'Inkheart' movie series begins

Movie: "Inkheart"

When: Opening Friday at local theaters

Cast: Brendan Fraser, Paul Bettany, Helen Mirren, Andy Serkis, Jim Broadbent

Director: Iain Softley

The story: The daughter of a globe-trotting bookbinder discovers that her father has the power to bring book characters to life, a talent that led to the disappearance of her mother -- and the appearance of three characters from a book called "Inkheart."

The buzz: The search for the next "Harry Potter"-style fantasy franchise continues. "The Golden Compass" and "The Spiderwick Chronicles" fell short. But the picture looks brighter for this adaptation; author Cornelia Funke reportedly based "Inkheart's" bookbinder hero on franchise favorite Fraser ("The Mummy" and sequels), so we can expect to feel as though he has stepped from the pages of the book. And scripts for the next two books in the "Inkworld" series, "Inkspell" and "Inkdeath," are in the works.