‘The Dark Tower’: Ron Howard’s plans (and passion) for Stephen King epic

Dec. 17, 2010 | 12:10 p.m.

EXCLUSIVE

"The Dark Tower" from the pages of Marvel Comics

The bookshelf creations of Stephen King have been keeping people up at night for decades but Ron Howard has been losing sleep lately for a different reason — the Oscar-winning filmmaker is becoming a bit obsessive about his plan to bring King’s most epic creation, “The Dark Tower,” to the movie screen.

“I really can’t stop thinking about it,” Howard said while shaking his head. “We’ve been meeting and talking and I’ve been reading and researching and just kind of living with it. I’ve been constantly going through stuff and I’ve just been re-listening to it [on audio books] on my iPod and we’ve been sending e-mails back and forth, ‘What about this approach? What do you think of this idea?’ We’re finding the shape of it. We’re moving quickly now, as quickly as we can, and I feel challenged in the most exciting ways.”

As challenges go, bringing the seven-novel “Dark Tower” series to the screen is a colossal one but Howard’s ambitions match it. The director of “Apollo 13” and “The Da Vinci Code” is teaming up with producer Brian Grazer and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman to present King’s magnum opus as a film trilogy as well as a tie-in television series. The same trio each took home Oscars for their collaboration on “A Beautiful Mind”  and it was while working on that film that Goldsman brought Howard the idea of adapting the genre-mashing “Dark Tower” and bringing to life its central character, a  nomadic gunslinger named Roland Deschain, who tangles with magic, monsters and mutants.

Ron Howard (Imagine Entertainment)

Howard is one of the most respected, successful and well-liked filmmakers in Hollywood but he was far from casual in approaching King.  “We worked on it for a year before we even met with him,” Howard said. “It was all about putting something together that was good enough and getting such an understanding of the material that Stephen King would say, ‘Yes, that’s the way into this story.”

The project has not been green-lit yet but Universal Pictures and NBC Universal Television Entertainment announced in September the bold plan to chronicle the story as a multimedia event. If all goes as planned, Howard will direct the first film and then the first season of a tie-in television series, both of which Goldsman will write. Two more films would follow. In a statement, King gushed about the endeavor: “I’ve been waiting for the right team to bring the characters and stories in these books to film and TV viewers around the world. Ron, Akiva, Brian along with Universal and NBC have a deep interest and passion for the ‘The Dark Tower’ series and I  know that will translate into an intriguing series of films and TV shows that respect the origins and the characters in ‘The Dark Tower’ that fans have come to love.”

The King fantasy epic began in 1982 and has spanned seven novels – the original hardcover editions add up to a staggering  3,795 pages and 30 million copies sold — with an eighth installment, tentatively titled “The Wind Through the Keyhole,” announced by the author last year. King released an additional novella in 1998, and for three years King has been adding new chapters to the saga within the pages of Marvel Comics. Howard said the 36 issues that have been published so far absolutely inform his own view  of the mythology.

“It’s the ongoing evolution of the characters and the discovery,” Howard said of the comics that are plotted by Robin Furth and scripted by Peter David with King overseeing everything as creative director. “There are new interpretations of the rules of the world and the story. It’s a really useful and compelling part of this already fascinating creative journey that we’re on.”

Howard has brought arcane-spirited but crowd-pleasing bestsellers to the screen before with the Dan Brown adaptations, “The Da Vinci Code” in 2006 and “Angels & Demons”  in 2009, films that combined for $1.24 billion in worldwide box office (and featured the same Grazer-Goldsman-Howard team, as did 2005′s “Cinderella Man“).  This would be a far different challenge, Howard says, due to the epic scale and ambiguities of “Dark Tower” — the Brown books were intricate puzzles with a thriller’s pace while the King epic is a shadowy fantasy with dream logic and the underpinnings of a classic quest story.

“It’s different than anything I’ve ever done and in really interesting ways,” the 56-year-old said. “With ‘Da Vinci’ the mandate was different. That was about getting the story and the action and focusing on acting. With this, there’s this entire world and all of these references and there are the books and the graphic novels and just talking to Stephen and it’s all this ongoing conversation with the material and it’s really exciting. In all of it, he leaves a lot open to interpretation and so it gives a great deal of latitude.”

Stephen King (Richard Hartog Los Angeles Times)

“The Dark Tower” has plenty of latitude and longitude – the vast body of work covers a lot of ground at this point. That presents a sort of narrative intimidation — it’s easy to imagine a filmmaker becoming overwhelmed if he or she took a footnote-faithful approach to the canon. But Howard said that he and Goldsman know that the true power of the source material lies in the archetypal characters and the texture  of the world. Their approach, he said, is to remember that less can be more:  “We say, ‘At their root they’re simple stories, don’t be afraid to keep it simple.’”

Staying simple might not be that easy. J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof, who know plenty about intricate mythology as the co-creators of “Lost,” had plans to adapt “The Dark Tower” but walked away from the project and Lindleof candidly told USA Today that he was put off by the complexity of the project and his own idol worship when it comes to King. “I’m terrified of screwing it up,” Lindelof said. “I’d do anything to see those movies written by someone else. My guess is they will get made because they’re so incredible. But not by me.”

Brian Grazer, Akiva Goldsman and Ron Howard on the set of "The DaVinci Code"

The King books clearly draw on the legend of King Arthur, the complex tapestries of “The Lord of the Rings” and – for the steely main character Deschain – the spaghetti westerns of Sergio Leone and taciturn screen menace of Clint Eastwood. The stories go far and wide but at their center is the gunslinger on a quest for the mysterious castle of the title, which may or may not be the nexus of the universe, and despite his own Old West mien, Deschain roams a world of eerie magic and an end-of-time atmosphere where the sun doesn’t always rise in east and set in the west.

“It’s one of the things that really fascinated me about the challenge,” Howard said. “We love Roland the Gunslinger but we also like coming back to these worlds and these places. On one hand it is grounded and relatable but on the other hand it’s scary and strange and mind-blowing. There’s this dream quality to it and the mystery in that is what it’s all about – being compelled forward without all the answers.”

"The Dark Tower" from the pages of Marvel Comics

The character is a fan-favorite and Howard knows that the casting will be closely scrutinized. As this point in the process, most filmmakers would never engage in casual banter about the possible actors but Howard didn’t dodge the topic and nodded when names such as Daniel Craig, Hugh Jackman and Jon Hamm were mentioned.

“Sure, those are some names and on ‘The Dark Tower’ fansites they’re all about Viggo,” Howard said, referring to Viggo Mortensen, who has plenty of appropriate experience — he’s roamed a desolate, otherworldly landscape in “The Road,” wore iron on his hip in “Appaloosa” and forever won over fantasy fans as Aragorn in “The Lord of the Rings” films.

Howard has an eclectic filmography as a director — “Cocoon” and “The Paper,” “Willow” and “Frost/Nixon,” “Backdraft” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” — but he said “The Dark Tower” would take him to new places.

“Filmically, there are tones in this that I have never used before, tones of fantasy menace and elements of horror and real fear,” Howard said. “And there’s the burden, on the characters, of this journey that is really palpable. That’s what we need to get on the screen. I think there’s something about [the Frank Darabont films] ‘Green Mile’ or a ‘Shawshank Redemption,’ the complexity and the ballast of them, those are two [of the Stephen King adaptations] where you do get the horror and suspense that’s there on the page. We’re charging ourselves with the responsibility of getting a real understanding of the material and utilizing many of the best aspects of the books and graphic novels.”

The right Roland? Viggo Mortensen, Daniel Craig and Kurt Russell. (Touchston Pictures / Buena Vista Pictures)

The target release for the first movie is 2013. The television series would then follow and bridge to the second film. After the second movie the television series would pick up again and carry forward to the final film in the trilogy. A television series that functions as the mortar between cinematic brick? It’s an audacious plan but in a September statement Goldsman said grand-scale storytelling is needed for the grand-scale source material.

“The worlds of Stephen King’s ‘The Dark Tower’ series are richly detailed, inter-locking and deeply connected,” Goldsman said. “By telling this story across media platforms and over multiple hours—and with a view to telling it completely—we have our best chance of translating Roland’s quest to reach the Dark Tower onto screen. We are proceeding with tremendous excitement, fidelity to the source material and, quite frankly, no small amount of awe at this opportunity.”

It remains to be seen if an audience will follow a medium-jumping story on this scale and Howard calls the whole project “the challenge of a lifetime.” He said he’s happy to lose sleep for the great quest he’s undertaking and he’s happy to report that King is enthusiastic as well.

“We’re really early on, but he and I do know that he loves what he’s hearing and he’s excited about it,” Howard said. “He has just been so welcoming. ‘Welcome aboard’ is how I would describe the reception we got…. I think he has a genuine curiosity, even at this point in his amazing career, about the way his work can be taken to another medium and therefore a kind of openness and freedom about what those stories will look like.  I hope it goes great. I hope it goes the way we think it will. It never does, really. But sometimes it goes better.”

– Geoff Boucher

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Comments


235 Responses to ‘The Dark Tower’: Ron Howard’s plans (and passion) for Stephen King epic

  1. sue says:

    Viggo as Roland? What a nobrainer! …but I don't think Roland has an nude scenes though…

    • CAS says:

      Remember, they're going for character-driven simplicity. No clothes is as simple as it gets.

    • deadeloc says:

      no, no no, folks it's gotta be Josh Holloway (Sawyer from Lost) he fits the profile better than Viggo. i can't see Viggo doin the Comela.

    • ISA says:

      No, but Eddie does…

    • Gruumsh says:

      There are at least two scenes where roland is naked…two that I can think of off the top of my head but I believe there are more.

    • Guest says:

      PLEASE no VIGGO – Clint Eastwood #1 – Jeff Bridges #2. Not sure about the TV-in-between-thing – major channel a must. Could add more of my opinion, but I think this is enough.

    • James says:

      How about Liam Neeson as Roland?

    • Dave says:

      Roland gets naked a lot in Wizard and Glass

    • ted lee says:

      how about liam neeson

    • CallMeZoltan says:

      There's always the scenes with Alice? (bartender in the town Roland destroyed), the speaking demon seduction…don't worry you'll get to see his butt one way or the other!

    • Sheila says:

      Having just read that Javier Bardem was offered the part, I have to say he would be amazing. But my own adoration for Viggo leaves me secretly hoping…..I am obsessed with this story now. Not quite finished with the last book, but enjoying it SO MUCH and dreading the end. But now there's another new book coming out and I am thrilled!

    • Chris says:

      Of Viggo, Craig or Russell I think Viggo has the gritty edge this character has. But, for an even better cast of the character I would throw in Mads Mikkelsen. Ever see Valhalla Rising? Creepy-murderous-viking-abdomen-slashing warrior is what he was.

    • B-rad says:

      Josh Brolin. Ive seen him as Roland since he did Jonah Hex.

  2. Wowed! says:

    Wow. Oh, Wow! I have been a fan of the books since I picked up the Gunslinger in college. I read the whole series about every two years and they are like old and very dear friends. I usually hate what they do to great book with a movie but this sounds very, very interesting and the concept of a TV show to bridge the gap between movies is great. TV has become amazing in the past few years!

    Oh, and Viggo Mortensen IS Roland of Gilead!

    • Claire says:

      WOULDN'T THAT HAVE BEEN SOOOOOO HARRISON FORD TEN TWELVE YEARS AGO?

    • Jaydean says:

      Ron needs to be careful here – I can see a great movie adaptation for the first book, but when you look at the series wizards glass, wolves of callah and sons of susannah should be left alone because theyre magnificent and a movie could never recapture what the books have.

    • Reeta says:

      I think Daniel Craig has the more haggered (sp.?) look that Roland needs. Roland is weathered but strong, beaten down by time but still enough life left in him to see it through 'til the end. Viggo looks too young and too pretty to convince me that he has been on this eternal quest for very long.

    • Janet Eubanks says:

      Viggo – absolutely, although it's too bad that Clint Eastwood is too old. John Hamm and Hugh Jackman are too pretty, and I'm not a huge Daniel Craig fan. Oh, this is EXCITING!

  3. luca says:

    viggo?!?!? I think john hamm would be perfect, but also jackman isn't bad…

  4. billy says:

    Better go high concept with the movie. That's the only way King books work on the screen. Otherwise they're unwatchab;e.

  5. jjl says:

    this is a great idea for a series of movies and wold be very close to as big as harry Potter has been i think. I am very excited to even here news of this and have hoped and wanted this since i read The Gunslinger when i was in jr high. I have been lazy as of late and havent finshed last 2 but plan to get on that right away.

  6. Nancy says:

    Hugh Jackman is red hot.

  7. Maria says:

    Even though Viggo would be perfect for the role–I find it hard to believe that he would get involved in such a high-profile series of films again. He still hasn't regained the level of privacy he prefers after Lord of the Rings and tends to choose small films or small roles in bigger films now as through most of his career.

  8. Bruno says:

    Actually, King's epic fantasy began in 1970, when King was still an undergraduate at the University of Maine, and not 1982. "The Gunslinger" next appeared as a series of 5 short stories in "The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction" from 1978 – 1981. It was later collected and released as a VERY, VERY limited edition hardcover in 1982 by publisher Donald M. Grant.

    "The Gunslinger" did not receive a mass market release until 1988 when it was finally released as an oversized paperback by Plume.

  9. terryzx says:

    This will be a fantastic project that I am really excited about seeing asap

  10. AmbroseKalifornia says:

    This sounds promising. Enthusiasm combined with careful planning can get you a long way.

  11. Mark says:

    Viggo Mortensen is way too old. Jon Hamm would be a perfect choice.

    • Brian says:

      Have you read the book? Through out most of them Roland is middle age except during flashbacks.

    • nogs says:

      I think Jon Hamm's smile is way too friendly. Viggo would be a good choice for Roland his character has always been hard and Viggo's blue eyes with the right tan would convey that perfectly. You want someone who's forgotten how to laugh at all, even in Wizard and the Glass when he was with Susan and his friends he still wasn't the bubbly friendly close kind of guy. You want someone who can be off-putting. Roland isn't someone you want to be your friend.

      • mess says:

        long tall and ugly as eddie would say. i think liam neeson is the perfect roland(have you ever him say asprin?)

    • Will Jeter says:

      Roland is ageless,anyone playing him would have to at least look older, Jon Hamm might make a good Eddie.

    • mike says:

      Roiland is hundreds of years old. i think Viggo is a perfect fit.

  12. ninjarider says:

    I cant wait for the movies to come, but bridging them with a series on NBC…I think is a mistake. If they could put the the series on a SHOtime, HBO, or STARZ even, you have a better chance of keeping the audience attention. I wouldn't watch a hour long show like Dexter on a network that unindates you with comercials, while trying to stay in tune with complex charaters and story lines.

    • Matt says:

      Lost Did that in the past, and King originally optioned TDT to JJ Abrams. King has always been willing to do miniseries with commercial breaks on Network TV, and while that has been horrible in the past (i.e. Langoliers, Sleepwalkers) it has also been an incredible event (The Stand) that gets his material to a larger audience than he could with HBO or another pay channel.

      King grew up poor, and I think he would be reluctant to charge people to watch TV, it's contrary to his Blue Collar nature. Done right this could be as good if not better than The Stand. Which is arguably Kings first introduction of the Dark Tower to his TV audience. The events of the Captain Trips outbreak are mentioned in Wizards and Glass, and The Walking Dude is Roland's first antagonist in the Gunslinger….The man in Black went west, and Roland followed.

    • flagg says:

      I don't mind the fact that the show will be interrupted by ad breaks. That only matters the first time we're watching it on television. When the DVDs come out, our second, third, fourth viewings and so on will all be completely uninterrupted. It's not a big deal having to watch some ads the first time round.

    • Beth says:

      I agree that the TV episodes should not be on NBC, not because of the commercials (though that would suck) but because there is too much censorship on network television. You can't have censorship when telling any Stephen King story! TDT has a lot of violence, horror and language, all of which are integral to the story, and adapting it to fit within the confines of network television would ruin it. It just wouldn't be any good.

  13. steve says:

    Unlike you, and others like you, who pretend to comment on an article just so you can try to sell something. You reall think anyone comes here looking for a phony "make money" sheme? Or to shop? Get a life.

  14. Froy says:

    Ufff… the Dark Tower is too messy to film. They'll have to make plenty of changes if they want it to make any sense to the audience. Not even King seemed to know where he was leading his characters in the last books. But if Howard changes the story fans will rip him to pieces. A real challenge. I don't know if Akiva Goldsman, the screenwriter of "Batman Forever" and "Batman and Robin" is the right person for the job.

  15. C Martin Smythe says:

    there's entirely too much religiosity surrounding this project. Lindelof and Abrams walked away because they were intimidated by its greatness? Come on !
    It's just a genre mash-up with obvious aspirations to out-scale Lord of the Rings.
    I have read every book in the series over the years, as they came out, and I found them to be very uneven, sometimes barely sticking together in theme, mood and character, which is I suppose what necessitated King's revisions in earlier chapters. I never read the revised versions. I'm not that devout.
    I did think there were several major narrative disappointments spread over the last several books. As a reader I felt like King no longer knew what to write and was just spewing page-filler.
    I think he's written some great tales in his career, but I doubt anyone could defend him against charges of being a paper salesman. The guy likes to publish. Not all of it is worth the reading time. This series has its moments, but I think Hollywood's eagerness to get involved says more about its own thirst for epic franchises with built-in audiences than it does about the greatness of the source material.

    • Tammy Meador says:

      I have been a King fan since my early teens. I have read every novel that he has written, and have seldom been disappointed in his storytelling. It is true that he does like to publish, but isn't that his job? Doesn't a writer write? As a fan of his work, and fantasy in general, I suppose I am bias. And I will admit that there are some works that I haven't read a second time. But he has never let me down so much that I didn't rush out to purchase the next novel. I'm curious to know if the Tower books are the only thing you have read by King? Perhaps the "uneven" you mentioned is due to the fact that you haven't explored enough of his world. I look forward to the movies and t.v. series, and hope they are as successful in bringing Roland and his quest to life on the big screen as Stephen has made in my minds eye.

    • meega says:

      Your opinion is well-formed. I guess people are voting you down because they disagree, I love the books, but I agree with your last statement. That's spot-on.

    • Marsh says:

      In what alternate reality did you read these books? Not sure if it was this one.

    • A.S.Hogermeer says:

      i suggest you take a peek at the comics that have been created…..makes the dark tower series even more amazing. I think also you like to page spew as well your paragraph took to much space and time to read.

    • cory dykstra says:

      to get the whole story of roland you have to read all the stories that play into it like Hearts of Atlantis, The Talisman, Blackhouse, Salems lot, you have to read how all the characters show up in Rolands tale to get it, I think you see it as uneven because you haven't read all the support novels on how everybody got there, I think this will surpass lord of the rings by light years especially done by ron howard, if anyone, he will bring Roland to life and will do justice to his tale.

  16. deadeloc says:

    what about the connections in other King novels to the Dark Tower? I remember him(Roland) being handed a copy of Insomnia. Pare Callahan's character goes back to King's second novel 'Salem's Lot. This is a massive undertaking most surely to be botched in some way or another. As we all know it did'nt end the way we all had hoped. Thats why i think the Lost folks owe a huge credit to King, they ended their show almost the same way King ended the Tower series. No answers, and did it really come down to Cuthbert"s horn? Can Jamie Sheriden play Randall Flagg again?

    • Dale says:

      I think the series ended the only way it could. Countless times the saying was that Ka is a wheel. Everything rolled back around.

    • Marina says:

      I never thought Jamie Sheriden was a very good Flagg anyway…They actually need to re-cast The Stand and do THAT one over again…I was thinking that guys playing Larry Underwood would have been a greta "twinner" for Eddie Dean, though. But, I am sure he is way too old now..Hell, my first choice of Jason Lee for Eddie is too old now. But that one chic from SOUTHLAND, Regina King would be an awesome Susannah. Flagg,…hmm. Maybe Hugh Jackman could play HIM-he doesn't always have to play rolls in tight shirts hwne and if he wears one…lol

    • mess says:

      slow down cowboy , its not over yet. kings starting an 8th book in a few mounths.

  17. Russnin says:

    the only revised book is the gunslinger. if any of you payed attention

  18. mie says:

    Viggo, absolument parfait…

  19. Roland says:

    Was wondering: What about Clint as Arthur Eld? Would be great I think. At least he deserves to be part of the Films, as he was King's "image" of Roland. maybe Thomas Jane would be a good Roland too?

  20. flagg says:

    When he says they're not afraid to keep the story 'simple', I certainly hope that doesn't mean they're considering cutting away all the references to other Stephen King stories. The interconnectedness is the most special thing about The Dark Tower; without the connections, the series would become meaningless.

  21. Russ says:

    Hugh Laurie as Roland would be perfect IMO. He's even got the limp down pat.

    • Stefani says:

      I agree! He is so talented and I can see him as Roland.

    • Elizabeth Kaylene says:

      I hate House, but I think Hugh Laurie has the ruggedness of Roland down and he could work.

      Personally, I wish that Clint Eastwood were younger. He's the only Roland for me! I like the idea of
      Viggo Mortenson or Kurt Russell. I'm not too sure how I feel about Hugh Jackman. That's a maybe.

      I have faith in Ron Howard, though, so I'm looking forward to seeing who he casts for each of the characters.

    • joedirte` says:

      Yes!!! someone else suggested this in another forum please keep spreading this he is roland out and out (other than clint!)

    • Rob says:

      Seriously? Laurie? He was cast as House for two reasons… he's funny and witty.. Roland is neither.

  22. Gilead says:

    Whoa, wait a sec, why not use the actualy gunslinger, Clint Eastwood? Seems to me thats who the character is modeled after. The actors age matches the characters age as well. As for stuntwork and the Commala, they could always use a little cg here and there.

  23. Geo says:

    Viggo would be awesome, but I think they would have to go with someone who would be willing to work on tv as well if they go with this strange format. I think Viggo might be too big of a star for that (same with Craig and Jackman, maybe not Hamm, though). In my mind, Karl Urban (aka newBones) would be a good alternative.

    • Jor says:

      Big stars work on tv too, and Viggo hasn't done anything big in 10 years. I think he'd be great for Roland. I do like Karl Urban, though I don't know if he has enough epicness about him to be the Gunslinger. Eric Bana would be a good choice if Viggo isn't up for it.

  24. Despondent DT Fan says:

    You are deluded, all of you. This project has NO chance of being any good as long as Akiva Goldsman is involved. It wouldn't matter if they invented a time machine and brought young Clint Eastwood in to play Roland. Ron Howard has made some good movies, I'll grant, but nothing requiring this level of complexity. That's not to say he couldn't pull it off… with a screenwriter who ISN'T a total hack. God, I wish the "Lost" guys had held on to this!

    • Elizabeth Kaylene says:

      You never know, it might not be as bad as you think. I have faith in this team. A Beautiful Mind was fantastic. Goldsman's writing was brilliant in that movie. If you haven't seen it, check it out. It might change your mind.

      • flagg says:

        I agree. Howard and Goldsman certainly wouldn't be my first choices (I'd rather the entrire Dark Tower film and TV series be written and directed by Frank Darabont), but after seeing A Beautiful Mind, I know that they have what it takes to pull it off. It's a very intelligent, complex film that deals with the nature of reality and how we perceive it – The Dark Tower will definitely involve similar themes.

        Unfortunately the majority of Howard's films have been so-so in my opinion; A Beautiful Mind was the only great one. But he's only directing the first film and first TV series – presumably, that means The Gunslinger and The Drawing of the Three, which are definitely the least-challenging books of the entire series. As long as they hand The Waste Lands (and its sequels) off to a more talented team… I think this has the potential to be a fantastic series overall.

      • Melissa says:

        (I'd rather the entrire Dark Tower film and TV series be written and directed by Frank Darabont)

        Oh god, so much this!
        I don't know why King refused to give DT to Darabont. He has always done a stellar job with King material and I think he'd knock DT outta the park.

  25. Sara says:

    What about Josh Holloway (Sawyer from Lost) as Roland?? Hmmm…

  26. Jimbo says:

    Does anyone else think this project was better off in the hands of Abrams?

    • jarod says:

      yep yep would've been great if they had kept it they just need a good writer to come on board and it could work

    • Amber says:

      I have been a big fan of the DT series for the last 15 years, even while it was still in production. When I saw the first season of Lost, I thought, man, these are the guys that should do the DT movie. And with Dave McKean/Phil Hale on the artistic team.

    • flagg says:

      JJ Abrams probably would have been a better choice, but that ship has sailed. There's no use dwelling on what might have been; I think we should all just accept the fact that Ron Howard is directing this, give him our full support and hope he does a terrific job.

  27. Big DT Fan says:

    Jon Hamm as Roland!!

  28. justcastitalready says:

    Timothy Olyphant should be the gunslinger.

  29. Amber says:

    The whole point of the character Roland was that he was a traveler in both time and through the land. There were many references in the novels to him not knowing how long he had been on his quest. That time had grown thin. There is no way you could only cast one man as Roland. It would be awesome to have several men play him. Besides, no one wants to see an actor with distracting age make-up, or obvious camera blur to make him look young. You'd just feel cheated. Oh, and PLEASE Ron Howard (and your team), don't screw this up!

    • Elizabeth Kaylene says:

      Several men? I'm hoping you mean brothers with several years between them, because otherwise that would just be ridiculous. Roland's basic appearance doesn't change. He does age, but only a few years — enough to give him some grey hair and wrinkles around his eyes and mouth. (See The Gunslinger.)

  30. Shanon says:

    I could see Karl Urban… I'm not fond of hte idea of Viggo… Honestly, I'd love to see an unknown make their debut, but only if they're seriously awesome. If you don't get the right Roland, the movie isn't worth making.

    also, Jake. But there are plenty of options there, as long as its not the kid from AI & Sixth Sense.

    • flagg says:

      The best choice for Jake Chambers would be Nathan Gamble, the kid from Frank Darabont's version of The Mist. He looks perfect for the part, he's the right age, and he's a genuinely good actor – check out The Mist and see for yourself.

      And thankfully, the kid from AI and Sixth Sense is way too old for Jake by now… we may have dodged a bullet there.

  31. Turtledove says:

    I LOVE all of the actors suggest above in everything I have seen them in but VIGGO IS ROLAND!!! As soon as I saw a "High Plains Drifter" sort of silent silhouette of a gunslinger, I knew Viggo was it. Not to mention the similarities between this series and LOTR. If Ron can get Viggo, he will be a lucky man.

  32. Roland says:

    Too bad Clint Eastwood isn't younger, HE is the Gunslinger.

  33. Lissa says:

    Viggo is the one for sure…someone mentioned his obsession with regaining his privacy…however, he is all about a good story. I am sure Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, and company can come up with something great and lure him in.

  34. adam says:

    to everyone who says viggo is too old. isnt roland in his late 40s early 50s in the first book? and like 60 by the start of the second book? I'm sure of this. viggo is ok for roland, i could live with hamm, but craig and jackman- no thanks. And as for holloway, look i'm probably the worlds biggest lost fan but c'mon! Maybe a slightly older mark pellegrino (jacob)?

    • Elizabeth Kaylene says:

      Roland ages to about his forties in the first book, yes. So you're right; I don't know why so many people think Viggo Mortensen would be too old. I could definitely see Viggo as the gunslinger.

  35. renoster78 says:

    This is a dream come true! I have been reading Stephen King books for over 15 years now and have loved every story. I am one of his biggest fans!!!
    I can't wait for The Dark Tower series and especially Roland Deschain to hit the big screen and TV ;-)
    I know that they will do their best as it's always difficult to adapt a book to screen.

    ALL THE BEST!!

    To serving the beam

  36. Nick says:

    All you people who say Viggo Mortensen is a good choice for Roland of Gilead are WRONG!!! He was too much of a pansy to play Aragon who is a pansy compared to Roland. Whoever said Hugh Jackman is too old, Roland has outlived legends, he’s ancient of ancient. Age doesn’t matter for Roland.
    Bruno, if all you picked up on from this article was the non-facts of the date of publication (which are written in the stories, so you’re extra clever for knowing) then you really need to go back and read what it is ACTUALLY TALKING ABOUT.
    C Martin Smythe, how can you say King faltered towards the end? The final book is astounding. If anything, the earlier books are the shaky ones, which is understandable considering Kings inexperience at the time and the concept he was taking on. I don’t think he even knew how immense the series was going to be until finished did it.
    Roland (nice name), Gilead (again), I would love for Clint Eastwood to be involved in some way, as I’m sure King would, but he’s hung up his dusty poncho & retired from acting (a real tragedy). Maybe they could get him involved back-stage, his knowledge from the Leone movies would be an amazing addition to the cinematic scope of the movies.
    Keep in mind this team made A Beautiful Mind together. I know it’s a completely unrelated project, but they can make a good movie working together, I hope thy can do it again.
    Karl Urban as Eddie, maybe. But not Roland. Nobody has discussed the rest of the ka-tet. Like I said, Karl Urban as Eddie I think could work. Susannah & Jake, I have no idea whatsoever.
    I am so excited about this idea. The cross-media thing could work really well considering the massive scope of the stories, the only problem of living in the UK is I’m going to have to wait longer than you Yanks to see it all! Roll on 2013, I really hope this goes ahead and is as good as it could be!

    • Amber says:

      So, who would you cast as Roland?

    • Elizabeth Kaylene says:

      I agree with almost everything you said, but I still say I could see Viggo Mortensen as Roland. He's got that gunslinger ruggedness. I'd rather see a younger Clint Eastwood or a talented unknown, but if it comes down to Hugh Jackman or Viggo Mortensen, I'm going with Aragorn.

      • Crystal H says:

        I think Viggo as Roland and Hugh Jackman as Eddie. Ron Howard is perfect for the director by the way. Im so excited!!!

  37. Kevin says:

    I love the Dark Tower series, but I really don't have any faith in this project. Ron Howard is a nice guy, but he's hardly the person to bring this story to life. None of the actors mentioned sound right for Roland (how about an unheard of that looks like a young Clint Eastwood). And well, can anyone mention a good Stephen King movie besides Green Mile and Shawshank Redemption? Okay, Stand By Me, but name another. See, you can't.
    That said, I'd love to see it adapted as a adult orientated cartoon done right for Cartoon Network.

  38. You know I'm right says:

    Timothy Olyphant as Roland or scrap the whole endeavor 'cause it's screwed from the onset. Just sayin'.

  39. Matt L says:

    To all you people who are throwing out names like Hugh Jackman or Viggo Mortensen, you really need to think a little smarter. That's lazy casting. You need to have some taste when making these choices and don't go with the obvious bankable stars. Seeing as how this is film AND tv, they would need to cast a complete unknown, but it needs to be someone at least in their 40's if not 50's in order to get the age correct. We don't need some pretty boy Roland. Casting wise I think Joseph Gordon Levitt would be spot on for Eddie and he's actually got the acting chops.

    Roland just has to be an unknown. No Christian Bale, Johnny Depp, or Gerard Butler (ugh….). The saddest part about losing Abrams and his crew is that we'll never get to hear what Michael Giacchino would have done for the score.

  40. Dan Taylor says:

    i cant wait!!!!!!!1
    viggo as roland would be good. some other good ones in my opinion would be javier bardem or josh brolin. im not sure about hugh jackman, though i am a big fan of him.

    daniel craig as roland is a terrible idea. he should never act again in my opinion. i would be outraged if they chose him.

  41. Stacey says:

    Who would play the role of Susannah? I believe there are several people who would be good but I believe Angela Bassett would do a great job.

  42. Stacey says:

    Who would play Susannah? There are several people who would fit the mold but I believe Angela Bassett would be great.

  43. Dthomp says:

    Josh Brolin or Jeff Bridges for Roland. Walton Goggins (from The Shield and Predators) as Eddie, Jada Pinkette Smith as Odetta/Detta/Susannah, and some new kid as Jake and you've got yourself a pretty spot on cast in my opinion.

  44. Fulana de Tal says:

    Visually Jackman would be perfect. He's a dead ringer for a younger Clint already, and he's got the acting chops to pull this off and bring an audience. Love Viggo too, hopefully fans will turn in to see him but they stayed away from Road in droves, so that might work against him. But above all – no HAMM!

  45. bleebloo says:

    this is the stupidest idea i have ever heard.

  46. dkritype4u says:

    AN TET:

    Dinh/Roland: Viggio Mortenson (I really can't see anyone else with this role)

    Eddie: Jackson Rathbone (Perfect), Kellan Lutz or Gerard Butler

    Detta: Viola Davis (this woman has true grit) no one else can play Detta!

    Suzanne: Gabriel Union, Halle Berry or Kerry Washington

    Jake: (I don't know…whenever I think of Jake – I picture him looking like Justin Bieber..No?)…kinda innocent.

    Susan Delgado: Scarlett Johansson ( I don't see anyone else in this role…No?)

    Roland's Father: Gerard Butler or Jeff Bridges

    Roland's Mother: Angelina Jolie (no one plays deception better than Angelina)

    • Chris says:

      Different actresses for Detta and Suzanne? They're the same woman!!! And, seriously, Scarlett Johansen. WRONG!

    • Marina says:

      sweet casting with angelina and scarlette..small but sweet…as for Detta/Suzannah, I totally think Regins King from Southland..she can be gorgeous-she's fit and can look evil when pissed. Intersting for Eddie, good one, but also Joseph Gordon Levitt, Jason Lee would have been perfect if he was younger…maybe Casey Afleck for Eddie, I just picture him kind of tall and lanky (eddie, I mean) As for Jake…we might have to look towards some of them Disney kiddos…he is supposed to be a twinner for Bobby from Heats in Atlantis…now Chekov in the last Star Trek…just supposed to be blond. One of those silly Disney twins if they can act normal and serious might work…or even switching them out so Jake looks slightly different every time he comes back to Roland.

    • DTJunkie says:

      Scarlett Johannson for Susan Delgado? Um, Susan is 16 years old! At least ya got the hair color correct…

  47. S Hume says:

    I think this is exciting news. my vote for Roland would be Christian Bale but Hamm or Mortensen would also be well cast.

  48. Jason says:

    Something tells me Russel Crow may be cast in this. Howard has worked with him several times.

  49. Jerry says:

    WOW! What is wrong with you people. are there any REAL DT fans here. To me The Dark tower is the largest and greatest story ever told. I have boxes of dark tower related items. I have collected all of the signed first edition grant books. I consider myself to be one of, if not the biggest dark tower fan out there. That being said here is my opinion. Books and movies are two completely different animals. If you expect these movies to mirror the books, you will be very upset. It cannot be done that way. However this story will still make a great movie and I cant wait to see it. I am sure Ron Howard knows this and will do a great job staying true as possible to the book. With todays technology they will have no problem bringing all the strange characters and places in this story to life. As far as everyones opinion about the writing. WAKE UP. Does everyone here REALLY not know what is going on. KING IS HANDS ON INVOLVED WITH THE WRITING AND HAS FINAL SAY. It was part of the deal. There are a few things I am concerned with about this project. first, the network TV series. The Dark Tower is not a G rated story. I would hate to see it toned down for network television. The other concern is the actors. I think they should all be unknowns. There are many diamonds in rough and the time should be spent to find them. I believe that when we see these people on the screen it should be for the first time, especially Roland. Long Days an pleasant nights.

    • flagg says:

      Stephen King had no involvement in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. The result was a masterpiece, and one of the greatest horror films of all time.

      Stephen King was heavily involved in Mick Garris's The Shining. The result was a disaster, and one of the worst horror films of all time.

      King's involvement in The Dark Tower doesn't inspire confidence in me. He's a fantastic novelist but a terrible screenwriter. He should just stick to what he's good at.

  50. Interloper says:

    I'm siding with those who want the part for Roland to go to an unknown. Screw bankable stars. Also: Will they cast someone with real sky blue eyes – -or CGI that in? It makes a difference to the overall quality of the end product. Speaking for myself I can tell even if they add 1 pixel to someone's eyes. It's fake looking. Ron needs to send out a casting call with the caveat "if you don't have the blue eyes, don't bother auditioning".

    As for Timothy Olyphant — yeah, he could play any number of villains from Midworld, sure.

    I like Karl Urban – -but he's also too recognizable, to me, to even be in this. But then again, he's a good screen presence – - I vote him in as another villain, one of the Coffin Hunters maybe.

    Someone here mentioned Nicholas Brendon — Um… Ya, maybe to play the part of Sheemie…

  51. Interloper says:

    If they cast Russel Crowe as Roland, I'll have a small coniption fit – - HELL NO. I used to really look forward to Crowe in movies, since I first saw him in Romper Stomper- -and he's delivered his fair share of cool roles. But his time is done, now. Too recognizable, and furthermore, doesn't resemble Roland Deschain in the least. Please Ron . . . JUST SAY NO to Russel Crowe.

    I like Quint's suggestion of Aaron Paul for Eddie Dean. Sure it would be great to somehow transform / transport Clint Eastwood back in time, so he could do it–but we all know it's a tad too late for that. (I like the idea of him playin' Roland's Dad – brilliant. Now someone needs to get him to change his mind about that "no more acting" decision he announced recently. [That's what they all say, ain't it tho' -? Look at Jet Li. I'll bet when Clint says "No" – - he means it.

    Too bad Terence Hill is in his 70s now. Maybe he'll agree to play Roland's Dad. . .

  52. Leo says:

    As a huge fan of the dark tower series I must say I'm a bit apprehensive about them being made into films due to their size and complexity, but it'll definately be interesting to see how they turn out. Also I think Viggo would be perfect for the role of Roland. Hope he gets it!

  53. Jeff says:

    Christian Bale…

  54. anen says:

    I heard that Javier Bardem is being considered for the role

  55. Mid world mama says:

    HUGH JACKMAN IS ROLAND!!!!!!!!! I have read all the gunslinger books several times and I have always pictured him as Roland. I can't imagine anyone else playing this part. Hugh can play the tough, strong, lonely hero better than anyone!!! I would also love to see Ryan Kwanten play Eddie!!!!! These are my favorite books EVER, and I hope with all my heart that they do them justice.

  56. Linda Helling says:

    I have such mixed feelings about this project. At least once a year I revisit the world of the dark tower and read all the books. I have been a fan of this series before there was even a Wizard and Glass. The choosing of actors for these beloved characters is crucial. Especially Roland. Good luck to us all!

  57. Frenchythefrog says:

    Josh Hartnett would make a good Roland. Just give him some blue contacts and a few more wrinkles!

  58. Ted says:

    The key to making Roland real is the eyes. Daniel Craig is the man for the job, he can pull off the haunted look of the character that's seen what the "Gunslinger" has seen. The "Man in Black" almost has to be Rutger Hower…Please!!! Don't give us another "Rose Madder", or whatever the hell that thing was called. I can't wait, read all 7 and hoping it lives up to the best story I ever read.

  59. breve says:

    Definitely Viggo from that list. Roland is NOT a young man nor is he supposedly handsome….so please, no pretty men. Viggo has a rugged, dark, detachment about him that personifies Roland. Yes, Clint would be perfect but too old to be believable.

    Good luck to Ron Howard because if he doesn't pull this off, there will be many of us Dark Tower fans that will hate him forever.

  60. Liz says:

    Word on the street isn't always that accurate, but sometimes it is and supposedly Javier Bardem and Viggo Mortensen are up for the lead. http://backseatcuddler.com/2010/12/31/bardem-and-
    I feel pretty strongly that Viggo should be cast, if he's willing to take it on. He is the Roland that I envisioned LONG before i ever dreamed that a DT movie would be made. And after taking a peek at fan sites and forums, he seems to be the front-runner among readers weighing in everywhere. I'm excited about this and really glad that the magnitude of this epic hasn't crippled enthusiasm for the film. It's intimidating, but the fact is, it's being made by fans. This is something they care about doing extremely well (a self proclaimed "challenge of a lifetime") If they're courageous enough to charge themselves with the responsibility, and know it's true weight, then i have faith it'll be the best it could be. They're obviously extremely passionate about the project and the books, even making the effort to scour fan sites to see what's going on in the heads of real DT fans. They're taking into consideration the graphic novels, fully immersing themselves, and taking it seriously. I can respect that.
    So if they're carefully consulting with and listening to King, to the truest of fans, and most importantly, to the STORY;
    What more could we ask for?

  61. fangirl says:

    I don't mean to offend, but Hugh Jackman or Christian Bale being cast would take the wind right out of my sails and I'm not sure i would even pay to SEE the movie with Wolverine or Batman (mis)cast as our beloved Gunslinger.

  62. fangirl says:

    IDEAS FOR CASTING
    Roland = Viggo Mortensen, Timothy Olyphant, Guy Pearce, Josh Brolin
    Odetta (Susannah) Holmes = Rutina Wesley (True Blood) = ABSOLUTE TOP CHOICE, Naomie Harris (28 days later) Zoe Saldana, Rosario Dawson
    Eddie Dean = Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad), Norman Reedus (Boondock Saints), Jared Leto, Tom Sturridge, James Franco, Emile Hirsch
    Jake Chambers = Cameron Bright, Logan Lerman, Rory Culkin
    Judas = Sam Elliott, Jeff Bridges
    MIB = Tobin Bell (SAW), Willem Dafoe, Ben Kingsley, Gary Oldman, Jeremy Irons,
    voice of Blaine the Mono = Alan Rickman, Jack Nicholson, Anthony Hopkins
    Father Callahan = Clint Eastwood
    Susan Delgado = Saoirse Ronan

    commence criticism

    • marina says:

      Good call on top choice for Suzannah, though my first choice would be Regina King from Southland. While Anthony Hopkins would always be a sexy voice choice for Blaine, he does have to be Ted in the 7th book as he IS Ted in Hearts in Atlantis, Eddie sounds good as James Franco, but also Jason Gordon Levitt…my FIRST choice would have been Jason Lee, but he seems too old now…maybe that sexy blond dude from Across The Universe. Even Drew Fuller might could pull that off. Now Jake…I think Cameron Bright might have been good before but is now past passing for 12 years old, and small for that age as Jake is supposed to be. Sounds corny but maybe the twin from Suite Life could play him. Oh and I think the name you were looking for was JONAS, not Judas…lol for him maybe that one guys that played Barbas on Charmed. Heyyy either of the Supernatural guys could pull off Eddie Dean…Jared Padlecky because he is tall and lanky, Jensen Ackles because he is such a sexy smartass. Oh but here is a stretch for Eddie…Shia LaBouf…godd calls for Jake but past their prime for that one…he is going to be hard.

    • Mem says:

      Roland – i agree with the Olyphant idea completely!
      Odetta – Harris is a good pick and a great thought
      Eddie – Franco would be interesting
      Jake – no Culkins, please. Bright could work though.
      Judas – Bridges…hmmm…I saw him more as another role (Cuthbert) but that works
      MIB – Kingsley would be fantastic
      Callahan – Eastwood nice, very nice. he should have at least some role in it.
      Susan – Ronan? hmmm…possible.

      overall not bad. but, for 3 movies plus TV shows, would be very costly. How many of those actors would even be willing to do TV in between the movies I wonder.

    • followthebeam says:

      jared leto or tom sturridge are fantastic choices for eddie. saw someone mentioned kellan lutz or jackson rathbone earlier..this isnt twilight! those two are two…much for the part. i always imagined eddie as slim, slightly unhealthy looking, not all buff and over sexed!

  63. klausrumba says:

    I hope they don"t screw it up,done well it would be a classic that could go on forever.i'm hoping for numerous rolands of different ages no names eastwood looks ?

  64. Andy Goss says:

    I think Jim Caviezel or Timothy Olyphant (Deadwood rocks) would make a good Roland. Viggo is just too short, Roland is about 6’3″ if I remember correctly. Christian Bale would be ok as well, he is no stranger to making himself gaunt for a role. I don’t think Josh Duhamel has the chops to pull it off. This has to be an actor with some serious skill. Edward Norton would make a good Eddie Dean and I think Zoe Saldana or Thandie Newton for Susannah. Jake is a tough one.

  65. Interloper says:

    lol at Wiser… nice one

  66. Serge says:

    Well, there´s the rumor that Bardem it's the first option, but I don´t think he has it, he doesn´t match rolands description, he neither has roland's blue eyes, he might fit for Walter or the Crimson King with a lot of make up. John Hamm looks good for roland but I prefer Viggo, he's perfect for the role, he has the cold blue eyes, the tired feeling, he's age won´t be a problem because it gives the sensation of many years on the road, and fought multiple hardships, besides, in the wolves of calla Roland is seen like a grandpa, so the age it´s no big problem. So let´s hope Ron chooses the best actor, but not bardem, please, don´t spoil it, he's a great actor but he'll never be Roland. But I'd rather like Stephen King to make the ultimate choice, Ron should gave him that right, after all, it's the work of all his life, so what do you think Steve, who should you cast? Well, I hope you read this, you and Ron.

  67. Bob says:

    Bruce Campbell as Roland
    Haley Joel Osment as Jake
    Edward Norton as Eddie
    Halle Berry as Suzanna / Detta
    Gerard Depardieu as Pere Callahan

    • Laura says:

      Ummm Haley Joel Osment is 22 now….he's a bit too old to be playing Jake….who supposed to be 12……..and small for his age.

    • Mem says:

      although I do like Bruce, I dont' think he could take the role of Roland serious enough. However, having him as some smaller role at one point, maybe in Wolves of Callah, that could be interesting.

  68. cristy says:

    I absolute love the dark tower series, I have become enchanted by them and it's characters. I would hate for Roland to be impersonalized by Daniel Craig, I just don't see him as the Roland Stephen King depicted. I understand Viggo and John Hamm playing Roland, but I also think Johnny Depp is a good candidate for the role. I'm super excited for this project, I have been awaiting this for a long time, and someone finally raised up for the challenge.

  69. Vwolf says:

    Michael Madsen as Roland.

    Viggo Mortensen could work, but I'm not sure. I'm against Hugh Jackman as Roland, and haven't seen enough of Daniel Craig's work to really decide.

    But I think Michael Madsen is perfect.

  70. Interloper says:

    MIchael Madsen *would* be perfect as the Man in Black…

  71. Charlie says:

    As soon I read that Howard was attempting this project, I thought to myself, "I hope he cast Hugh Jackman as Roland." I'm glad they're considering him and I hope he'll accept the role!

  72. Michelle says:

    Thinking further….how about Ed Norton as Eddie? Sanaa Lathan as Susanna? And for Jake…….maybe Alex Pettyfer type?

  73. Josh Holloway says:

    Josh Holloway=Roland. These are facts.

  74. flagg says:

    Roland Deschain = Viggo Mortensen
    Eddie Dean = Jared Leto
    Susannah Dean = Zoe Saldana
    Jake Chambers = Nathan Gamble
    The Man in Black = Peter Stormare
    Walter o'Dim = Christopher Walken
    Randall Flagg = Jamey Sheridan
    Marten Broadcloak = Gary Oldman
    Maerlyn = Alan Howard
    The Crimson King = Christopher Lee
    Jack Mort = Philip Seymour Hoffman
    Enrico Balazar = James Caan
    Calvin Tower = Tom Hardy
    Aaron Deepneau = Kieran Culkin
    Gasher = Andy Serkis
    The Tick-Tock Man = Ron Perlman
    Blaine the Mono = Clancy Brown
    Little Blaine = Freddie Highmore
    Steven Deschain = Daniel Day-Lewis
    Cort = Brendan Gleeson
    Arthur Eld = Clint Eastwood
    Cuthbert Allgood = Joseph Gordon-Levitt
    Young Roland = Logan Lerman
    Alain Johns = Sam Rockwell
    Susan Delgado = Kat Dennings
    Eldred Jonas = Sam Elliot
    Clay Reynolds = Javier Bardem
    Roy Depape = Damian Lewis
    Mia = Monica Bellucci
    Sheemie Ruiz = Adrien Brody
    Father Callahan = James Cromwell
    Ted Brautigan = Anthony Hopkins
    Ralph Roberts = Christopher Lloyd
    Dandelo = Tim Curry
    Mordred Deschain = Cillian Murphy
    Young Stephen King = Joe Hill King

  75. Rain says:

    For Roland they are all good idea, but for Eddie, I see Colin Farrell, for Detta, Jada Pinkett Smith and for the man in black, Christian Bale….

  76. Karl says:

    THANK GOD THIS IS FINALLY HAPPENING!!! Be careful with my love Ron! :)

  77. chris says:

    SAM ELLIOTT!!! come on!!! He IS roland!!!

  78. Shelly says:

    I have always picture Viggo as I was reading the Gunslinger novels. Although Hugh Jackman is a great actor (and easy on the eyes) I cannot envision him in this role.

  79. cathy says:

    I belive that Josh Brolin would be a great choice.

  80. Lee Ann says:

    The perfect Roland in my eyes, and I have read this series twice, would be Sam Elliot.

  81. Fran D'amico says:

    If Hugh Jackman was Roland they would have to call him old short squat and pretty.Get real!!
    Here are a couple off the top of my head.
    Roland Danial Craig looks like Roland
    Stephan Dechain Keith Richards
    Cort R Lee Irmy
    Vanny Patrick Stewart
    Hax John Goodman
    Walter William Defoe
    Balizar Robert Deniro
    Jack Andinoli James Garolfini
    Tricks Postrono Steve Buscemi
    Susannah Naomi Harris
    Fat Johnny Wayne Knight
    Delevan Dennis Franz
    Omearah Charles Hallahan
    Andy Staunton Barry Pepper
    Jonas Sam Elliot
    Depape Billy Bob Thornton
    Renalds George Clooney
    Elmer Chambers Sam Mcmurry or Will Arnet
    Calvin Tower Wallace Shawn
    Blaine Kevin Spacey
    Father Callahan Clint Eastwood
    krimson king Chistopher Walken

  82. Fran D'Amico says:

    There is a song by mo rage called Return of the Priest King.It has this awesome gallop riff.it is perfect for the scene where the three young gunslingers take out Jonas and his gang.

  83. Sherry Krautschun says:

    Why cant the dark tower series be made into films like all the harry potter books? if ur a true DT fan who cares if u have to see 7 different films to get the whole experience…as long as nothing is left out thats important and the movies do the books justice..to take all 7 and compile them into just 3 movies or so and a tv run i think would take away from the true meaning..us as true dedicated readers and fans want to experience every part of the story…so like the twilight series also..why rush perfection take your time and take each book and make it into its own movie…the profits would pour in!!..my opinion :)

  84. James says:

    Aaron Paul (Jesse from Breaking Bad) as Eddie Dean

  85. Jono says:

    Guy Pearce as Roland.

  86. LCC says:

    I think Stephen Moyer from True Blood would be great as Roland.

  87. Mem says:

    I think Timothy Olyphant is still one of the better (and lower budget) selections for Roland, unless you go with an unknown. He's very talented, and an underrated actor. I like Holloway as an actor, but not sure he'd fit in as a Roland, maybe another character, but not the main ones.
    Levitt or Rathbone as Eddie works quite nicely. Both have potential, but I think Levitt is a better actor and would be more convincing as Eddie.
    Jake, very tricky seeing as we need a young boy for this role, and there aren't too many good acting ones out there right now. This may have to go to an unknown actor. The LOOK of the boy in Walking Dead (Chandler Riggs) could be possible, but he may be too young and not strong enough to pull it off.
    Suzanne/Detta may be one of the most difficult to put a finger on. There have been quite a few suggestions, both good (Smith) and bad (Berry) but may have to go for someone who hasn't been in many movies yet.
    Paul Bettany as the voice of Blain!!! Even when I was reading Wastelands I heard Blain's voice as Bettany's, and that was way before Iron Man.

  88. Aaron says:

    Jean Reno as Roland

  89. Sandra Shriver says:

    I vote for Kevin Bacon as the Gunslinger. He could easily play the younger Roland and the older Roland. My humble opinion of course!

  90. Jason says:

    I think Viggo Mortensen would make the best Roland. However, I would to also nominate Hugh Laurie.

  91. Kike De Gilead says:

    Viggo Mortensen would be perfect. I bet The Dark Tower movie/TV show will be EPIC! just like the books

  92. JAVIER says:

    sin saberlo siempre me imagine a VIGGO COMO ROLAND

  93. ThatWalkingDude says:

    What does everyone think about Thomas Jane or, keep an open mind on this one, Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs as Roland. I think Vigo would make a good Roland but someone already mentioned he might not be up to committing to another long project. Another thing to take into consideration is that even though he's a charmer, Roland is constantly referred to as "long tall and ugly".

    • jenniedoeshair says:

      Hugh Laurie idea is genious!!!! Roland is supposed to be a little sraggy and hardworn, but still young enough to be capable and its a great idea

    • jenniedoeshair says:

      Mike Rowe? ? I love him but not sure how his acting skills would cut it. He always is himself, you know? Hugh Laurie is amazing,hugh jackman,def could work, the actor from the mentalist is fabulous, but more sad looking than tough-seeming…I vote for Hugh or Hugh.

    • jenniedoeshair says:

      Someone had a great idea for Roland stephen moyer (Bill from true blood) has got the right look as well, and a good actor as well.

  94. BigDumbDave says:

    Mmmmm … Lobstrosity !

    I have a first edition of 1st novel of Tower Series and have re-read it many times (the set). I believe Ron Howard can do a great job despite some of the comments. I think it would be cool if it was heavy but realistic CGI ala Avatar (but *please* not bad 3D) – that is, where needed. Deserts and ghost-towns we got..

  95. Morgan says:

    hmm i've always pictured him as a mix of clint eastwood and hugh jackman myself.

  96. Matt says:

    i really hate the idea of viggo as roland. i say find someone new or someone who isn't known for the same types of roles over and over. and i swear to god i will die if daniel craig is cast as roland. does no one else hate him? if it had to be any of the one's listed i would choose jon hamm but i still think it would be interesting to find some new talent. and something that's been stuck in my head even drives me crazy….blake lively as susan delgado. i know she's in horrible things most of the time but she fits the description and she can actually act if you look past the bad material she is usually acting in.

  97. Matt says:

    also, daniel day-lewis as randall flagg/richard fannin/marten/the walkin' dude???????

  98. Roont says:

    my casting ideas:
    roland – i like the idea of Jon Hamm
    flagg – Johnny Depp (i like how he acts alot with his arms and hands)
    sussanah – Lettie Mae Thornton (from true blood) (plays a nice crazy lady)
    eddie – Mike McGlone (from the gieco commercials)
    steven deschain – Josh Holloway (sawyer from lost)

  99. Kim says:

    I think Cling Eastwood would be the perfect Pere Callahan….the pictures in the book remind me of him everytime I see them. ("Wolves of the Calla") I also like Vigo as Roland.

  100. maybe? says:

    I'll get lynched for this. I think Bruce Willis would be good for the role. He's the right age, he has tons of action under his belt, and I'm sure they can make his look work, lol.

  101. Sheila G says:

    So it is Javier Bardiem – no ice blue eyes? Disappointed.

  102. DALEK says:

    to be honest, i love the dark tower, and its back storry. i think Ron will do a fine job

  103. ThatWalkingDude says:

    My Casting:
    Roland: Beside some of the obvious choices I have heard like Vigo (which I agree) I do like the prospect of Jon Hamm or how about an Ed Harris
    Jake: Logan Lerman
    Susan Delgado:I always picture her looking like Anna Kournokova when I read the books, though I don't think shes ever acted. An Amber Heard or a Blake Lively would follow close behind. You have to remember Susan needs to be gorgeous enough to haunt a man for the rest of his life.Especially one that's a gunslinger.haha
    Eddie Dean: Jared Leto
    Susanah: Rutina Weasley

  104. Kyle says:

    For some reason I keep thinking Kevin Spacey as Walter/Flagg…Walter is supposed to be an ordinary looking guy(except for his pointy teeth), with a broad face as I recall. Spacey is an actor with the chops to pull it off.

  105. Bango Skank says:

    Who will play Bango Skank????

  106. Steve says:

    Timothy Olyphant is my vision of Roland. I think he has the right choice at the right time.

  107. Kathy says:

    Timothy Olyphant of Justified is Roland!!

  108. mark says:

    Jared Leto as Eddie would be perfect..Nice call walking dude

  109. mark says:

    BTW the tv series wont be rated R so that might be a little lame.Lost was good tho but id rather see a couple more movies..Either way im so excited to see it

  110. ktkutthroat says:

    I could really see Thandie Newton as Susannah, if she built her upper body up some and maybe wasn’t anorexically skinny, she’s got the acting skills to pull it off.

    Yes, Viggo is a little expected but this guy COMMITS to his parts. He falls into them, becomes them, plays “introspective churning” quite well and would bring unequivocal dedication to the part, if he so chose. Eddie is tough, you need someone who can play smart-ass mess of a junkie but who can also play bad-ass, lover, and buddy type. Gerard Butler has been mentioned, but I don’t see it. Jared Leto as Eddie = yum. ;-)

    Randall Flagg I always saw as a Donald Sutherland type but I guess it would take someone a little younger, ultimately.

  111. Chris says:

    I'm thinking Guy Pierce as Roland. Ever see The Proposition? That's Roland for sure. Can't believe noone's thought of that.

  112. Chris says:

    Vivica Fox as Susanna? Greg Allman as Jonas?

  113. Chris says:

    I've got Shia LaBeouf as Eddie.

  114. Chris says:

    How about Randy Cotoure as Cort?

  115. tyone says:

    I read someone on another forum propose Javier Bardem as the Gunslinger. That would be pretty great.

  116. Georjean says:

    I can't belive they are bringing one of my favorite heros to life on the screen! I love Vigo as the choice of Roland….I don't think the other actors could bring off Roland as well. Thank you to Stephen and Ron Howard for taking this step to bring this wonhiderful story to life! I'm curious who will play Rose? Please make it happen. Thank You Stephen and Ron!!!!!

  117. simon says:

    VIGGO! AND BY ALL MEANS PLEASE DONT LET KURT RUSSEL NEAR THIS.

  118. donavan walker says:

    i think its about time and i cant wait.The olny question is will it be done right.

  119. flagg says:

    "I think there’s something about [the Frank Darabont films] ‘Green Mile’ or a ‘Shawshank Redemption,’ the complexity and the ballast of them, those are two [of the Stephen King adaptations] where you do get the horror and suspense that’s there on the page."

    Hey Ron, why don't you just get Frank Darabont to direct The Dark Tower? He's a million times more talented than you, and an absolutely perfect fit for the material.

    • Krash Kris says:

      Stephen King turned down Frank Darabont. And I can't blame him after how Darabont butchered the end of The Mist.

  120. Norm says:

    What initially took 17 years to complete my quest to the Dark Tower has started all over again and two-thirds there in a few months, in a thinny? What a ride, loving it a second time and now a movie and TV series….I can't wait, hopefully the world does not move on too quickly. I wish i had a son to name Roland!

  121. Andy says:

    I've been a Dark Tower fan for what seems like forever and in humble opinion you would be giving Roland a great dishonor by not casting HUGH LAURIE (House).

  122. DIANE JARRETT says:

    I THINK THIS WOULD BE A GREAT MOVIE. I COULD HARDLY PUT THE BOOKS DOWN. HAIL TO KING STEPHEN. DIANE JARRETT

  123. DIANE JARRETT says:

    I am all for JOSH HOLLOWAY, He would be a great ROLAND. DIANE JARRETT

  124. Rose-Ry C. NJ says:

    We can only trust and pray that it turns out near as possible to the books telling of the story? I also listened to the series on audio books! Which was absolutely awesome! This IS a VERY important series of books, (Movies, and TV possibilities) to me and a lot of people! I would like us all to say a prayer! Repeat after me: Dear lord (God, Jesus, Buddha, etc.), Please answer our prayers. The VERY talented Stephen King created a VERY entertaining series of novels The Dark Tower. These novels are now being put to film and we are asking your blessing, love and guidance with all aspects of creating the most optimized and talented film versions of these novels as possible. We ask this in the love of your name, Please answer our prayers, Amen CAN I GET A AMEN?

  125. Anita says:

    Timothy Olyphant would be a perfect Eddie, but not Roland. I think Khandi Alexander would be an excellent Susannah. And while I like Javier Bardem, he is not right for Roland – ice blue bombardier's eyes are as much a part of the character as his sandalwood guns. Viggo, Kurt Russell and Hugh Laurie might be OK as Roland. Hugh Jackman has a good look, but I'm not sure he could act the part. Roland is so specifically drawn though, it's hard to really see anyone but a young Clint Eastwood in the role, and he's to old at this point. So far no one has been mentioned for the role that makes me think "YES!!", so at this point I don't know who it is, but I know who it isn't. Christian Bale would be good but he's too young.

    Alan Rickman is the only choice for Walter.

  126. Candy says:

    I still think that Sam Elliott would make a better Roland than anyone else they have thought about. I can't wait for this to happen. I had always said that the series would make an awesome movie (or movies). I wonder who they'll get to play Odetta?

  127. BangoSkank says:

    Surely Clint Eastwood is a no brainer for the character of Roland, as King clearly wrote these amazing books with him in mind! But saying that Viggo Mortenson would be the next best thing, he was what i imagined Roland to be when he was in Hidalgo! I also hope they do'nt screw this film and series up as it will be a very difficult project to get right!

  128. Serge da 3rd says:

    I think they should find a non-celebrity. I feel they limit themselves when they look for actors already in hollywood. Hopefully they wont kill the integrity of the greatest story ever told.

  129. SDSUAztecs says:

    I don't know if anyone's already brought this up, but what about Timothy Olyphant as Roland? He is great as a modern-day gunslinger on Justified, and he's about the same age as Roland is in the books. Thoughts?

  130. bake says:

    Finally this epic tale will be put to the screen. Hopefully they do something about the ending…This is what I'm hoping t.v will become. Scrap most of the "reality" crap and return to miniseries covering some epic books from our history. Just Netflixed War and Remembrance and even though it wasn't great it was fun to follow the story for six or seven episodes. Re doing something like that with todays technology would make for some good t.v and I'm sure would have people returning every week to follow along…

  131. Diabolos says:

    Ron Howard should not make anymore movies, he and Uwe Boll should just retire and spare us from more silver screen crap. Please let another director work on this franchise…………….for the love of all I wish Bangkok had Ron Howard.

  132. Danielle says:

    I am so psyched about the whole Dark Tower series!!! I have the whole collection and I read it about every year or so and I always get a thrill to read it again!! It is super, super awesome and I can not wait for the movie!!! I LOVE Stephen King, HE ROCKS!!!

  133. delfin7461 says:

    well I really hate the idea of Ron Howard getting a hold of this after what he did to both The DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons… both could have been better films and really wished he’d cast Kurt Russell in the lead, who fits the role FAR better than Tom Hanks.

    Seriously the ONLY director who really GETS Stephen King is Frank Darabont.. David Cronenberg comes in second, and Mick Garris usually gets King pretty well.

    While I like the idea of Viggo at Roland, he’s too short as is Daniel Craig (he’d be great at the Man in Black) — Personally, I still vote for Bruce Campbell, he could get serious if needed… Kevin Bacon would be an interesting choice — as would Clive Owen… Hugh Jackman would get the tortured thing right, since he does well as Logan… Roland is even more tortured. Guy Pearce would be good too but I think he’s too short.. Roland really does need to be 6’2″ at the minimum, just can’t fake that on screen.

    we shall see it’s a pity it’s not being done like Game of Thrones where time can really be used well and each book can be HOURS long, so the story can just unfold without straying too much from the source material.

  134. Theresa says:

    Viggo IS Roland. To all the credit they deserve, the other actors are good. But there really is no other who would bring this character to life like Viggo.

  135. Splooge says:

    All those guys are too old.

  136. comforters says:

    I used to be recommended this website by means of my cousin. I’m now not positive whether this publish is written by him as no one else recognize such distinctive about my problem. You’re incredible! Thank you!

  137. Ok fake fans watch Australia Jackman is a shoe in and with his performance is the prestige i’d say he definitely has the guile to pull it off. Angela Basset is the only one who has enough tv and film exp to play the Holmes girls, and who better than Mr. James Carreyto play Eddie Dean if there is an age issue remember Eddie is an addict they age rapidly especially in the face, and u real film buffs will know Jim played a hereoin addict in a dirty harry film there’s an eastwood tie in for ya. the rest of the cast including Jake is negligible so let em cast unknowns oh and the voice of blaine the mono has to be rickman. but you know Jim Carrey does a helluva eastwood impression let him be Roland more than likely opie will just screw it up like he did with Dan browns novels, a beautiful mind sucked please god don’t let them cast viggo he isn’t Roland never will be don’t consider it because me and at least 30,000 other fans that i am in close contact with will boycott your darn movie this is a fact. Jackman watch Australia and stop lying to yourselves please.

  138. donna says:

    Roland: Lucas Bryant from Haven on SYFY. Go take a look!

  139. Darlene Oestreich says:

    some how, I see Sam Elliot, Clint Eastwood and Nicholas Gage as good possibles and yes, it has to be great to not lose it

  140. Bryan says:

    I was under the impression they canned the movie and tv ideas… hope I'm wrong< Elliot and Eastwood would be perfect if they weren't 100 yrs old and I don't see Cage as a "Gunslinger"

  141. Grand says:

    Honestly people come on!!!!!!! the closest we can even think of getting to Roland is Sam Elliot, we need Long, Tall (which he is) and well the ugly part might be hard to do but i know he can pull it off. Sam is gruff and we all know that he can handle himself and hes already got the limp goin,,,,,,,,,COME ON PEOPLE ….THINK THINK!!!!!

  142. emma says:

    viggo or daniel, no doubt, are the best choice

  143. Hero says:

    Only one person is fitted to be the gunslinger. His name is Mark William Calaway!

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