Thursday, December 30, 2010

Bardem Or Mortensen as Roland?

The New York Post, not exactly a bastion of fact checking, is reporting that Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men) is the front runner for the role with Viggo Mortensen (The Lord of the Rings) "a close second" for the role of Roland Deschain in The Dark Tower series that Ron Howard is producing. Whatever actor is chosen would have to commit to at least three movies and appear or star in one of the two TV series that is planned to air in between the movie releases.

Of the two, fans post want Viggo Mortensen as his Lord of the Rings experience and of any Hollywood actor probably most matches the imagined "look" of Roland which is basically the classic desert worn western movie gun for hire. However, there is a reason he is running in second as getting that kind of commitment from the actor will be incredibly difficult. He also has a rumored history of being difficult on set. This doesn't even include the high salary he can and will demand.

This assumes the report is true. Considering the series is probably at least a year away from beginning any meaningful pre-production, I would be surprised if casting has begun as the first step would be to have at least a working script and detailed outline for the series so actors would know what they are committing themselves too.

Friday, December 17, 2010

More from Howard on The Dark Tower

Ron Howard continues with prepping Stephen King opus, The Dark Tower for movies and television. In an article from Hero Complex the director and producer discusses some of the preliminary mental prep and passion he has for translating this project. The full article is here, below are portions of Howard's comments.
“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.”

”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.”

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Howard Updates on Dark Tower Progress

Director Ron Howard provided a brief update on the Dark Tower series of movies and television shows that is in the works. The plan remains to turn the 7 books into the a trilogy with a TV series filming in the gaps between the films.

"It is going well, and it has been incredibly stimulating to work on," Howard said. "It's dense, a great author's life work is not to be taken lightly. It has been utterly fascinating to explore it, and we are having great creative conversations. I've begun tossing and turning at 3 in the morning over it, so that's a good sign."

It will be interesting to see what the results are as the books themselves don't really lend themselves to an easy adaptation, especially for a movie. I am especially curious to see how the ending of the epic is handled considering King's original ending essentially negated the entire journey that probably only Lit majors would love but most others would find unsatisfying.