Back when Ron Howard's adaptation of Stephen King's The Dark Tower was set up over at Universal, the top actor that kept being mentioned in connection with the character Roland Deschain was Javier Bardem. But while rumors constantly suggested that the Oscar winner was on the verge of a deal, it was also said that Bardem simply wanted the part and no contract had been signed.
Since then the project has had a lot of ups and downs. Not confident that the project would be successful enough to sustain itself (it's being planned as a trilogy of films with two television series bridging the gaps between movies), Universal ended up dropping it all together, leaving Warner Bros. to pick it up. But that news came all the way back in March. So will the project live on?
According to Deadline, we will know very soon. WB is close to getting a new draft of the screenplay for the first movie from Akiva Goldsman, and within in the next two weeks the studio will either decide to move forward with the project or drop it completely. But what spices up the news a bit is the fact that there's been a significant change when it comes to casting Roland. Apparently Bardem is no longer in the running for the part, and Howard and producer Brian Grazer have already begun talking about Russell Crowe as a replacement. While no paperwork has been signed, as Warners brass meets about the project they will be considering it with the idea that Crowe will star. The plan is still to make the franchise as a trilogy and two television series.
Fans weren't too big on the idea of Bardem playing Roland Deschain, but what does everyone think of Russell Crowe? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
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Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.