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With Ron Howard making the rounds for his upcoming comedy The Dilemma (don’t ask us why he’s making that and not an Arrested Development movie), he’s getting a lot of questions surrounding his next big project: adapting Stephen King’s seven-part “The Dark Tower” series. While the Frost/Nixon director has remained fairly tight lipped on the project, as it’s currently in it’s beginning stages of being written, he has opened up to the L.A. Times about what is shaping up to be one of the more ambitious projects out of Hollywood in some time and Viggo Mortensen and Javier Bardem's names have been attached to the lead role.
What is known so far is confirmed by Howard in the Times: there will be a first film, to be directed by Howard. Judging on the film’s success, there will be season one of a proposed T.V. series (believed to be directed by Howard) written by long-time (Oscar-winning) Howard collaborator Akiva Goldsman, based on the series. After which, a second film is planned, followed by a second season of the T.V. series and finally capping off with a third film. There’s no word yet on Howard’s direct involvement past the first film and season one of the series. Whether he returns to direct or not, he’s almost certainly locked in to serve in an executive producer capacity.
Casting for the project has set off frenzy in agencies across Hollywood to land their (male) clients the lead role of gunslinger Roland Deschain. While nobody has been cast nor confirmed to be in strong contention for the part, the New York Post has it that “sources” are saying Javier Bardem is in the lead, with Viggo Mortensen in a “close second” for the part. If Howard’s talk with the L.A. Times is any indication, whoever is cast for the film is likely to appear in the T.V. series as well, though speculation is high that the second season of the T.V. seasons could focus on Deschain’s exploits as a young man, prior to the first film’s timeline.
A project whose story and continuity crosses film and T.V. so directly has yet to be fully realized in the manner Howard plans to for “The Dark Tower” series. It could be the makings of greatness if done correctly or be one of the biggest financially disasters in the history of entertainment. Time will tell in the coming months as Howard turns his full attentions to the project.