Javier Bardem Close to a Deal to Star in THE DARK TOWER

     April 6, 2011


We are going to track every damn step of Javier Bardem’s road to portray Roland Deschain in Universal’s adaptation of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series.  Under considerationOffered the role.  Producer Brian Grazer even created a new stage: “locked in psychologically“  (whatever that means).  Tonight, Deadline reports Bardem is “close to sealing his deal.”  Director Ron Howard is confident in his commitment, and has initiated meetings with other actors to build up a supporting cast around Bardem.

Universal is launching both a feature film trilogy and two seasons of a television based on The Dark Tower mythology, which introduces several layers of complexity to the negotiation.  The contract signs Bardem for the first film and one season of television with options on the two movie sequels to score his highest salary to date.  Hit the jump for a synopsis of the Dark Tower series.

Every time I read/write about this project, I get excited about the sheer ambition all over again.  As a geek for continuity and structure, I love that they’re locking Bardem in for the television series.  The plan is that each season of television will bridge the gap between films.  The first season of television will be a prequel, showing Roland as a young man.  Bardem would then reportedly take over the role for the second season.

Barring any eleventh-hour deal breakers, we’ll let you know when Bardem is officially confirmed for The Dark Tower.  His next role unites him with Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, and Rachel Weisz under the direction of Terrence Malick.  Bardem is confirmed for Cogan’s Trade and is circling the villain role in Bond 23.

Here’s the synopsis for the Dark Tower series:

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]

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  • James

    Interesting choice. I ‘m not sure he has the exact look, but he definitely has the acting chops to be Roland.

  • KratosRevenge

    Please no, nope, no…. damn… why isn’t Frank Darabont directing/producing this? sigh….. I shall mark my expectations appropriately low.

  • jonathon

    please just let him be great and speak perfect english!!

    • Zachstress

      Yeah Cuz they probably speak “perfect English” in Gilead

  • RS

    I don’t care that Bardem’s Spanish. And as for his accent, he’s shown that he could hide that quite well in No Country. So no problem there either. But still, his look is almost completely wrong, save for the black hair. Roland is not supposed to be stocky looking and should look older. Also, there is a sleepy-eyed look to Bardem’s face that appears to be at odds with Roland’s near super-natural quickness, which I just don’t like. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for acting, but you cannot just throw looks completely outside the window you know. Not that I’m advocating that the actor have the perfect look or anything, but I think that it should at least be within the ballpark of the character’s description. All of which makes me think that Howard/Goldsman/Gazer could care less about character descriptions and more about which available actor(s) they could find that will help bring in the most $$.

  • Maryjanesuncle

    Bad choice, not a good start, after they cahnge so much of what made the books great they will cry, What did we do wrong. Hollywood sucks.

  • battleangel

    He’s actually a dead-on fit for Roland’s father Steven, who was supposed to be a little stockier. But, throw some blue contacts on him and shoot to make him look tall, and I think he’s a pretty decent fit. I think there are other, more perfect choices- I would have preferred Viggo for a young actor, or an alive David Carridine (that campfire scene?)/warren beaty type for an older actor, and my ultimate pick would have been Daniel Day Lewis.

    But let’s be honest guys, the first thing we need from our Roland actor is someone who is “psychologically linked” to the role – someone who believes in the breaking-the-fourth-wall magic of the book, someone who is willing *to be* Roland for the duration of this series, and has the acting chops to do it. That’s an incredibly tall order, and if someone of Bardem’s stature can take it on, this is an *extremely* good start. They can alter Bardem’s eye color, shoot to make him look as tall as possible, and then move past the superficial to the huge complexities of Roland’s character.

    Also regarding his accent, keep in mind that Roland is basically royalty from a psuedo-Arthurian court. The first language of Gilead is High Speak. There is a crossover with English during the novel, and enough words are shared that Roland can converse with his NY-drawn ka-tet, but there are still vocabulary words he doesn’t understand. Roland having a vaguely European accent is probably totally fitting to the role. Also, there is a whole implied Mexican theme to Mejis.

  • Marc

    I just don’t see it. Nothing against Bardem, I actually love him as an actor, but Roland is a tall, blue-eyed, lanky character in the tradition of the American Old West. Bardem is thick, dark-eyed, and European. What’s next? Will Oy be a street savvy racoon voiced by Eddie Murphy?


    Bardem is an actor who can slim down for the role and add contacts and I think he has a good chance at being Roland I am more worried about hollywood changing something from the story they do not understand and they need to get a good Jake. Don’t break the beam!

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  • Jewel

    FYI Javier Bardem is 6′.

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