Producer Brian Grazer said last week at the Golden Globes that he and director Ron Howard had made their decision on who they wanted to play the lead on their ambitiously massive adaptation of The Dark Tower. Grazer had also said we'd be finding out who that is in about a week and he wasn't lying.
The two leading candidates reportedly headlining the wishlist of top Hollywood talent for The Dark Tower included Javier Bardem and Viggo Mortensen, two very talented and bankable leads, and it was in fact, one of these two leads that got the offer. Hint: He just got nominated for an Oscar!
While earlier today, the media frenzy was jumping on that man being Christian Bale, Deadline has the exclusive update that Oscar winner and second-time-nominee Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men) has received the official offer from Universal Pictures. Negotiations have not yet begun however, for a contract that would include a trilogy of feature films as well as a TV series to bridge the gaps between each movie.
Bardem will be playing The Dark Tower's main character, the infamous gunslinger Roland Deschain, a role he is undoubtedly perfectly suited for - assuming his hairstyle is vastly different than that of his No Country for Old Men character...
The 7-novel Dark Tower series is described as Stephen King’s Magnum Opus and takes place in a magically twisted variant of the Old West. The scope of the film, along with its fantastical elements, draw comparisons to Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy, even from Howard and co. themselves.
Researching, planning and conceptualizing how to appropriately adapt Dark Tower intro three full feature films and a TV series has taken over Ron Howard's life in recent times and it's only going to get more demanding now that he has chosen the star and moves another step closer into production to get the first film ready for release in the summer of 2013. From Howard before the turn of the New Year:
“We’ve been meeting and talking and I’ve been reading and researching and just kind of living with it. I’ve been constantly going through stuff and I’ve just been re-listening to it [on audio books] on my iPod and we’ve been sending e-mails back and forth, ‘What about this approach? What do you think of this idea?’ We’re finding the shape of it. We’re moving quickly now, as quickly as we can, and I feel challenged in the most exciting ways.”
The project is unquestionably exciting and the legion of Stephen King fans are waiting anxiously to see if this Howard and friends can do this literature justice. They've certainly made a great selection in Bardem as their dual-wielding, quick-drawing hero, and what great timing with his well-deserved second Oscar nomination being announced yesterday!
The Dark Tower begins with the first film currently scheduled to release May 17, 2013.