Hollywood to make a list of top 100 heroes and villains
Film Group to List Heroes, Villains
Nov 12, 4:15 PM (ET)
By ANTHONY BREZNICAN
LOS ANGELES (AP) - The American Film Institute is trying to separate the good from the bad, announcing plans Tuesday for a new top-100 list that will rank the top screen heroes and villains.
Voters can choose among 400 nominated characters from American film history and decide which should be considered wicked or virtuous.
That may seem easy when considering Kevin Spacey's serial killer from "Seven" or the pure-hearted pig from "Babe" - but voters may have a tougher time when categorizing nominees such as Robert De Niro's loner vigilante Travis Bickle from "Taxi Driver."
"It gets trickier as the characters become more complicated," said Bob Gazzale, producer of the planned CBS special in June that will reveal the final list of 50 good guys and 50 bad guys. "We're asking people not only to determine who is the greatest, but also decide if they're good or bad."
The institute is sending ballots to nearly 1,500 directors, actors, studio executives, critics and others involved in the entertainment industry.
Real-life astronaut Jim Lovell, played by Tom Hanks in "Apollo 13," is up for consideration, along with Malcolm X, as performed by Denzel Washington in Spike Lee's biopic of the civil rights leader.
Some characters are nominated en masse, such as the zombies from 1968's "Night of the Living Dead" and "The Wild Bunch" cowboys from director Sam Peckinpah's 1969 western.
Arnold Schwarzenegger's killer robot is nominated twice, once for the attacking character he played in 1984's original "The Terminator," and again for 1991's "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," in which the android he played was a protector.
Previous AFI lists included the 100 best American films, led by "Citizen Kane," and the 100 funniest movies, with "Some Like It Hot" at No. 1.
Jean Picker Firstenberg, the institute's director, said the contests are designed to "excite Americans to see movies they haven't seen for a while or see movies they've never seen."