Last month we got a Christmas casting treat -- Viggo Mortensen, Hugh Jackman, Daniel Craig and Jon Hamm were eager to star in Ron Howard's adaptation of Stephen King's sprawling western fantasy series, 'The Dark Tower.' As Jacob Hall pointed out, it was easy to whittle it down to the real competitor -- Hamm seemed a little off for the role and Jackman and Craig are two actors who are already leading active franchises.
So that leaves one grizzly cowboy, Mortensen, behind. But according to new reports -- he's not the top pick for the spot. Javier Bardem is.
Page Six reports that "agents are tripping over themselves to land their clients coveted roles in what promises to be a blockbuster film and television franchise." Their sources claim that Bardem is leading the pack to play Deschain, with Mortensen a "close second."
A worn, damaged and heroic gunslinger, King is said to have compared Roland to -- no surprise -- Clint Eastwood as the Man with No Name. Naturally, that would make Mortensen the go-to guy, but if Bardem is in the lead, chances are they've got visions of Anton Chigurh dancing in their heads.
As planned, 'The Dark Tower' will offer up a new Hollywood format. Since King's series expands over many books, this won't be a 'Lord of the Rings' type epic where mass amounts of words are whittled into three massive features. Instead, three feature films will be padded with two television seasons that will bridge the gap between films. (The second series will show Deschain as a young man, while the final film shows him as an older man) Both the films and television will use the same cast (with some room to play with, since the second series will feature our hero as a younger man), so this will be a major commitment for anyone who chooses to play along.
Is Howard on the right track with Bardem and Mortensen? Who would you cast as Roland Deschain? And is the most ambitious Hollywood project of all time?