2010), played Nicole Noone, the Librarian’s bodyguard. Nicole is Wilde’s grieving lover, and Flynn’s love interest, though she resists becoming friendly with him and initially seems way out of his league. She rescues Flynn when the Serpent Brotherhood attacks him on an airplane.

Flynn proves his book-learning has practical benefits when he finds the two other pieces of the Spear of Destiny in a Mayan temple and Shangri-La and Nicole, but the Serpent Brotherhood kidnaps Nicole. Flynn strikes a bargain for her life with their leader. The archvillain’s comely assistant Lana (Kelly Hu) comically longs for Flynn.

Flynn prevails with the help of Nicole and, improbably, Judson, in what must be Bob Newhart’s first fight scene. The film ends with a scene at a café where Margie displays skepticism about Nicole’s existence until Nicole arrives on a motorcycle to retrieve Flynn to fight the Death Scorpion Cult, which has stolen the Time Machine of H.G. Wells, an actual time machine, not the book The Time Machine.

In the sequels, Flynn faces new enemies and develops new love interests. In The Librarian: Return to King Solomon’s Mines (2006) Flynn learns from Judson that the wealth in King Solomon’s Mines mean nothing compared to the power of a sacred text hidden within that will allow the reader to control space and time.[2]

Robert Foxworth (Falcon Crest, Six Feet Under) played “Uncle” Jerry, a rich friend of Flynn’s mother and late father, who recounts the story of how Flynn’s father courted his mother at Flynn’s birthday party. Gabrielle Anwar (Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken, Scent of a Woman, The Three Musketeers) plays Emily Davenport, an archeologist with even more degrees than Flynn whom he meets in Morocco and accompanies him to Kenya. She becomes his new love interest, but parts ways with him in the end to pursue her search for evidence of the Queen of Sheba.

The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice (2008) opens with Flynn purchasing a Ming vase at a London auction house and breaking it to retrieve the Philosopher’s Stone, hidden within. He gets into a swordfight with a villain who failed to outbid him at the auction.

Vacationing in New Orleans, Flynn meets lounge singer Simone Renoir, played by Stana Katic (Quantum of Solace, The Spirit) who went on to co-star in Castle. She is a vampiress who lured him to New Orleans through his dreams.

Determined to kill the vampire who ended her life, she helped monks hide the Judas Chalice, which Judson explains is the vampire mockery of the Holy Grail made from the thirty pieces of silver Judas was paid for betraying Christ.[3] Simone shows Flynn a painting from the Crusades that shows the Librarian of that era, Yahuda, whom Flynn thinks looks suspiciously like Judson.

Together, Flynn and Simone must battle former K.G.B. agents who, nostalgic for the Soviet Union, want to use the Judas Chalice to resurrect Dracula and build an army of undead legions. The Russians kidnapped Professor Lazlo, played by Bruce Davison (X-Men), a historian and expert on vampires.

The new television series will follow four new employees of the Library who live on site. Rebecca Romijn, best known as a Sports Illustrated and Victoria’s Secret model and for playing Mystique in the X-Men films, will play counter-terrorism expert Eve Baird. This role tracks with her career as an actress thus far and seems akin to the Nicole Noone character from the first telefilm.

Christian Kane (Angel, Leverage) will play Jake Stone, an oil worker from Oklahoma with genius-level intellect and an encyclopedic knowledge of art history. The other two team members will be played by Lindy Booth (The Philanthropist) and John Kim (The Pacific).

John Larroquette (Night Court, The John Larroquette Show) will play their caretaker, Jenkins. Matt Frewer (Max Headroom, Doctor Doctor, The Stand, Falling Skies) will play an immortal leader of the Serpent Brotherhood named Dulaque.

Michael Ausiello reports, “Wyle, who’s currently starring in TNT’s Falling Skies (which returns with its fourth season this June), will recur in the series and serve as an exec producer. Joining Wyle are franchise vets Bob Newhart and Jane Curtin, who will reprise their respective roles as Judson and Charlene.”

Television network executives host the events, which are attended by advertisers and the press. They announce their fall schedules and show clips of new shows that will be part of the fall lineup or mid-season replacements (for cancelled shows or reality/game shows that have short seasons).

Typically, the executives show clips of the new shows and introduce the stars of the new shows. These upfront presentations give television critics insight into which shows they might want to encourage the public to see (or discourage the public from seeing).

However, the events are chiefly for the benefit of advertisers. They can decide which new shows they want to sponsor before the pilots air.

[1] This is a reference to a historic artifact, the spear the centurion Longinus used to pierce the side of Christ when He was crucified. In real life, St. Peter’s Basilica; the Imperial Treasury of the Hofburg Palace (the former winter residence of the Habsburgs and the current residence of the presidents of Austria) in Vienna; and a museum at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, the seat of the Catholicos of All Armenians (the head of the Armenian Apostolic Church), all claim to have the Spear of Longinus. Trevor Ravenscroft claimed in his book The Spear of Destiny that Adolf Hitler stole it from Vienna to gain supernatural power. This story is repeated in the films Hellboy (2004) and Constantine (2005).

[2] Sir Henry Rider Haggard (1856-1925) wrote a best-selling novel called King Solomon’s Mines, published in 1885 and set in Africa, at a time when archeologists were making amazing finds in Egypt and the Near East. This was the first Allen Quartermain novel. Indiana Jones very much comes in the tradition of Quartermain and Flynn Carsen comes in the tradition of Indiana Jones. The character’s first name, Flynn, is also suggestive of Errol Flynn (1909-1959), the Australian movie star who played the dashing leading man in many American action-adventure films, including Captain Blood (1935), The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936), and The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938).

[3] As in the previous films, the hero’s quest is to recover an object alluding to the Bible, but this was the first time the object in question was wholly fictional. This is not the first work of popular fiction to tie vampires to Judas Iscariot, and nor is Dracula 2000 (2000).

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