What a long, winding road to The Dark Tower. For several years, a live-action adaptation of the Stephen King books has alternated between development and cancellation.
However, fans of the story - which centers on the gun-toting protagonist Roland Deschain - have recently had reason to allow their hopes to take flight once more. Sony has reportedly been moving forward with a new script by Akiva Goldsman and Jeff Pinkner, and now we have an update on who will likely direct the film.
Deadline is reporting that Nikolaj Arcel is poised to enter talks to secure a deal to direct The Dark Tower film and oversee a rewrite of the current script. Sony and Media Rights Capital will co-finance the film; it is is heavily based on 1982 release "The Gunslinger", the first book of the series, and is naturally expected to launch a franchise. A companion television series - which has long been discussed as part of the plan - is also in development by MRC.
Arcel co-wrote the original Swedish version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo before going on to co-write and direct Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal) and Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina) in the Oscar-nominated Danish film A Royal Affair. Both projects put a lot of emphasis on art direction and a very specific sense of style, which would lend itself well to the bleak yet fantastical world of The Dark Tower. (This also accounts for Arcel being linked to direct a Fables comic book movie adaptation, in the past.)
There's no word just yet on who Sony may have in mind for the role of Deschain, though nailing down a lead is definitely the next order of business - if the studio hopes to actually get the project in front of cameras, this time around.
Javier Bardem was long attached to the project, though it's anyone's guess if he remains a viable option. Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul was previously approached for a key supporting role in the film, but perhaps he's a viable candidate to play Dechain instead. Imagine Entertainment’s Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Erica Huggins as well as King himself are all still onboard as producers, so it's possible that both of these previously-reported candidates are still being considered.
Fans of The Dark Tower may have reason to be optimistic about the film's bright future at the moment, but one wouldn't blame any that choose hold off on celebrating until production actually begins. Just in case.
Stay tuned to Screen Rant for updates on The Dark Tower as this story develops.