It's been a long, hard road for Ron Howard and Brian Grazer trying to adapt Stephen King's sprawling supernatural/Western/sci-fi epic, The Dark Tower. The ambitious project, which would encompass three movies and a television series, was rejected by Universal last year, only to seemingly be revived at Warner Brothers. It was a pairing that made sense, considering HBO was set to pick up the TV portion, and now that the studio is coming around to making a final decision, they may be making a pretty big change.
Javier Bardem has long been attached to the lead role of gunfighter Roland Deschain, but now Deadline reports he's out, and Russell Crowe is being looked at as a possibility. Crowe and Howard know one another well, having worked together on Cinderella Man and A Beautiful Mind, and the actor knows a thing or two about Westerns as well.
With the massive budget an undertaking like this would have required, The Dark Tower was always going to be a tough sell. While that cost has been slashed, with Akiva Goldsman working on a new script to reflect those changes, this is a lot of time, effort, and money to invest. For Crowe, it would pretty much keep him from doing any other films for years, as he'd be required for the television series as well.
We'll find out if Warner Brothers is ready to pony up on this thing probably in the next couple of weeks.
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