(Source: moviehole.net)              Was speaking to a casting director friend today, and we got onto the topic of Owen Wilson – that led to a discussion about “The Greatest American Hero” movie, which Wilson’s name has been linked to several times over the years.

“Not anymore”, she said when asked whether the sad clown was still the frontrunner to play Ralph Hinkley in the upcoming film version. “They’re casting it for now – they’re open to an unknown”.

According to my friend-who-should-know, the film is quite different to the original series – not in tone, just in details. It’s still very much a comedy.

She explained that the Ralph Hinkley of the film is “the most popular teacher at school, and has a real way with the kids – notably Josh, who is revealed to be Pam’s (the love interest from the original TV show) son”.

Adversary-wise, there’s your typical superhero villain (though nobody has seen the whole script, so nobody knows who or what it is), but also “Harve Lundy, a fat 35-year-old teacher at the same school as Ralph. His classroom has all the desks and seats at the back of the room and his desk is on a high platform overlooking them.”

Seems if Hinkley doesn’t get a laugh, then they plan for Harve too – he’s an obnoxious, bumbling baffoon by the sounds.

Most interestingly, this ‘Ralph Hinkley’ won’t just inherit the power to fly… he’ll snag a whole range of super-powers….. including the ability to burst into a ball of flames (Johnny Storm) style. These ‘turns’, of course, happen at the most inopportune of times – like the school Open Night that’s featured in the first half of the film.

It all sounds a little “Teen Wolf”, if you ask me (in the scene above, for instance, Ralph starts uncontrollably itching the back of his neck, mid-way thru talking to Pam, and makes a mad dash for the bathroom where he freaks out over what’s happening to him. Sound a little Scott Howard to you, too?) . But then, if they find the next ‘Michael J.Fox’ in these casting calls, that doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing.

“Greatest American Hero” will fly, or flame-up, or morph into whatever, when it hits theaters next year.

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