Javier Bardem Has Officially Been Offered Lead Role in 'Dark Tower'

January 27, 2011
Source: Deadline

Javier Bardem

Yesterday we heard some surprising news about who might lead the anticipated adaptation of Stephen King's Dark Tower series. While Viggo Mortensen and Javier Bardem were considered frontrunners, the same source who brought those names to light also discovered that Christian Bale had become the top contender. Well, apparently Universal Pictures thought otherwise as Deadline reports that Bardem has officially been extended an offer to play Roland Deschain, the last living member of a knightly order of gunslingers, and humanity's last hope to save a civilization that will crumble unless he finds the Dark Tower.

Obviously some fans are going to be pissed, especially the ones who were so adamant that Viggo Mortensen step into the lead role. On my end, I think Bardem is a phenomenal actor. After all, he's already won an Oscar for his work on No Country for Old Men and just received another nomination for his performance in Biutiful. However, we've yet to see Bardem disappear into a role where we don't hear traces of his Spanish accent. In addition, people will also probably be upset since a Spanish actor is playing a non-Latin cowboy. However, since the studio is apparently looking at Jennifer Carpenter to play Susannah, they may not be using the character's races as they exist in the series as an unbreakable trait for the film adaptation.

Deadline does point out that Christian Bale was definitely in the running, but apparently with Bardem, "formal negotiations haven't yet begun, there's a high level of enthusiasm internally that they've got their cowboy." This offer may also explain why Mortensen just now took a role in Snow White and the Huntsman. For now I'm on the fence about this decision until we get a look at Bardem in costume and hear him speak in a trailer.

However, it sounds like that will be a long way off as AICN heard from a source that the film is being planned for a May 13th, 2013 release, but because the scripts aren't done, a budget can't be calculated and a greenlight hasn't yet been given. But apparently Universal remains supportive and we'll likely see this project get off the ground by late summer or early September. Otherwise, I'm sure you all have a lot to say about this news, so sound off below! What do you think of Javier Bardem is Roland Deschain?

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Reader Feedback - 42 Comments


I really dont know about this. He kind of looks the part I guess, but hes not really what I imagined Roland to look like. But then again, The Darktower series is my favorite book series so I dont think anything could live up to my expectations :P. Ill just wait and make my judgment when I actually see some reels.

Johnny Heartless on Jan 27, 2011


*siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh* As an avid fan who reads the whole series once a year, I always said a potential movie would stand and fall with the casting of the core group (the Ka-Tet) and the character of Roland in particular. Javier Bardem is a great actor and I like pretty much all of his movies, but he is probably one of the last people I would've thought of as an option for Roland. I don't care too much about him not being Caucasian seeing how Roland most likely has a good tan to begin with from all the desert crossing and stuff. What bothers me a lot is that Bardem doesn't have naturally pale blue eyes. Countless times do the books refer to those "hard, cold shooter eyes" as one of Roland's most striking features. Now, I am aware that they can easily manipulate that with CGI or contacts, but still... I'm sad. The fact that Carpenter is a casting choice for the role of Susannah completely blows my mind, though. Susannah is a black chick with multiple personality disorder, one of which is most likely the most vicious, man-hating, racist woman ever; not mention she has such a thick accent that I had problems making out what she was saying while reading the books. I don't understand how they can justify casting a white woman when that rules out a -huge- part of what makes up the character of Susannah and basically nullifies the whole storyline of her becoming a part of Roland's Ka-Tet. I'm sure I can somewhat come around and agree on Bardem, but casting a white actress for Susannah is unacceptable to me.

Anonymous on Jan 27, 2011


Very well put. I cant agree with you more!

Johnny Heartless on Jan 27, 2011


how is Bardem not caucasian? Spain is in Europe

grm on Jan 27, 2011


I was just going by what Ethan said in his article. I guess you're right; he is Caucasian, but he definitely has more Latin American looks, is what I meant.

Anonymous on Jan 27, 2011


please dont let this turn out to be another bad adaptation. "The Stand" miniseries was terrible. This book series has meant a lot to me over the years- I even sent a copy to my son when he was in Iraq fighting. White over Black - honor above all else.

Dondela on Jan 27, 2011


White over Black - honor above all else (what)?

Marvinqz3 on Jan 27, 2011


WHAT THE... ... I should have known how this will end. Poor Dark Tower.

Vithren on Jan 27, 2011


dont buy into the suanna is white rumor because that same article said bale was the front runner and now bardeem has the role so that NY POST article smelled of BS

p86 on Jan 27, 2011


sooo disappointed...Roland has blue eyes matters..just saying....

Nikki on Jan 27, 2011



Jericho on Jan 27, 2011


Right, that'd definitely be an option. But...there have been some terrible examples out there for dark-eyed actors with blue contacts; Jessica Alba in F4 and RDJ in Tropic Thunder come to mind. It just looked wrong. >.<

Anonymous on Jan 28, 2011


depending on how dark his eyes are, you can apply a different color altogether to give a perfectly blue eye color

Jericho on Jan 28, 2011


He's a phenomenal actor. There's no doubting that. But he is not close at all to how I (and many others) pictured Roland Deschain. Bardem's too big and he's Spanish. Clint Eastwood 10 years ago would've been perfect (could still probably pull it off though he wouldn't think of doing it). After Eastwood, Viggo is who I see doing it, but it looks like I don't have a choice. As far as, Jennifer Carpenter is concerned. YOU CANNOT CHANGE THE RACE OF ONE OF THE MAIN CHARACTERS!!!!!!!!!! It messes up her entire background and taints the entire story. Somebody needs to smack the powers that be in regards to that decision.

Andywpeters on Jan 27, 2011


Not sure about Bardem as Roland....I initially thought of Viggo, but I think the person of all people who should play Roland is Daniel Day Lewis!!!!!! On that note Bardem might not be a bad choice after all, just have to wait and see I suppose. He is a great actor and I can actually see him pulling it off. On another note. The role of Suzanne should def go to an AfricanAmerican actress! Suzannae is african american dammit! Also the role of Eddie should go to Walter Groggins (Goggins?) the dude who played Shane on the show the Shield.

Devilbunny69 on Jan 27, 2011


Bale would be MUCH better... I think Bardem will pull it off in a weird sort of way, I just wish people would acknowledge it's a weird choice. As far as Carpenter goes, I'm sure she's being considered for Susan Delgado, NOT Susannah Dean...

Hawk on Jan 27, 2011


Please for the love of god, not Bale ! In no way could he pull off ROLAND without being completly over the top.

GC on Feb 5, 2011


I won't watch if Bardem is Roland. I can't bear to ruin my image of Roland. I actually pictured Viggo as I read the series and he will always be Roland in my eyes. I might have been able to watch Bale, but definitely not Bardem. Oh well, just another big Hollywood movie, or movies, I won't be seeing.

Ellie Wright on Jan 27, 2011


What a stupid thing to say. You must be under 10 years old. You would boycot an entire franchise because the lead actor wasn't who you thought it would be??

Moviestogo on Jan 27, 2011


Sorry. way over 10. I'm not that excited to see Dark Tower made into movies in the first place. They always screw up King as it is. The fact is I have no interest in watching Bardem in anything, let alone a screwed up King adaptation. I think Viggo would have brought in a much more realistic and intense performance, so therefore I would have watched. He's not the only actor I would have watched in the role, but he would be my first choice. So no I won't waste good money to see an actor I don't like in a movie I have huge doubts about.

Ellie Wright on Jan 28, 2011


I think that Bale is an awesome choice, but if Bardem takes it, it would be really interesting to see how he does Roland. It's such a random choice that I never thought of, that I'll really spend the next two years (or until we get a trailer) wondering just how in the hell is he gonna do it. We know he's a great actor, so I don't have any reservations about that, but I can't get the picture of him as Anton Chigurh in No Country For Old Men out of my head. So overall, I think I like the choice of Bardem, just because it makes me more excited for the final product to see them taking risks. As for Jennifer Carpenter, I think they mistaked Susannah for Susan, who's white, and is Roland's lost love. I could see her playing Susan. But as for changing the races of the characters, I would rather them change Susannah from black to white, and we get a great performance from a talented actress, rather than them settle for some random black actress, and we get a sketchy performance. Not trying to sound racist or anything, but there's only a limited number of major black actresses in Hollywood, and only a few of them could pull off Susannah/Odetta/Detta, and even fewer would take on a project as large as this. I would rather them compromise details such as race in order to make the movie better as a whole. When Quentin Tarantino adapted Elmore Leonard's novel 'Rum Punch' (into the movie 'Jackie Brown'), the lead character was a middle aged white woman named Jackie Burke. But in order to have a female lead who could stand up to Samuel L. Jackson, he casted Pam Grier, and changed her last name to Brown, and we got a great movie, filled with awesome performances (Pam Grier would be perfect for Susannah if this was 1975). After all, I know the exact story. If I want to see that again, I'll go re-read the books.

Hayden on Jan 27, 2011


How long has it been since you read the books? It wouldn't just be compromising on race but on the entire Susannah Dean character. Are you suggesting they could create a whole new character without the race issues that created the malice of Detta Walker? Remove all cultural references from Susannah's speach, such as 'sugah', Detta's 'Honky mo-fo'.....Hayden you speak madness.

Jon on Feb 6, 2011


Not big on much of any of this now. Ron Howard and Akiva goldsman are red flags IMO, and although they are pursuing talented actors, I really believe the role of Roland should be given to a lesser-known. Like Jeff Fahey. I think he's perfect for the part. Bardem is a solid, but I don't agree with this. Or Howard. King fudged up big by not giving this to Darabont.

Quazzimotto on Jan 27, 2011


This joker doesn't look anything like the Roland in my head!!!

Jason Martin on Jan 28, 2011


I sure glad so many posters are disappointed that Javier doesn't look like "Roland did in my head." If his previous work is any indication, he is likely to be the single best thing about this project!

Rogue627 on Jan 28, 2011


Have you read any of the Dark Tower series? King paints a very vivid picture of how Roland looks. When I read it I pictured Eastwood, but Viggo fits the bill as well. There are 3 things wrong with Javier Bardem being cast as The Gunslinger. 1. Too big. Roland was a very thin man, Bardem's frame alone is too big for the part. 2. His spanish accent is too thick and his voice is too smooth. 3. Roland has pale blue eyes, I'm sorry, but a dark coplected man with fake blue eyes scream cheese.

Mayhem on Jan 28, 2011


And that isn't saying much for this film. I don't dislike Bardem as an actor, I just don't think he fits this character.

Jason Martin on Jan 31, 2011


You have to wonder if most of the fan base, and even those who simply know of it as a wacky cowboy tale, disapprove of the casting, then maybe we don't have the right people working on the series.

Anonymous on Jan 28, 2011


I think it's an interesting choice. It is totally different than what I had in my mind but that's not necessarily a bad thing. I also don't think it should matter much in Bardem has an accent since people from Roland's land had that weird language anyway and there is no telling how Roland actually talked.

Bobby on Jan 28, 2011


Javier is perfect for this role! Fuck the naysayers!

zuul on Jan 28, 2011


Good. Nobody wants to think about Hobbits and Batman when watching The Dark Tower.

Boon on Jan 28, 2011


If anything I would have thought of Hidalgo and 3:10 to Yuma. Now I will think of No Country for Old Men instead. What's your point?

Anonymous on Jan 28, 2011


See I like Bardem and when they started tossing his name around I really hoped he would end up as Marten/The Walking Dude/Randall Flagg opposite Viggo or Bale. Stephen Moyer would be great as well. My biggest opposition isn't even his eyes (not sure why thats a problem) but that he can't lose the accent. He's a great actor and I thought he'd bring a lot to the movies, but not in that role.

Harm on Jan 28, 2011


If Bardem makes it to production as Roland Deschain, I will boycott this movie forever. Nothing short of being strapped to the chair like Alexander DeLarge will make me see this movie or any television series thereafter. All I can hope for now, is that the option runs out before this team ever gets the greenlight. May it do ya fine.

Anonymous on Jan 28, 2011


How can anyone think this can be anything but a disaster after Ron Howard was announced as director ? The dude can make a good family film, I give him that, but a dark fantasy/sci-fi/drama/horror ? He can not handle that.

Shige on Jan 28, 2011


Please, don't confuse Spain (Europe) with Latin America, please!

Jajaja on Jan 30, 2011


I'm not a fan of Stephen King's literature, but I like the movies based in his books. This could really work.

Alegra on Jan 30, 2011


Javier is NO Roland of Gilead. Viggo Mortensen was the better choice. And what they are doing with the role of Susannah, what the f***! No no no. Stephen King cannot be happy about this. I know I'm not. Next thing you know, they will be saying Oy is going to be a rabbit....

David Hutto on Feb 1, 2011


The real key here is how OI is cast or CGIed. All else pales in comparison.

Homer Fu on Feb 1, 2011


Can anyone tell me how many graphic novels or comics there are to The Dark Tower and what one to start with?

Genjen on Feb 1, 2011


Genjen, there're seven Dark Tower books and like a million comics. Start with "the Gunslinger" when you're reading the novels, and "Gunslinger Born" when you're reading the comics. Dude I am not into Javier Bardem as Roland. I mean I'm all about looking for the best actor to carry the performance regardless of what people are expecting, but you can't just throw the character out the window. Roland Deschain is so vividly described in every one of those books that while everyone might have a different picture of him in their head, there's gonna be these common factors: he's got icy blue eyes, he's tall, thin, gaunt, and he's an ice cold motherfucker. Javier Bardem just doesn't fit the bill. I mean sure he can put on a serious face but that's not enough. I think William Fichtner's where it's at. He's a good actor who looks a hell of a lot like Roland if you ask me.

Buttass on Feb 23, 2011


BOOO! That is just terrible casting. If they wanted to be true to the fans and the book, they'd get Viggo. BOOOOOO!

SincerelyDisappointed on May 19, 2011

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