Dark Tower Takes a Step Forward; Russell Crowe to Take Over for Javier Bardem?
08.03.12 by Ryan
You have to hand it to director Ron Howard for not giving up on his adaptation of The Dark Tower, based on author Stephen King's post-apocalyptic Western novel series.
The project has been mired in setbacks that has included Universal passing on the ambitious adaptation last July, despite Academy Award–winning screenwriter Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind) attempts to bring down the movie's budget via rewrites. With a plan that includes a trilogy of movies with two TV series, there's no doubt Howard and producer Brian Grazer's Dark Tower is an unprecedented adaptation, but with HBO agreeing to air the TV portion last October, Warner Bros. was close to taking over the project in March. With Goldsman reportedly turning in yet another draft, it looks like Warners is even closer to giving Dark Tower the green light, though it looks like a casting change will be in order.
According to Deadline, Javier Bardem, who has long been cast in the lead role of gunslinger Roland Deschain, is no longer on board. Replacing Bardem could be Australian actor Russell Crowe, as Howard, Grazer and Goldsman have been reportedly talking to their A Beautiful Mind star to fill the void.
Crowe's participation could help seal a commitment from Warner Bros., who, like most studios, are becoming more cautious about what projects they take on. Crowe will play Jor-El in Man of Steel for Warners, and could be the last component that settles the studio's fears. After that, they will only have to wonder if audiences will follow the franchise from the big screen to their small screens and back again.
Dark Tower will also be Howard's first foray into the fantasy genre since 1988's Willow. That is, if Warners decides to roll the dice.