The very long saga of The Dark Tower‘s movie and TV development is hitting a new level of complication. Russell Crowe may have beat out Javier Bardem — in an eating contest, perhaps? — for the role of Roland Deschain. This comes about 19 months after Bardem signed on for the role. The three movies and two seasons of a TV show were supposed to begin filming last September with Ron Howard directing, Akiva Goldsman writing, and Brian Grazer and Stephen King producing. Then Universal put the production on hiatus and eventually passed on it completely so they could plow more money into Battleship.
Let’s take a schadenfreude break to point out Universal’s decision to make Battleship resulted in parent company Comcast suffering an $83 million loss of cash flow last quarter. Good call on the board game movie, guys.
Following that setback to The Dark Tower, good news came last October when producer Brian Grazer said the movie was still going to get made and HBO would be handling two seasons of a limited-run TV series. More recently (in March), Warner Brother’s bought the script with plans to shoot at least one movie next year. It wasn’t certain if Javier Bardem would still play Stephen King’s gunslinger. Now Deadline offers an update:
I’m told that Warner Bros is getting a new script from Akiva Goldsman for the first installment of Stephen King’s mammoth western The Dark Tower, and that within two weeks, the studio will be making a decision on whether to green light the first leg of one of the most daring and ambitious projects to come along since The Lord Of The Rings. And here is a new wrinkle to add to the mix. Javier Bardem is no longer in the mix as gunslinger Roland Deschain. I’m told that director Ron Howard and producers Brian Grazer and Goldsman have been talking with their A Beautiful Mind star Russell Crowe about playing Deschain. [Deadline]
Crowe is already planning to star in Darren Aronofsky’s Noah and direct a Bill Hicks biopic. Where would he find the time to do all that and The Dark Tower while still leaving room in his schedule to film the new season of Russell Crowe Fightin’ Around The World?