Can Russell Crowe Sway Warner Bros. Into Greenlighting ‘The Dark Tower’?

Published 3 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:27 pm,

Russell Crowe The Dark Tower Can Russell Crowe Sway Warner Bros. Into Greenlighting The Dark Tower?

We’ve been covering news about the long-in-development adaptation of The Dark Tower for over three years. The project really started to earn buzz when in September of 2010, Ron Howard and Universal Pictures outlined their ambitious plans to adapt the Stephen King series of novels into a trilogy of films and two seasons of television, all of which would maintain the same production values and principal cast.

Javier Bardem landed the lead role of Roland Deschain, the last living gunslinger and protagonist of the series, early last year, and since then development on The Dark Tower has been on a downward slope. Universal Pictures canceled The Dark Tower a year ago, but hopes were rekindled when Warner Bros. stepped up and began considering starting production on the project in early 2013.

Since then, Howard teased positive news, and now we may finally have some very soon. According to the latest report from Deadline, Warner Bros. will be making their decision on whether or not to tackle The Dark Tower franchise within the next two weeks – based on the latest script from Oscar winning screenwriter Akiva Goldsman - and if they do, it’ll be with a different leading man. Bardem is out and replacing him may be Oscar winner Russell Crowe who Warner Bros. is actively chatting with for the part.

Ron Howard gives Dark Tower details 570x313 Can Russell Crowe Sway Warner Bros. Into Greenlighting The Dark Tower?

Crowe comes with experience in the Western genre, having starred opposite Christian Bale in 3:10 to Yuma and is a proven leading man, both in terms of acting chops and from a studio perspective, box office bankability. The timing couldn’t be better for Warner Bros. considering they already working with Crowe on next year’s Man of Steel where the New Zealander will play Superman’s Kryptonian father, Jor-El. The year following, Crowe will again step into the spotlight as the titular biblical figure in Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.

Warner Bros. has just lost their two biggest money-making franchises in Harry Potter and more recently, Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, now that The Dark Knight Rises is in theaters. With so many question marks surrounding their next “big thing” in DC Entertainment after Green Lantern failed and with Man of Steel an uncertainty, they’re attempting to make up for it by stretching out The Hobbit by converting it into a trilogy with Peter Jackson.

With the success of The Lord of the Rings, the surefire success of The Hobbit will endure, The Dark Tower could give them another tentpole franchise, one that will earn unique attention thanks to its TV elements that could find a home on HBO where another fantasy period epic in Game of Thrones is highly successful.

the dark tower Can Russell Crowe Sway Warner Bros. Into Greenlighting The Dark Tower?

Director Ron Howard, who’s spearheading The Dark Tower adaptation, previously worked with Crowe on A Beautiful Mind and Cinderella Man, both films of which were nominated for various Oscars (winning four, in the case of A Beautiful Mind). Crowe would make for a great leading man for the series and he may offer the push Warner Bros. needs to show some confidence in King’s series and Howard’s ability to adapt it with the help of Akiva Goldsman and producer Brian Grazer.


Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Source: Deadline

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  1. ‘New Zealander’, yeah till he was about 4 years old…

  2. Hope this happens, Crowe would be awesome

  3. ohhhh, now that would be an excellent choice for the role.

    Time to step up WB, take that Batman cash and reinvest it in this.

  4. I’ll buy that for a Dollar.

  5. I really wanted to see Russell Crowe in this role from the start and was disappointed when they cast Bardem, talented an actor as he is. I so hope this happens!

  6. oh dark tower movie, you teasing little tart you. I’ll believe it when i see it.

  7. Russell Crowe as Roland is the worst idea…I think it needs to be more of an unknown actor. I know studios want a big name but I just don’t see Crowe as Roland at all. I love the dark tower series and would be really upset to see this happen, if they’re going to do it, do it right.
    Just my opinion. And it’s nothing against Crowe as an actor.

    • I respectfully disagree. I think you NEED to have a big name, talented actor like Russell Crowe to make this work across both film and television or people with think it’s just another Stephen King slasher type film. Sure, you can use no-names for Eddie, Susannah and Jake, but Roland NEEDS to be the biggest presence on the screen. Crowe has the chops to pull off an amazing Roland. Personally, I always though Viggo Mortensen would have made an amazing Roland, but Russell is also a fantastic choice. I really hope this happens!!

      • I agree, I have been saying Viggo Mortensen for awhile now, but I will say that Russel Crowe would work better than Javier Bardem. Nothing against JB, he’s an amazing actor, but I just don’t see him as Roland.

      • Big name talent also means a bigger salary, which over the course of project like this could mean more money spent on one person that could be used elsewhere. They can get someone who is talented, and well-known enough to play the role properly if they think outside the box. The fact this is a Stephen King story should inform their decision about who they get more than worrying about trying to force the issue and make this another cash grab franchise.

        Aside from Mortensen I think Josh Brolin could play the part well. Timothy Olyphant or Anson Mount already play similar roles, but are committed to televisions projects already. Availability is also going to be another major factor if they do this project the way they want to. Someone is going to have to be able to dedicate a few years to this project.

    • It can’t work with an “unknown” actor – the project is risky enough that they canceled it once already, even with Bardem as the lead.

    • I agree 100%. Couldn’t say it better.

  8. This would’ve been great casting… 10 years ago. Don’t get me wrong – Crowe is great – but Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood showed me that Crowe is too old to play this kind of character anymore.

    • That’s just the thing though. The Roland of the actual Dark Tower books is an older, gristled veteran of many a battle. I think Crowe could work out nicely in this role. Now whether or not the story as a whole is just too big for any solid translation to the screen…that’s another matter entirely.

  9. Movie smells like a big box office disaster to me !
    Cowboys and Fantasy..??? Really ???
    I can’t see the masses walking into that,really no !

    For my self,I am interested and probably it could be one of those great movies that become a classic in my watch collection !

  10. Clint Eastwood minus about 10 or 15 years…perfect.

  11. If they can get Crowe then this finally gets off the ground once and for all.
    Russell turned down the role of Aragorn in Lord Of The Rings because the
    filming schedule conflicted with A Beautiful Mind directed by Ron Howard.
    I think Crowe would make a fantastic Roland and timing is right this time.

  12. These are the kind of decisions that make being at the top unenviable. The project really needs a satisfying first part to hold an audience and make them seek out the TV portions. However from a storytelling point of view it’s difficult to do this. How do you make the movie more than simply “The first act” in the story? Can the source be adapted into that? How far out does the TV portions take the story? Will it take a year to tell, two? Will people get sick of it by the TV runs end? And say that things go well through the TV part, will the cast be able to hold it together to come back for the second movie?

    It’s an ambitious gamble that if successful could enable other sweeping stories be adapted and that’s a problem too. What do opening these doors to this model of storytelling portend for the industry? No one can imagine deciding to back a big truck full of money up to a bottomless pit and just dumping it in. That almost sounds like what the artists though are asking the studio to do. Now try making that decision yearly. Even once every couple of years sounds a little much…

    • First off doing an adaption of anything Stephen King is always difficult just due to how dense his writing style is. I have to catch up (and probably re-read most of the series) on the Dark Tower because it has been so long between books that I it is not fresh in my mind anymore. The one thing I do know is that this story is even more ambitious than the Stand, and trying to make a film out of that has been hard to say the least. The formula that they want to go with for this will require patience on both the studio and the audiences part, and we all know that is in very short supply with both groups.

      People have short attention spans and the studio doesn’t make long term investment hoping something will pay off down the line. The fact some are talking about this like it’s supposed to be the next “big franchise” may not bode well for this project since it could not be the cash generator they want or think it should be, which would just mean the story getting cut short or rushed through at a point. Whoever ends up doing this better have a Lord of the Rings/Hobbit type production and finance plan first and foremost and really try and get the project done before the money people get scared.

  13. After I read the whole series, I sat and thought about who would be perfect to play the last gunslinger, and Crowe never once crossed my mind. I do agree that whoever plays the role needs to be a bigger name, especially since the first book is a little uneventful when compared to the other six; the first one is going to need someone that can keep audiences in their seats and ready for the journey into the doors in the sequel. I do like Crowe a lot better than Bardem, that’s for sure, but these constant reports of when the movie will be made and who will be doing it needs to stop already and get on with production…. the next two weeks you say? Yeah, we’ll see about that one. Won’t hold my breath. I personally don’t think this movie will ever happen, even though I want it to sooooo badly. It’s too big for anyone to tackle in my opinion.

  14. I read the first 3 novels thus far and loved them, I would love to see a film adaptation of “The Dark Tower”. It has enough content to cover a plethora of films.

  15. Clint Eastwood… hands down, when Roland wakes up on the beach he is super old (pain in hip anyone?) Also Roland is tall and lanky and let’s be honest – Russell Crowe is too short and fat.

    • Have you looked at Russell Crowe lately? Fat he definitely isn’t and, at 5ft-11in, he may not exactly be ‘lanky’, but he’s not short either.

    • Eastwood would have been perfect for the role say 25 years ago but not today. It’s too bad CGI hasn’t advanced quite far enough yet to have a 45 year old version of Eastwood at our disposal (that day will come though ;) )

  16. I think Russ is past his use by date for this. I have a left of field suggestion though. For some reason when reading the books again recently I pictured Josh Holloway as the gunslinger. He has the right look and potentially may have the acting chops to pull it off. His brief scene in Ghost Protocol showed there was more depth there than just playing Sawyer.

    • I think that may have something to do with playing the Black Rider on Community though. ;-)

    • I could see him playing the part. Who knows, if negotiations with Crowe fall through he might be on the short list.

  17. Michael Biehn would make a good Roland I think. I don’t care for the tv/movie format though. They made eight Harry Potters, why not make eight Dark Towers? Or HBO could do the whole series. If a crappy series like game of thrones can be successful then surely a dark tower series would.

  18. Actually, after watching the Walking Dead I can really picture Andrew Lincoln as Roland. I bet they may have tried that if he wasn’t all tied up with Walking Dead right now.

  19. Vigo Mortenson or Timothy Olyphant would be my choices. Roland is a slim tough, leathered character described as strikingly similar to Clint Eastwood in the novels. Crowe is too husky to physically match up to that description. Right attitude, but Mortenson and Olyphant have all the character essentials PLUS they look right.

  20. I really wish they wouldn’t choose actors that are well known. I want to see Roland on screen, not Russell Crowe playing Roland. I don’t know if I’ll watch the show if they choose someone like him. No disrespect towards him at all, he is a fabulous actor. My heart is attached to those books and that would ruin it for me…

  21. Christian Bale would make a way better gunslinger! Hugh Jackman as well. Russell Crowe has a baby face (don’t get me wrong, I LOVE all movies he plays in and is an insanely talented actor), and Roland is depicted as tall and slender. Definitely someone with higher cheekbones at least.

  22. Andrew Lincoln is the only actor able to play Roland!

    • Since Clint Eastwood is to old, and can not age backwards and lose 40 years, first to come to mind is Mortensen (perfect for the role), but he lives in Argentina, and he is not that interested in big budget films. Maybe it could be Bale( but he looks to young, and Linkoln(i think that is his name) from WalkingD, not so famous but good actor. And Crow could play Walter/Martin… that would be cool

    • Hehehe Carl Urban… he is not bad but does not have the edge…

      • I would go with “Andrew Lincoln”

        He would be perfect

        I wish HBO would pick up a tv series of The Dark Tower