J.J. Abrams has started filming "Super 8" in West Virginia with Kyle Chandler and Elle Fanning. No one is more overdue for a shot at big-screen stardom than Chandler. For the entire vivid life of the "Friday Night Lights" TV series he has charged the character of a rugged, amiable coach and father with deep-in-the-bone humor and surprising, modulated passion. He and costar Connie Britton as his wife have revived the romance of All-American domesticity.
But does he have the elusive charisma that seems essential to hold the wide (and ever-widening) movie frame? Chandler didn't cast a giant shadow in Peter Jackson's "King Kong" or Peter Berg's "The Kingdom." And for every TV ace who's made the jump, like Steve McQueen and George Clooney, there's been a stumbler like David Caruso, whose bag of tricks proved to be strictly of video proportions.
What do you think the odds are of Chandler making it as a movie star? Who else deserves a chance, and who else has been a disappointment? (I used to love Helen Hunt on "Mad About You," but I usually think she tries too hard in her increasingly infrequent movies, including her Oscar-winning turn in 'As Good As It Gets.")