THE DARK TOWER Deadline Looms; Russell Crowe Now in Talks to Star as Gunslinger Roland Deschain

by     Posted 2 years, 46 days ago

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When last we reported on the beleaguered adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower, it was to tell you that the property had moved from Universal to Warner Bros. and that principal actor Javier Bardem may have been lost in the transition.  Now we have word that Russell Crowe is in talks to star as the gunslinger, Roland Deschain.  There’s no deal currently inked out, but the studio will be factoring Crowe’s involvement with the picture into their decision on whether or not to greenlight the film at all.  Here’s the rub: the yay or nay will come within the next two weeks.  Much more on the latest developments surrounding The Dark Tower after the jump.

russell-crowe-the-dark-towerDeadline reports that screenwriter Akiva Goldsman has recently turned in another draft of The Dark Tower script, which prompted the two week deadline looming over the potential franchise.  The plan is for the epic eight-volume story to be told over three feature films (the first of which, at least, will be directed by Ron Howard) and two limited-run TV series, likely at HBO.  It’s safe to say that quite a few bucks (and the hopes of countless fans) ride on this pending decision.  For those of you I’ve lost along the way, here’s a brief summary of The Dark Tower:

the-dark-tower-imageIn 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]

While Crowe doesn’t exactly fit the literal description of Deschain, his name certainly carries the weight that might help push the project over the edge.  But what do you think about his potential casting?

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  • Tommy Girl

    more like Gunslinger Rotund Douchebag

    • LeonRaywood

      Wow. How clever……

      • cistar

        Michael Fassbender as Roland, Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Eddie, Zoe Saldana as Susannah, for bad guys, Javier Bardem as Walter O’Dim, Tom Wlaschiha-game of thrones assasin as the man in black (1st book, the sorcerer)

  • l4bomb4

    At this point, I’m all for Crowe being Roland…as he adapts to the character he is entrusted to play. This whole time we’ve (me included) have held a vision of what and who the Gunslinger should be, but what about allowing the best actors in hollywood to do what they do best and ‘portray’ the character instead of having some artificial likeness/perception. I think Javier looks the part, but I’m afraid of him vocally being able to pull off the grittier side. I’ve seen Crowe go to the ends of the earth to nail his performance(s).

    Honestly, I just want this project to happen. Howard deserves it, King deserves it, and there are a whole lot of fans that need this to happen in our lifetime. I totally understand the risk financially, but at a time where you have vampires, werewolves, thrones, swords, and gun shows on Discovery getting crazy ratings; why not take a gamble on a project that mixes something, literally, for everyone in some form or another.

    Its the perfect project to introduce that next megastar(s) that studios like to roll out (like Sam Worthington 4 years ago) alongside proven box-office draws (Crowe). Hell, HBO could rehash a ton of props/locations/sets simply from Game of Thrones and True Blood to pull off the TV series.

  • Brian

    Russell Crowe is the man, but Guy Pearce would make a MUCH better Roland, I think.

  • Punkkid364

    The Dark Tower is comprised of seven volumes, not nine.

    • Chace

      A new book was just released a couple months back . . .

  • Punkkid364

    There are seven volumes, not nine.

    • Dave Trumbore

      On further review, there are 8. We’ll call this one a draw.

      • R.O.B.

        They may also be referring to the short story that was in one of his anthologies – Everything’s Eventual, I think? Or Just After Sunset.

      • BPA

        There are seven original volumes in the series. The other two were written as side projects and weren’t originally part of the series.

  • Phil

    If Russell Crowe can help the films get made because of his star power, God bless em\". It\’s gonna be hard enough to sell this mind-stretching story to Joe Public as it is. And like him or not, people will go to see a film just because he\’s in it. Bottom line, Stephen King/Russell Crowe combo would hopefully draw more interest than Stephen KIng\’s name alone. Especially with the
    unfortunate Bag Of Bones adaptation fresh in the minds.

  • will

    I like Bardem much better than Crowe for the role, but Crowe (despite his lower profile in recent years) is still a pretty damn solid actor. He’d pull it off.

  • terry

    Ha ha!
    Crowe as a gun slinger? That fat fuck can hardly get out his trailer. Did anyone see that trash Robin Hood? How is this SOB still getting work

    • 13steve13

      What? Did he steal your girlfriend or something?

    • Kevin

      I guess you’ve never seen the remake of 3:10 to Yuma?

    • Tharen

      Does the oscar on his shelf bother you?? hate him for whatever reason, he is an actor in its finest definition. And being a fan of The Dark Tower, I think he could be Roland better than anyone!

  • adambramble

    I hope this works out and signs on for the role. This is a great book series and will make a good movie/ tv series if done right. I still can’t get Stephen King’s Bag On Bones outta my head it was so damn awful. Hopefullly The dark Tower series will be done better

  • skwirrl

    Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

  • ThatCowboyGuy

    If someone could hurry up and build a time machine, then we could get a back-in-his-prime Clint Eastwood to play the role like we all envisioned…sigh…

  • Maryjanesuncle

    What..you might as well get John Goodman to play the part…way to destroy art.

  • Buzz

    Crowe is a great actor. Great, in that he can literally make you forget that he is Russell Crowe. That said, I would like to see him in whipcord shape if he plays the part….he seems to have a touch of Brando in him. Tremendously talented, but the weight is creeping onto him slowly and he seems to think his chops can overcome his appearance. He is 48, and far too young to let himself be a fat guy. Val Kilmer comes to mind.

    I think Bardem is likeable, and he was great in No Country obviously…but based on his recent output, I think he is a little overrated. I also think his is too strange looking to play the Gunslinger, as the books give a pretty good description. Hoping Skyfall gives Bardem a great character to play.

  • THATguy

    Apparently the producers/casting directors have never seen any of Viggo Mortensen’s films (especially A History of Violence)…because that guy IS Roland.

    • Lee S.

      Agreed – of the batch of current actors, Viggo is the one I think could nail this role. Another comment suggested Guy Pierce, who may also be an interesting choice. Russell Crowe has never been a favorite of mine and doesn’t feel at all right for Roland, although I do agree he has turned in some pretty good perfromances over his career. I am very afraid to see who they may pick to play the younger Roland, there seem to be pretty slim pickin’s amoungst the slew of pretty boy actors popular these days (Pattinson, LaBeouf, Lautner etc.)

    • Vinícius

      YES!!! God damn it, just offer it to Aragorn already. After Clint Eastwood, that’s the obvious choice.

  • Juaners

    In a way I hope this doesn’t come together because there’s no way they could ever do the books justice but if they somehow get a green light I’ll be hoping for the best. I think Crowe could do a good job, when he wants he can be a great actor. It’s Howard how has me a little worried, if he’s a true fan of the story it could work but this thing goes into some dark places and Roland can be pretty unlikable at times. I just hope they have the guts to do this right and not water it down too much.

  • Juaners

    In a way I hope this doesn\’t come together because there\’s no way they could ever do the books justice but if they somehow get a green light I\’ll be hoping for the best. I think Crowe could do a good job, when he wants he can be a great actor. It\’s Howard how has me a little worried, if he\’s a true fan of the story it could work but this thing goes into some dark places and Roland can be pretty unlikable at times. I just hope they have the guts to do this right and not water it down too much.

  • Juaners

    In a way I hope this doesn\\\’t come together because there\\\’s no way they could ever do the books justice but if they somehow get a green light I\\\’ll be hoping for the best. I think Crowe could do a good job, when he wants he can be a great actor. It\\\’s Howard how has me a little worried, if he\\\’s a true fan of the story it could work but this thing goes into some dark places and Roland can be pretty unlikable at times. I just hope they have the guts to do this right and not water it down too much.

  • Juaners

    In a way I hope this doesn\\\\\\\’t come together because there\\\\\\\’s no way they could ever do the books justice but if they somehow get a green light I\\\\\\\’ll be hoping for the best. I think Crowe could do a good job, when he wants he can be a great actor. It\\\\\\\’s Howard how has me a little worried, if he\\\\\\\’s a true fan of the story it could work but this thing goes into some dark places and Roland can be pretty unlikable at times. I just hope they have the guts to do this right and not water it down too much.

  • reut

    There is a secondary story line in one of King’s collective book “Bag of Bones” that is apart of the Dark Tower story, so 9.

    • Dio

      Actually, the secondary story is really a short story and it appears in “Everything’s Eventual”, not “Bag of Bones.” The official number is 8 novels but if you really want to get technical about it, there are at least 17 other novels or stories by King with ties to the Dark Tower series.

  • JPA

    Crowe would be good,but Viggo Mortensen would be perfect.

  • Kevin

    Viggo Mortensen – hands down.

    Crowe is a box office disaster. People don’t like him anymore.
    Viggo has starred in a giant fantasy novel-inspired series already, he fits the part like a tailored glove, and better yet – his schedule is a lot more clear than Crowe’s.

    Howard – get Viggo for this, I beg you.

    • Brian

      Viggo would be absolutely perfect.

      Lose Howard and Goldsman, and bring on a quality producing team and some decent writers. Someone like Peter Jackson or Guillermo del Toro, and line up a few different directors. Maybe Neill Blomkamp for the first one now that Elysium is wrapping. Have del Toro do one, get Alfonso Cuaron for another… etc., etc.

    • Jackson_Hounds

      It’s because no-one likes a bully, and that’s what Russel Crowe is.

  • Kevin

    Viggo Mortensen – hands down.

    Crowe is box office poison now, his career has made a steep decline in the last decade.

    Viggo Mortensen, on the other hand, fits the role of Roland like a tailored glove. His face, his general appearance, and his past film career proves he is the man for the job. He was one of the major players in Lord of the Rings – another epic fantasy novel-inspired series.
    Lastly, he also has a less hectic filming schedule ahead of him than Crowe does.

    Howard- I beg you for myself, yourself, and all the other fans of the series, get Viggo Mortensen.

  • Kevin

    Christian Bale would be better than Russell Crowe, also… although, not as good of a fit as Viggo Mortensen.

  • Brian

    Honestly… I’d rather see this not happen at all than be ruined by Ron Howard and Akiva Goldsman. Goldsman is one of the worst hacks in Hollywood, and Howard is probably the most overrated A-List director, a result of him being such a nice guy who gets along well with pretty much everyone. Howard has made a couple of decent films, but most of his movies are misfires. And this project is about as far from his wheelhouse as you can get. And now Crowe as Roland? Sorry… and I like Crowe. But he’s not right for the part, and it’s just one more element that’s going to ruin the adaptation. Hopefully Crowe says no and the whole thing falls apart, and it can be picked up in a few years time by a creative team that can actually do the material justice.

    • Gasher

      You’re spot on bro… Ron Howard has made a “few” decent flicks, but in general he sucks and would likely F this whole thing up. I like Crowe, but Roland he is not. Definitely Viggo or Guy P.

      And personally, the ONLY way that I see this thing done right is a completely new & unique style of animation, that crosses (a very sumptuous looking) 3D with a very edgy, hand-drawn look. This is how I see it in my head. (I am a professional 3D artist).

  • Honest Rob

    VIGGO is the ONLY choice.
    Crowe?
    he ruined Robin Hood by showing up overweight – and he was AN E.P. on the movie!
    if he’ll show up fat on his own production, then he’ll be positively rotund as Roland.
    I won’t waste my time or money on Crowe as the Gunslinger.

  • Honest Rob

    VIGGO is the ONLY choice.
    Crowe?
    he ruined Robin Hood by showing up overweight – and he was AN E.P. on the movie!
    if he\’ll show up fat on his own production, then he\’ll be positively rotund as Roland.
    I won\’t waste my time or money on Crowe as the Gunslinger.

    • Nullify

      Why’s it always the stupid ones that double post?

  • Oscar

    I think Daniel Day Lewis would be a smashing choice!

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    • Nate

      Well that’s nice to know.

  • Jeff

    Viggo can definitely play in westerns, but I’m not sure he’s Roland. Roland is hard and grizzled, Russle Crow might be able to pull that off better. The person who was born to play Roland was Clint Eastwood–40 years ago, though.

  • Ridley Crowe

    Russell Crowe is always the right choice for a movie. Always.

  • Vinícius

    YES!!! God damn it, just offer it to Aragorn already. After Clint Eastwood, that\’s the obvious choice.

  • Vinícius

    YES!!! God damn it, just offer it to Aragorn already. After Clint Eastwood, that\\\’s the obvious choice.

  • Nullify

    I think Crowe is a GREAT idea. The man disappears into every role he plays (except Robin Hood). I mean, compare him in State of Play, The Insider and Gladiator, it’s 3 completely different people. His characters even have different postures, walks, speaking mannerisms, etc. I fully trust him with Roland.

    Also, at this point, I just want to see it get made. MAKE IT ALREADY RAAAALKJDHNFSJBFSJHFBAJBF

    • JPA

      While I think that Mortensen would be a better choice,I don’t get where this Russell Crowe hate is coming from. I haven’t checked interviews with him or anything,so I don’t know if he’s a douchebag or something,but the man always delivers onscreen.

  • Bob

    I don’t see Crowe fitting the role well. Clint Eastwood would be perfect, perhaps too old. Though not big enough names, Sam Elliott or Kris Kristofferson I could see playing the role quite well.

  • jamie

    Too bad Bruce Campbell is so old, I always pictured him as roland.

  • bob peeters

    I am affraid that neither viggo nor Crowe can do much justice to Roland. This isnt just any character you can emo yourself into. this is some daniel day lewis or clint eastwood stuff. both crowe and mortensen have that “ideal son in law”- look, whatever role they play. And Roland is no ideal son in law.
    This should be a role for an actor that didnt do gladiator or LOTR. This should be like the actor is made for the role, like Ryan Gosling in Drive or a young pacino in the godfather. not any big character actor can do Roland, thats for sure. I actually hope for a nice discovery instead….

  • bob peeters

    I am affraid that neither viggo nor Crowe can do much justice to Roland. This isnt just any character you can emo yourself into. this is some daniel day lewis or clint eastwood stuff. both crowe and mortensen have that \"ideal son in law\"- look, whatever role they play. And Roland is no ideal son in law.
    This should be a role for an actor that didnt do gladiator or LOTR. This should be like the actor is made for the role, like Ryan Gosling in Drive or a young pacino in the godfather. not any big character actor can do Roland, thats for sure. I actually hope for a nice discovery instead….

    • Sammy

      Ryan Gosling instead of Viggo?? Are you kidding me? You’re Fired!

  • NITA

    I am reading dark tower now and I do not picture russell crowe in my head….Viggo I can see but, there is always room for someone fresh and new…why don’t movie makers ask the public what we think before they make movies?? especially those of us who read the books..I was also wondering, I read The Talisman by King when I was younger..wasn’t the gunslinger mentioned in that book???

    • Brian

      Not in The Talisman, no. The sequel novel Black House promised strong ties to the DT story, although that promise was not (to the best of my recollection) followed through on. Maybe I need to check again, but I don’t remember Jack Sawyer playing a key role in the saga’s wrap-up.

  • Gary

    Sam Elliot, I see no other choice for Roland.

  • Sammy

    Y’know, maybe these writers should make prospective producers name the actors they envision as the books main characters, before selling them. Russel Crowe – Roland Deschain?? WHAT?! o_O It’s glaringly obvious that fans from all walks of life seem to have all pictured a young Clint Eastwood, and since that ain’t gonna happen Viggo is the only choice. And his role as Aragon shows he would be able to play Roland to a tee! Hell give me a Sean Bean less a few boars feasts as no. 3. Even though Roland’s a gunslinger, it’s def. got more a medieval flavor in my imagination, King Arthur and all that! Now that i think about it, I’d actually love to see Sean Bean in it somewhere :D

  • Sammy

    Y\’know, maybe these writers should make prospective producers name the actors they envision as the books main characters, before selling them. Russel Crowe – Roland Deschain?? WHAT?! o_O It\’s glaringly obvious that fans from all walks of life seem to have all pictured a young Clint Eastwood, and since that ain\’t gonna happen Viggo is the only choice. And his role as Aragon shows he would be able to play Roland to a tee! Hell give me a Sean Bean less a few boars feasts as no. 3. Even though Roland\’s a gunslinger, it\’s def. got more a medieval flavor in my imagination, King Arthur and all that! Now that i think about it, I\’d actually love to see Sean Bean in it somewhere :D

    • Sammy

      fyi, site said I had the wrong security code, & made me enter it again… prob the reason others ‘double posted’ too

  • Sammy

    They should hire/borrow/steal the producers, directors, writers, casting group from Game of Thrones, I just finished the first two books after watching the first two seasons cuz’ I couldn’t wait another year to see what happened, and I’ll tell you what, the 1st season is almost verbatim the book, the 2nd season is close enough, few minor changes and the casting is spot on!! I’m sure no one from that crew would be thinking anyone but Viggo! And they have stayed true to the written word, which happens very rarely, the 3rd for book to movie I’ve seen that was as good as the book. Spare us another ‘The Stand’ debacle please!!!!! & hand over the rights to the GoT crew and give King and Deschain the respect they deserve… Russel Crowe pfft

  • Alan Hays

    Never underestimate Russell Crowe

    • Jackson_Hounds

      just ban him from family cinema.

  • WALLE

    Hugh Jackman anyone? And I never thought of it but Daniel Day Lewis would chew that role up…thumbs up…

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