Javier Bardem or Viggo Mortensen To Lead ‘The Dark Tower’ Franchise?

Published 4 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:27 pm,

In what is looking like one of the coveted roles in Hollywood, the search is now on for who will lead the movie and TV adaptation of Stephen King’s monumental book series, The Dark Tower.

Director Ron Howard and producer Brian Grazer have already mentioned a few names as possibilities to lead The Dark Tower, including Viggo Mortensen, Daniel Craig, Hugh Jackman and Jon Hamm (who is also rumored to play Superman in the upcoming reboot). However, there are fresh rumors now floating around of a new candidate being thrown into the mix.

According to sources over at NY Post, The Dark Tower adaptation has set off a “casting frenzy” in Hollywood for the lead role of Roland Deschain. Reportedly the top contender for the sought-after role is Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men), with Mortensen as “a close second.” There’s no mention of whether or not the aforementioned Craig, Jackman or Hamm still have a shot, but I imagine the list of wannabes is pretty long.

I find it interesting that Bardem is the frontrunner for the lead role and not Mortensen. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that Bardem isn’t suited to the role or couldn’t pull it off if: his Oscar-winning performance as the chilling Anton Chigurh in No Country for Old Men – itself a sort of modern day Western – is proof enough that he can embody at least some of the characteristics that Deschain possesses in the books (he is described as often being detached or unsympathetic).

the dark tower Javier Bardem or Viggo Mortensen To Lead The Dark Tower Franchise?

However, in my opinion Mortensen seems best suited to the role. I can totally see him in character as Deschain, mixing darkness with a strong sense of heroism. He also has experience with epic fantasy in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Westerns in Appaloosa and Young Guns II, and with dystopian survival tales in The Road.

Mortensen has also been the number one choice for the role on The Dark Tower fansites and blogs everywhere – should Hollywood listen to fans on this particular occasion?

Viggo Mortensen might lead The Dark Tower Javier Bardem or Viggo Mortensen To Lead The Dark Tower Franchise?

Viggo Mortensen in 'Appaloosa'

Whomever Howard, Grazer and Co. end up choosing as the lead, they are going to have an insane amount of work ahead of them since not only is The Dark Tower being turned into a movie but also a simultaneous TV series. The plan is to start with a movie, then jump to a season of the TV show, then back to a second movie, then a second season of the show and finally to round things off with a third movie. That’s a helluva task they’ve set themselves but I think many Dark Tower fans would agree the books deserve that sort of unprecedented treatment.

One interesting thing to note in the NY Post‘s article is that the TV series will supposedly be about Deschain as a younger man – does this mean that whoever plays the character in the movies WON’T play him in the TV series? I personally would rather things be kept consistent across both mediums, but it’s understandable that they would want to mine King’s rich and vivid fantasy world for as much material as they can use. So long as both the Dark Tower movie and TV show turn out well, one medium could inevitably feed the other. I will be interesting to see how the audience responds.

the dark tower stephen king movie Javier Bardem or Viggo Mortensen To Lead The Dark Tower Franchise?

Luckily the man directing the adaptation, Ron Howard, seems enthused and very motivated about it all; Howard recently revealed that he “can’t stop thinking” about how to make it work. If nothing else, it’s good having the adaptation in the hands of a filmmaker who is extremely passionate about The Dark Tower source material, as opposed to a random director chosen for convenience and budget’s sake.

While we wait to hear who is ultimately cast as Deschain in The Dark Tower, let the speculation and discussion begin! Leave your personal choice for the role in the comments below.

Source: NY Post

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  1. Viggo for sure, if not daniel day lewis would make a wicked roland

  2. Everyone is concerned with Roland’s part, which if it goes to Bardem or Viggo or Pearce would not be bad. I am more concerned with Ron Howard directing and in how many parts they can do this if it’s doable.
    I personally think the best way to go with this franchise would be the Harry Potter way. Do 7 movies. What Peter Jackson did was amazing with the LOTR but these are 7 books. Maybe different directors. Frank Darabont should get an opportunity. Actually, Darabont should be the top candidate at directing this.

    • The problem in my eyes is and always will be Jake. If they do it in 7 movies then they will have to change Jake 3-4 times because he doesn’t age. Another problem I have is that the first book. Although a little dry and boring in parts, was good but not enough to keep everybody’s interests. For us avid readers and overall fans of the series, we will like the first movie. Everybody has to admit though, this series didn’t start getting really interesting until the second book. Then you are stuck going WTF just happened? I think If they combined the 1st and the second book, with all the flashbacks coming in the series, it will be awesome.
      The last key factor to this series is the fact that he is writing another part that goes in between 4-5. What is this going to bring to the table. Maybe the full story of the battle of Jericho Hill? I am certain it will have to do with the lost time in between the two books. So really in truly, It will be great to see this as a series/movies. That way it appeases not only the general public but the real critics, the loyal reader.

      • I agree that Jake is the problem with them making the dark tower movies. especially since he isn’t even in the second book.

  3. You mentioned Young Guns II over Hidalgo? lol

  4. Who should play Eddie Dean?

    I like Jim Sturgess, Jake Gyllenahall.

  5. And Detta/Odetta?

  6. Or Christian Bale for Eddie

  7. This should be a no brainer, Mortenson is absolutely the perfect fit for the role.

  8. i just saw this, sure hope its true!!


  9. If anyone at Universal is listening, the Holy Grail is this: Daniel Day Lewis as Roland! He would take it to that next level…

  10. As a fellow lover of the Dark Tower. As I read these books I fantasized about these stories as films. I have to be honest and strongly urge the casting of Roland be the honor of Viggo Mortensen. Viggo has more than proven himself, not only worthy, but passionate as a charismatic actor who could best pull off this performance. I don’t see anyone else in the running being able to do justice to this character. I see Viggo with the hat both on and off and his eyes of intensity. If only Eastwood was a little younger.

  11. When I was first reading the books 15 years ago, I thought Clint Eastwood, but now he’s too old. Ron Howard was on Stern this week, and after Stern asked who the lead is going to, Ron Howard said that mortensen and bardem were candidates, but there were many others. He assumes that the reason there names are out there are because of their publicists. So I’m not sure either one is a top contender.

    I have never been more excited for a new movie!!!

  12. robert duvall for cort

  13. bardem is MUCH better than VM. This project needs to be distanced from lord of the rings.
    3 movies with a miniseries in between is just… perfect. Couldn’t ask for anything more. And no, bardem will not be in the tv series, will be a younger Roland.
    Guy Pearce would also be better than VM, and as for Hugh Jackman.. Are you effing joking!!! That would be a travesty.

    The main problem I see howard as having is how he is going to manage the trade off between the dark R rated version us fans want and the more mainstream friendly version that will be needed to pay for this huge undertaking.

    I was dissapointed it would be howard, but am becoming more and more confident of him doing it justice every day!

  14. If it’s one of the two, it would be Mortensen since he has blue eyes ;-)

    And how cool would it be if Wizard and Glass (+ the parts of his childhood in The Gunslinger) will be the television show… and then of course they would need another actor, since Roland is supposed to be quite old in the main story but only 14/15 in the flashbacks… In any case, it is GREAT that someone tries to make this awesome story into a movie

  15. Ok so i dont think bardem is a cowboy he just dosent have ,,the look” sure viggo was in lotr,,but he has blue eyes and bardem has a cinda large head…never tought Roland as him…cant picture him in cowboy boots….