Javier Bardem is having a week he won’t be forgetting any time soon. He was nominated for an Oscar for his performance as a terminally ill street hustler in Biutiful, Penelope Cruz just gave birth to their son, and now the actor has been offered the lead role in The Dark Tower, an adaptation of Stephen King’s epic book series to be directed by Ron Howard.
I’m told that Bardem has officially been offered the lead role by director Ron Howard and Universal Pictures. While formal negotiations haven’t yet begun, there’s a high level of enthusiasm internally that they’ve got their cowboy.
Howard plans at this point to direct the initial film as well as the TV component that will create a bridge to the second feature. The plan calls for the original actors to headline the TV version as well. The second film will pick up where the first left off. That would be followed by a TV installment that would be a prequel that introduces Deschain as a young man. The third film brings back the original cast once again and complete the screen trilogy. So if Bardem closes a deal, he’ll likely appear in all three films and that first TV stint.
The Dark Tower follows a gunslinger called Roland Deschain who is the last living member of a knightly order of gunslingers, and humanity’s last hope to save a civilization that will fall unless he finds the Dark Tower. Ron Howard says he sees the trilogy as their answer to the Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Ring trilogy, with an old West setting instead of Middle Earth.
What do fans of the book series think of this casting? Can Bardem lead the franchise through a trilogy and TV show?