After a couple of month’s uncertainty it’s looking more and more likely that we finally have our Gunslinger. The reports are coming in that the WME Agency (William Morris Endeavor) are “putting the finishing touches on the deal” for Javier Bardem to take the lead role in the 3-movie + TV series Dark Tower adaptation. They’re so close to finalizing that Ron Howard has now started courting other actors for the remaining lead roles – alas, no word yet on who they might be.
Since the announcement back in January we’ve had hundreds of comments from DT fans and there’s a split between those who think Bardem is right for the role Roland Deschain and those who think he’s not. One common reason for peoples’ dislike is due to his Hispanic looks, stating that Stephen King always portrayed the gunslinger as a Clint Eastwood type figure. Perhaps so, but many of the illustrations that have accompanied the Dark Tower books and those of the comics have imagined the gunslinger in several different ways, and these are official illustrations. We must also remember that King, as with all authors, has to describe how his lead characters look – this is good story telling – but how Roland looks it not actually central to the story.
For what it’s worth, I’d rather have a good actor who will do justice to the part, than one who gets it just because of his looks, and I think Bardem will give an outstanding performance.
With Ron Howard at the helm and a lead of Bardem’s capabilities, I have confidence that the Dark Tower movies will be a solid effort, perhaps even a classic and on a par with Lord of the Rings.