Deadline reported last night that Javier Bardem is “closing” a deal with director Ron Howard and producer Brian Grazer to star as Roland Deschain in Howard’s massive cross-platform adaptation of Stephen King‘s The Dark Tower.
The No Country for Old Men Oscar-winner was offered the role officially by Howard (who has been very publicly pursuing him for the role for quite some time) in January, rising above other contenders like Viggo Mortensen (who has probably had his share of epic film roles that take years to complete). Now it seems he’s on the verge of becoming King’s legendary gunslinger, who travels across hundreds of miles and between dimensions in an effort to save the fabled Dark Tower, the nexus of King’s fictional universe.
If he takes the role, Bardem is signing on for one of the most ambitious projects ever, an adaptation of a 7-book series into a trilogy of films bridged by two limited TV series runs. Howard will direct both the first film and the first season of television (at least), and Academy Award winner Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind) is signed on to write the first film and the first season. King himself will co-produced.
This is the kind of project that just makes you sit back, fold your arms and wonder if they can actually pull it off. It’s like watching a guy in a tank of water trying to escape from chains. It seems insurmountable. The creative team is sound, a host of film industry titans, and Bardem himself is among the most versatile and commanding actors in a generation, so there’s a good chance this could not only happen, but produce greatness. Howard hopes to start production on this behemoth in the fall. Let’s see if he can get this off the ground, and if Bardem can bring King’s Arthurian hero to life.