The Gunslinger's boots will be worn by...

 | #Cast#Clint Eastwood#Javier Bardem#Roland Deschain#Ron Howard#Viggo Mortensen

As we fast approach the beginning’s end in the realization of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower as a live action movie, we find that the first card has been turned.

In an exclusive story, Deadline is reporting that Ron Howard has named the actor he wants to take on the role of Gunslinger – Javier Bardem.

Fantastic news for all Dark Tower fans.

Don’t get too excited just yet though as it seems Howard has only made Bardem an offer and they are yet to enter formal negotiations. Still, if all goes well, Bardem will be the one to follow the man in black across the desert.

This choice will certainly be a surprise to some as plenty of fans we’re hoping it would be Viggo Mortessen who’d take on that role. Not to worry, Bardem is a highly regarded actor and Oscar winner (winning Best Supporting Actor in No Country For Old Men) so I’m sure we’ll be in good hands.

It’s great to see the Dark Tower movies finally taking form, but I do have one question I’d like to ask.

After many years of visualizing Roland in some form of Clint Eastwood character, will we get used to him as a Spaniard?

66 responses

  1. Hes a great actor but before talk of a movie was even considered i always imagined viggo in my head when reading the books. but at least its not christian bale

    adam g – January 28th, 2011
  2. I am very excited about this choice. I also was thinking of Viggo, however I think Javier would be a wonderful Roland. I hope negotiations go well :)

    Aimee – January 28th, 2011
  3. Clint Eastwood is too old for the role, but what about Hugh Jackman? What about Josh Hartnett with makeup to make him seems older? Hartnett has the kind of look Eastwood used to have, with those sleepy eyes, but maybe he is too young. I was thinking Viggo could link the two novels, Tha Dark Tower and Lord of the Rings, but… it would be the same face in both movies. I love Viggo, though.

    Ruth – January 28th, 2011
  4. come on, guys. its not viggo. its javier. can we stop the…“i wish it were this guy”?

    chris – January 28th, 2011
  5. Eastwood could pull it off if he was 102! But Chris is right, it will be Javier. Not anyone’s first choice, but you never know, the guy could do it. He may have brown eye’s, probably will wear blue contacts.

    Vicky Houston – January 30th, 2011
  6. I was thinking Nicholas Cage would also be a very good choice

    Jinx – January 31st,  2011
  7. Nicholas Cage? Really? Thank God your not casting this movie.

    robert sierdy – February 2nd,  2011
  8. Well…guess you just saved me money, I read all the books….Viggo isn’t playing Roland so I’m not going to see the movies….seriously Javier? Hes a good actor but not for this part…just my opinion. Thanks Ron for saving me the money!

    D Hertel – February 3rd,  2011
  9. Javier is NOT the right actor! A good actor? Yes. The RIGHT actor? NO!

    dab – February 3rd,  2011
  10. Viggo is a wonderful actor, but will always be Aragorn. He can’t get away from the face he made in Lord of the Rings. I haven’t seen Javier act, but he looks pretty well the part. I do wish he had blue eyes… but i’m sure things will go well. I still have very high hopes for the movie.

    Jake – February 4th, 2011
  11. I think an unknown should play Roland. I believe it’s the story and not about the actor.

    Jerry – February 9th, 2011
  12. Javier has none of the qualities that are crucial for making the perfect Roland. I like Naomie Harris as Susannah, but Bardem is not a good choice AT ALL for Roland. Viggo would be the way to go.

    Mike – February 12th, 2011
  13. Any word on who would play Eddie or Jake?

    Mike – February 12th, 2011
  14. I think Javier will be a good choice as long as his american accent is up to par. Have you seen how creepy Javier was in No Country For Old Men? Watch the scene with him and the gas station clerk with the coin. He is a stone. cold. killer. I remember when “No Country” came out all anyone could talk about was how creepy the bad guy was in the movie. I had to agree. And let’s be honest, Roland isn’t that nice of a guy either. He really doesn’t show much emotion until the last few books. Stephen King consistently talks about how Roland has little or no imagination and is basically built for one thing: killing. It’s only until later in life that Roland truely begins to show love and compassion for his comrades. I think that Javier has the range to pull of the icy killing machine as well as the friendly Roland that tugs at our heart strings later in the story.

    thecoltrain – February 15th, 2011
  15. I agree if he can get rid of the spanish accent, he did the “dead man” really well and does have the range, but Viggio was my first choice. The real important casting is Susanah with all of her complications… I think Halle would be a great choice, she has done some stinkers, but some great one also. Losing Isaiah, the rich man’s wife, Dorothy Dandridge, monster’s ball, Gothika … and don’t forget the drug addict hooker in Jungle fever.

    LOTR – February 15th, 2011
  16. @LOTR I think Halle is good choice. However there are some logistical problems. Hiring her is a budget nightmare. As I recall she’s the highest payed African American female actress of all time. Plus, trying to get her to do TV would be difficult. I think with a project this large they won’t be shooting A list celebs for most of the roles (if any). However, by the end of the franchise I’m sure many of the people they cast will become A-listers. Take Viggo for example: No one really knew him before Lord of the Rings. I just hope they make sure and cast Justin Beiber for Jake crosses fingers…….. Just kidding :)

    thecoltrain – February 20th, 2011
  17. id pick colin farrell over javier..what do you guys think?

    gabrielruiz – February 23rd,  2011
  18. Since when does Roland have an American accent? I think Bardem would do a fine job. The problem with making this movie will be to get past us hard core Tower lovers. No matter what Ron Howard does it will fall short in our eyes, just as every film adaptation of a King movie has done. On another note Susannah should be played by Taraji P. Henson in my humble opinion.

    Colin Farrel would be aweful as Roland.

    jongimongi – February 26th, 2011
  19. I have to agree with that. exnay on the arrelFay. I’ve never seen him in a role where I thought “man, I would be scared of this dude if I ran into him in real life.” Roland needs to have that quality about him. Give it the “Eastwood test.” Roland’s character was in many ways inspired by some of the roles which Eastwood has played. Obviously, Clint would be the first choice if he were younger. Even though Eastwood is now approximately 137 years old, I would put my money on him over Farrel in a back alley brawl any day of the week. Let alone in his hay day.

    thecoltrain – February 28th, 2011
  20. I admit I saw a young Clint Eastwood from the first couple lines of the books. Later I thought Bale would have the chops to pull it off, or Viggo at least the look. Now I’m happy with Bardem, he’s amazing. I think it was in the last book that Irene (Tassenbaum?) described Roland as looking slightly American Indian, and then there was Megis, which seemed to be on the border of a place similar to South America. The story takes place in another world, so I think we can throw out assumptions as to what real world ethnicity Roland would be like.

    ooky – March 2nd,  2011
  21. At first, I was disappointed about the choice. Javier Bardem is a really great actor, but like many of you, I didn’t think he was right for the part. I guess he wasn’t who I was imagining in my head. But then I remembered in one of the later books (this could be a spoiler if you haven’t read them all) that it’s mentioned Roland looks like a “more attractive version of Stephen King”. I think Javier could be described that way. The only thing he doesn’t have is Roland’s piercing blue eyes, which I’m sure they could fix with contacts.

    My favorite character was Jake, so I’m really looking forward to seeing who they cast as him.

    Sara L – March 3rd,  2011
  22. Jerry is right, an unknown MUST play Roland… all people see when they see a famous actor is the ACTOR, not Roland

    nigel holland – March 3rd,  2011
  23. i completely agree with nigel an unkow would be so much better and go along with rolands whole mysterious personality in the begining but if it was a famous actor i think vigo woul definitely fit the role better then javier

    james smith – March 9th, 2011
  24. Robert Downey Jr. wouldn’t have been a bad choice

    DanO – March 9th, 2011
  25. Roland Deschain was most definitely NOT spanish and that using him would be enough to make me not go see the movies or watch the shows, not if your going to screw up his character that badly before they are even started.

    Brandy – March 9th, 2011
  26. OK here is my thought. As posted earlier, Roland of Gilead is described as being somewhat Eastwood-ish, but to the casual fan base, i.e. the big money, it doesn’t really matter what he looks like. Yes, he will have to have blue eyes, easy fix there. Roland spends almost every waking moment (and sleeping moment) outdoors and his travels have taken him to Mejis (described by King as near the Texas/Mexico border) and the first two books take place in a desert and on a beach. So yeah he is going to be pretty dark because of that. There is no reason Roland can’t have an accent, he is from a different level of the tower as Jake, Eddie, and Susannah/Odetta/Detta. Viggo would be a terrific choice looks wise, but I prefer Bardim’s acting range over Mortensen’s. Now if you are on here then you are probably a big fan of the books like me but the money lies in the pockets of the people who haven’t read this series, plain and simple.

    John – March 10th, 2011
  27. I think Rufus Sewell should play roland.

    Ray – March 11th, 2011
  28. who will play eddie?

    Ray – March 11th, 2011
  29. I disagree completely with all the fans claiming that people see the actor and not the character. Sure, it depends on the ability of the actor, but Bardem has proven himself time and time again in several different roles. He’s a powerful actor and there’s no doubt in my mind that he could pull off Roland. We all need to remember that it would be impossible to make a direct transfer of the source material to the screen, but it’s the actors’/actress’/director’s jobs to make us FEEL the way the books made us feel. If they can do that then you won’t hear a whisper of complaint from me.

    Adam – March 11th, 2011
  30. what most people seem to forget is Roland’s language isn’t exactly english so what makes you think he is gonna have an american accent besides I watched no country for old men that dude has an icy cold blooded stare blue eyes or no he could pull off roland

    rekrings – March 14th, 2011
  31. what most people seem to forget is Roland’s language isn’t exactly english so what makes you think he is gonna have an american accent besides I watched no country for old men that dude has an icy cold blooded stare blue eyes or no he could pull off roland

    rekrings – March 14th, 2011
  32. Firs of all Why is this site now only positing pro Bardem posts.

    Sorry if anyone feels like this is a cheep shot at Bardem. It is notmy intention. Please forgive. Roland’s language may not be eactly English but what in the books suggests he’s spanish? Roland isn’t from another Country, He’s from another World and Time.

    The guy is a great actor hands down. No Doubt about it. Has a great steely look great. But for me thats where he parts from Roland

    Bardem is not the right guy. He doesn’t have the right body type. He’s to broad face it’s alomst jowely. Bardem is to muscular. Looks more Like a thug then a Calculating cold killer that a gunslinger hast to be. Can you see Bardem doing a Jig or a spanish dance. Rolands been walking for how long and not eating huge meals. Roland is not a fighter he’s a GUNSLINGER. The caractor needs tobe slim and tight faced. Like Clint Eastwood. I’m not Say Clint should take the part. I’t wood be cool if he had a cameo.

    A couple young actors that do have that body type and look are on the TV show Haven. Based on but extreamly removed from King’s book “The Colorado Kid”. tons of King lore references. If they don’t have enough acting experince age ectra to play Roland then may hap Alain or Cothbert. Maybe even Eddie.

    On other topic Robert Duval might be great for Cort, who could be uglier and meaner?

    Just my thoughts and opion. Constant Reader

    Constant Reader – March 16th, 2011
  33. I must say, as an avid fan of the DT series, having seen the pictures of this Javier it just doesn’t match to how you would imagine our Roland to be!!!!! …..viggo is an obvious choice and whilst I didn’t spring him to mind I do see where people are coming from …. Nicholas Cage was my first thought at this as well.

    Paula Speed – March 18th, 2011
  34. Clint is the man… and was Kings image of Roland… but he is too old. Bardem is a great actor… but he is not Roland… Viggo is not the man… he is Aragorn… Nicholas Cage is a dead beat these days. I dont know if he can pull of this big of a lead… but stature… walk… build… looks… TIMOTHY OLYPHANT is Roland.

    Robin the Boywonder – March 28th, 2011
  35. I have one question….who’s gonna play Stephen King in the movies?……Raiin Wilson from the office?….kinda looks like him.

    moises – April 2nd,  2011
  36. i was thinkin maybe liam neeson as roland for looks(blue eyes and his recent gunslinging movies) as well as talent.also, robert downey jr. for eddie(he did act during the 80’s..) because i think he could pull off the wit and sarcasm bit.perhaps jake and susanah should be played by unknown up and comers.

    milkman – April 5th, 2011
  37. Javier Bardems voice isnt right. I think clive owen(without his accent as well) could do well. viggo moretensen, great actor, could see him playing it. but it seems he gets those kind of roles. maybe clouding the feel of the film. Maybe michael madsen, rough character, but can play softer roles as he did in free willy.

    john C – April 7th, 2011
  38. I agree with TheColTrain, I think he has the potential to be a good Roland. As for Cort, I think Mickey Rourke would be a good choice for the role. I’d probably try to make him appear to be shorter, I never really got the impression that Cort was a tall man.

    Rob – April 8th, 2011
  39. Rob< great idea with Rourke for Cort. I still have my doubts with Bardem, My first choice would be Olyphant with out a doubt. Eddie is one of my all time fav characters so his roll with have to make a strong impact. Im sure the first book will be shortened and the drawing of three will be more indept. So out first real meat of the story will be with Eddie Dean. As far as peopel saying they will not watch the work because of who they pick as the actors thats nonsence. I will watch this no mater what actors they pick, or how badly the represent the story. These books have brought me some of the best reading i have ever done, I have had mixed feelings about bringing it to tv or movies because of what they have done to great books like DUNE. on a side note i can see Bardem as one of the big coffin hunters ot the tick tock man lol just not roland, ahhh but what can you do. King has passed on alot of his stories to movies with out much fuss. This should not be one of those times. We all want the Dark tower movies or tv series to touch out Soul just like the books have done. Ron DO NOT FORGET THE FACE OF YOUR FATHER on this one

    Tommy D – April 30th, 2011
  40. Timothy Olyphant or the guy that plays mayhem in the insurance commercials, he was in the HBO series OZ, Can’t think of his name, he is very Eastwoodesques as well as Olyphant either would be a perfect fit, Javier? Not so much…….

    J J Sutherland – May 16th, 2011
  41. Tom Selleck. Period.

    Eric – January 11th, 2012
  42. C. Thomas Howell needs to play Roland! Recent pix of him are so Roland.

    A203 – January 25th, 2012
  43. Forget the accents. Forget the ethnicity. If he can be old, cold, and an all-around bad ass he has my vote. I just want to know what will happen it comes to Eddie.

    Sperry Patrick – March 21st,  2012
  44. JON HAMM would be perfect as Roland….

    Jayzoe – May 10th, 2012
  45. Whomever thinks javier is not right fot the role, might have read the series , but does’nt understand Roland’s character. Javier is perfect.

    pete – June 21st,  2012
  46. look at javier watch the line he traverses from from deadpan stare to deadeye stare dont get caught up in the spainiard thing bardem is not a particularily dark skinned latin i do wish he was a bit taller but bardem is not a short man. his ability to portray the tightly coiled spring is unmatched while at the same time showing us rolands quiet pain and unparalled heart. mr.bardem congrats to u i am confident that as u become the gunslinger u will find and appreciate roland deschain the man and portray him with the very real heart that is his core

    d.b.lee – June 28th, 2012
  47. Roland– Clint Eastwood Eddie– Timothy Olyphant Susannah– Zoe Saldana (she’s kind of a badass and a good age for the role) Jake– Jonah Bobo or a newbie (all the kid actors i can think of are too old)

    dawn of the dead – July 3rd,  2012
  48. does anyone thnk a darker haired ryan gosling could play eddie?

    d.b. lee – July 11th, 2012
  49. Roland- Javier Bardem Jake-Nathan Gamble Eddie-Sean Patrick Flannery Sussanah-Naomi Harris Flagg- Jackie Earle Haley

    d.b.lee – July 25th, 2012
  50. Javier is a good choice. It’s funny because before I heard it was him I was thinking Josh Brolin (No Country For Old Men, Jonah Hex) would be a great Roland. The question is, who will play Flagg?

    The Man In Black – July 29th, 2012
  51. everytime i see bill compton from trueblood, i think of roland, yessm

    bretty – August 2nd,  2012
  52. I was hoping for actor jim Caviezel to play the role of Roland. Russell crow is to well known. and will tend to over act. Roland is a deep thinker not a put it all out there kind of guy.

    Danny – August 18th, 2012
  53. who would be a good flag? mmm Jon Hamm comes to mind.

    Danny – August 18th, 2012
  54. Zoe Saldana as suzzanah, taylor Kitsch as eddie dean

    Danny – August 18th, 2012
  55. another great point favoring bardem is his deep and dark tabacco-smoker voice

    Fernando – October 14th, 2012
  56. thandie newton would be perfect for Suzanna! she was mighty powerful in “Beloved”.

    conniemerie – November 4th, 2012
  57. How about Daniel Craig? Blue eyes, kind of beat up. Like he’s traveled a long and hard road. Just a thought. Hate the idea of Crowe. Eastwood is out of age range. Javier is not lean faced enough.

    Kitty – November 6th, 2012
  58. Not that anybody asked me, but my vote for Roland goes to James Caviezel. He embodies everything I see the Gunslinger to be.

    Libby – November 13th, 2012
  59. For what ever reason, whether it is the mention of his use of the High speech or the fact that the descriptions of Gilead remind me of either Germany or England, I think the actor cast as Roland Deschain needs to have one of those accents thought only slightly and not false at all. Micheal Fassbender, despite being younger would work or perhaps Jude Law, even though neither have played what most would consider similar roles or even in similar styles of movie. Have also considered Charles Dance, though he is a bit older. Cillian Murphy would make a great Walter/Flagg/Marten, that guy creeps me the hell out every time I see him. Zoey Saldana as Detta/Odetta/Suze. As for the rest not to sure. Perhaps Ian Somerhalder as Eddie Dean, guy just looks like smart ass.

    william – November 26th, 2012
  60. One name has failed to find its name into these discussions and that is sad…Willem Defoe has been and always will be my ROLAND.

    olywilliams – April 7th, 2013
  61. Lucas Bryant who plays Nathan on Haven. He definitely has the look and Roland’s laconic way of speaking. But I’ll back Timothy Olyphant.

    Christie – April 28th, 2013
  62. Ryan Gosling

    Keef – June 29th, 2013
  63. James Caviziel or Ryan Gosling both have that been there seen some things look. Eddie-Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Susannah-Taraji P. Henson,Jake- Justin Bieber(don’t laugh) consider him,look at him and think Jake.Biebers a badass,he’s starting to show it more and more.The billy bumbler -computer generated.

    Keef – June 29th, 2013
  64. Breaking news On Stephen Kings FB page Ron howard is quoted as saing This Dk movie is still in working progress it hasn’t gone away only delayed.

    I totaly agree with Christie Lucas Bryant for Roland. Everyone should check out Haven.

    I can’t laugh at jutin beiber as Jake, cuase im to busy puking. Thank fuly he’s to old for jake (13 or so). But not to old for Eddie hurl.

    Constant Reader – September 18th, 2013
  65. Roland - Viggo Mortensen or possibly Jim Caviedzal(sp?) Eddie - Aaron Paul or Joseph Gordon Levitt Susannah - Zoey Saldana Walter - Jonny Depp or Matthew Macaneghey Court - Mickey Rourke

    i dunno about Jake. My first choice would have been Cameron Bright, but he’s too old now.

    The Man in Black – November 21st,  2015
  66. Jeffrey dean Morgan, constant reader, should be the Gunslinger

    chris – January 15th, 2016