Will Hollywood's new champions be able to triumph over the lure of cheaper digital entertainment? Hard times create heroes. This is especially true in the movie business, which has been sinking since 2005 when young audiences found XBox and YouTube cheaper and more entertaining forms of escapism. So here come the superheroes to save Hollywood, which has been running out of fresh ideas and has been recently recycling Asian horror flicks to draw those young moviegoers who have a very short attention span. High on the movie-going list for local viewers is The Dark Knight, a sequel to the 2005 Batman Begins. The movie, to be released this summer, is a high-profile superhero flick for a sad reason: Australian actor Heath Ledger (Brokeback Mountain) plays The Joker, in the last movie filmed before his death. With Christian Bale reprising his role as Batman and Christopher Nolan remaining at the helm as director, the movie - boasting a new Batman armoury and a new Batcycle - is likely to be the box-office winner this summer. Fans of Robert Downey Jr, who has delivered some of the best performances by a Hollywood actor in his two recent movies Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Zodiac, will be delighted to learn that this reformed Hollywood bad boy is playing Tony Stark, the lead in Iron Man. Stark is the billionaire scientist who dons jet-powered armour to save the world. According to a USA Today report, director Jon Favreau chose Downey for the role because of the actor's former substance addiction and excessive lifestyle. 'He had to find an inner balance to overcome obstacles that went far beyond his career. That's Tony Stark,' Favreau said. In fact, Favreau could have chosen almost anyone: no man can survive in Hollywood without, at least occasionally, being iron-hearted. The Iron Man is set to be released in May. Another superhero movie that will be screened soon is The Incredible Hulk, due for release this summer. It is the sequel to Ang Lee's 2003 Hulk. The filmmakers said the new movie was a reboot of the franchise as Lee's version is considered too dull to be popcorn entertainment. The new Hulk movie stars Edward Norton, who co-wrote the script, as the title hero and Tim Roth as the super-villain The Abomination. Liv Tyler, the ethereal actress from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, plays Hulk's love interest Betty Ross. In the comic series, Ross is turned into a green bird that breathes fire. It would be fun if we could see Tyler's head attached to the body of a big bird. Let's see if the new batch of superhero movies can help turn the tide for Hollywood.