Back in January, it was reported that actor Javier Bardem had been offered the lead role in Ron Howard’s ambitious three film/TV series adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. While not much was heard after that, Howard’s producing partner Brian Grazer recently offered an update on Bardem’s involvement:
“Javier Bardem, that’s what we’re hoping. We’re in the process of trying to put that together. He’s locked in psychologically. He really wants to do it, so we’re absolutely rooting for him to do it.”
So it looks like Bardem’s keen to take the role on, and he’s currently in the negotiating phase. This could take a while, given that if he signs on it will likely be for three films and one “season” of the TV series. The adaptation is being spread out over three feature films, with two TV “seasons” bridging the gap between each film. In the interview with MTV, Grazer also revealed that the first story they’re exploring is The Gunslinger, which is the first book in King’s Dark Tower series. Hit the jump for more on The Dark Tower.
Ron Howard is signed on to direct the first film of The Dark Tower series, with presumably an option to return for the following two films if he wishes to do so. Screenwriter Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind) is writing the script for all three films as well as the two “seasons” of the TV series.
Following the first Dark Tower film, the story will continue on television for a string of episodes that will serve as a prequel, showing the lead character of Deschain as a young man. The second film will pick up where the first leaves off, with the story continuing in the next “season” of the television series, then concluding with the third and final film. If Bardem signs on, it will be for all three films and the second, non-prequel “season” of the TV series.
The project is one of the more ambitious in film history, and will require a massive time commitment from its cast. It’s understandable that Bardem is taking his time in negotiations, making sure he’s free to work on other projects in between (how much he’ll be paid is also presumably a big sticking point). Goldman is currently working on the script, so hopefully Howard can sign Bardem and then round out the rest of his cast rather quickly in order to get production going later this year.
In the story, Roland Deschain is the last living member of a knightly order known as gunslingers and the last of the line of “Arthur Eld”, his world’s analogue of King Arthur. The world he lives in is quite different from our own, yet it bears striking similarities to it. Politically organized along the lines of a feudal society, it shares technological and social characteristics with the American Old West but is also magical. While the magical aspects are largely gone from Mid-World, some vestiges of them remain, along with the relics of a highly advanced, but long vanished, society. Roland’s quest is to find the Dark Tower, a fabled building said to be the nexus of all universes. Roland’s world is said to have “moved on”, and indeed it appears to be coming apart at the seams as mighty nations have been torn apart by war, entire cities and regions vanish without a trace and time does not flow in an orderly fashion. Even the Sun sometimes rises in the north and sets in the east. As the series opens, Roland’s motives, goals and age are unclear, though later installments shed light on these mysteries. [Wikipedia]