ALL THOSE years of speculating who was going to play Wonder Woman - everyone from Sarah Michelle Gellar to Beyonce - and who does Warner Bros. choose?
The Israel-born actress will portray the toughest chick wearing gold bracelets in the studio's superhero team-up film with Batman (Ben Affleck) and Superman (Henry Cavill), Warner announced yesterday.
Created in the 1940s and outfitted in patriotic colors, Wonder Woman was most famously played by Lynda Carter in the 1970s TV series.
Her inclusion in the film brings it closer to a full gathering of DC Comics' Justice League, which also features the Flash, Aquaman and others.
Gal is a former model who competed for Israel in the 2004 Miss Universe pageant. She has starred in several of the "Fast & Furious" films.
"Wonder Woman is arguably one of the most powerful female characters of all time and a fan favorite in the DC universe," director Zac Snyder said in a statement. "Not only is Gal an amazing actress, but she also has that magical quality that makes her perfect for the role."
Three early season best pictures and they're all different.
Following the Gotham Independent Awards choosing "Inside Llewyn Davis" as the year's best movie and the New York Film Critics Circle naming "American Hustle" best film, the National Board of Review named the futuristic romance "Her" its best and Spike Jonze best director in its annual awards.
None of the films have opened yet in Philadelphia.
Alexander Payne's father-son road trip, "Nebraska," took two acting awards: Bruce Dern, for best actor, and co-star Will Forte, for best supporting actor.
Emma Thompson was awarded best actress for "Saving Mr. Banks." Best supporting actress went to Octavia Spencer for "Fruitvale Station."
The board also cited Michael B. Jordan, of "Fruitvale Station," as breakthrough performance of the year, and director Ryan Coogler for best directorial debut.
Purported Oscar faves "12 Years a Slave" and "American Hustle" were each shut out by the NBRs. "Gravity" won an award for creative innovation in filmmaking.
Norman Rockwell has always held a strange position in American art circles. Many Americans love his images depicting scenes from a romanticized, old-fashioned America. Many critics see him as little more than a clever illustrator.
Well, Sotheby's sold one of those "illustrations," "Saying Grace," at a New York City auction for a record $46 million.
Sotheby's says it's the highest price ever paid at auction for an American painting. The buyer wasn't disclosed.
The painting had a presale estimate of $15 million to $20 million. In 2006, Sotheby's sold Rockwell's "Breaking Home Ties" for more than $15 million, then a record.
"Saying Grace" depicts a crowded restaurant with a grandmother and grandson bowed in prayer at their table.
Another Rockwell painting, "The Gossips," sold yesterday for just under $8.5 million, while "Walking to Church" fetched a little more than $3.2 million.
Rockwell was paid $3,500 for "Saying Grace." It appeared on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post's Thanksgiving issue in 1951 and was voted Post readers' favorite cover in a 1955 poll.
The trio, along with four other Rockwell works, were being sold by the family of Kenneth Stuart, Rockwell's longtime art director at the magazine. The sale comes years after a legal fight among Stuart's three sons. Rockwell and Stuart worked together at the magazine for 18 years.
* Tattle's sharp 24/7 colleague Molly Eichel blogged yesterday that Lafayette Hill's Terrence Howard ("The Best Man Holiday") has wed a Canadian woman named Miranda.
According to radaronline.com, the couple had been dating for just a month.
This is Terrence's fourth walk down the aisle, and the marriages haven't all ended, ahem, blissfully. Philadelphia magazine's Victor Fiorillo documented the actor's local accusations of assault over the summer.
* MSNBC host Martin Bashir resigned from the network yesterday, nearly three weeks after making graphic remarks on air about former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
In an email, Bashir expressed hope that the network could move beyond the distraction of what he called "my ill-judged comments."
Last month, Bashir had suggested that someone defecate in Palin's mouth because of a statement she made comparing the United States' indebtedness to China with slavery.
He apologized days later, trying to explain that one difference between slavery and debt was that some slaves actually had masters defecate in their mouths, but controversy continued to rage.
Given MSNBC's problems with Bashir and Alec Baldwin, perhaps it should try to find a host who doesn't actually speak.
* Puerto Rican police have issued more than 100 tickets to drivers who organized a caravan to honor "Fast & Furious" actor Paul Walker and created massive traffic jams across the island's capital.
Walker had traveled to Puerto Rico in mid-2010 to film the movie's fifth installment in San Juan and nearby areas.
Police traffic coordinator Jorge Hernandez told reporters that officers issued at least 72 speeding tickets and detained six people suspected of drunk driving.
Ah, what better way to honor a car-crash victim than with a caravan of drunken drivers speeding.
- Daily News wire services
contributed to this report.