Shalom, Harry Potter, More fantasy hero news, A Jewish romantic triangle

Shalom, Harry Potter

Opening Friday, July 15 is the final film in the Harry Potter film series: “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.” The epic finale pits the forces of good wizardry, led by Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), versus the followers of evil wizardry, led by Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) and his minions, including the malevolent Lucius Malfoy (Jason Isaacs). Take out the wizardry part, and the plot is reminiscent of many biblical stories. So, I guess it’s appropriate that two Jewish actors are on the respective sides.

Radcliffe, who will turn 22 on July 23, is the son of a Protestant father and a Jewish mother. While he is secular, he also says that he is “very proud to be Jewish.” He’s not proud of having a problem with alcohol and he recently said that he quit drinking entirely about a year ago. His problem never was reported in any media outlet, so Radcliffe’s revelation came as news, and it was a genuine case of a celeb talking about his problem in the hope that others with substance abuse issues would follow his example.

I’m not sure that Radcliffe, who is quite short, will maintain his “super A-list” actor status now that the “Potter” series is ending. More likely, he’ll have a Dustin Hoffman–like career of a mixture of leading and character roles. In any event, he has an estimated personal worth of $25M and a modest lifestyle — so he’ll be “fine.”

On the other hand, Isaacs has emerged, at age 48, as an almost superstar actor in the U.K. with his starring role in “Case Histories,” a super popular BBC miniseries about a soulful private detective that aired in Britain in June. Last month, the Observer, a highly respected British paper, wrote: “Isaacs has won his promotion to officially approved national lust object.” There is speculation that his NBC series, “Awake,” set to start in January 2012, may make him an American star. The pilot has been praised as engrossing and very smart. TV pundits wonder, however, whether “Awake” is too complex and intellectual for broadcast TV audiences.


More fantasy hero news


Berkeley-based novelist and screenwriter Michael Chabon, 48, and his wife, mystery novelist and essayist Ayelet Waldman, 46, are writing a musical, “The Brooklyn Superhero Supply Company.” It’s about a real-life nonprofit organization, 826NYC, which runs volunteer-staffed education programs for kids. It helps support itself by selling superhero costumes at a Brooklyn store. (826 Valencia, which sells pirate-related material, is the San Francisco “branch” of this organization.)

Chabon and Waldman also are working on an HBO pilot called “Hobgoblin,” about a group of con-men and magicians who use their skills to battle Hitler. Darren Aronofsky (“Black Swan”) is directing. And last month, Chabon signed to write a script for a Disney film. Called “Magic Kingdom,” it’s about a family having an adventure at the original Disneyland in California. “Iron Man” director Jon Favreau, 44, is set to direct.


A Jewish romantic triangle


In May, actress Lisa Edelstein, 44, said that she won’t return to the hit Fox TV series “House” for its eighth season. Edelstein has been praised for her performance as Dr. Lisa Cuddy, a sexy, smart, Jewish hospital administrator and is a favorite of “House” fans. Despite all this, she was offered a new contract that would cut her pay and diminish her role. She decided to leave.

Edelstein will guest star in at least three episodes of “The Good Wife,” the hit CBS lawyer show, next season. She’ll play a woman who tries to rekindle a long-ago romance with lead character Will Gardener (Josh Charles, 39). This upsets Alicia Florek (Julianna Margulies, 45), who also is involved with Gardener. Charles, by the way, just toured Israel as a guest of El Al Airlines.

Nate Bloom

Nate Bloom writes the "Celebrity Jews" column for J.