Javier Bardem in negotiations to take the lead in the Dark Tower

It is already shaping up to be one of the most ambitious Hollywood projects ever undertaken. With three movies and two planned seasons of television to air between the films, Stephen King’s The Dark Tower will either be a massive hit, or a colossal failure—there isn’t a whole lot of middle ground. Even if the series is considered profitable, unless it does huge numbers, the time and effort required to make the epic demands that it be wildly successful, otherwise most will deem it a failure and a waste of three to five years of those involved. And the pressure will go firmly on the shoulders of two people especially—Ron Howard, who is spearheading the project, and the actor that will be cast as Roland Deschain, who will star in all three movies, one television series, and likely have a few moments in the second series, although the story will likely require younger actors to portray Roland as a youth.

According to a report from Deadline, the man that will soon step into the role of the Gunslinger, and who will be the face of this massive project, is Javier Bardem.

Right now the studio and Bardem’s people are still in negotiations, but the role has been offered to the Spanish actor, and he has tentatively accepted. There are still a few hurdles though. Bardem, an Oscar-winning (and recently Oscar-nominated) actor is in high demand, and so his schedule must be taken into account. The filming of the Dark Tower series is likely to be a long and arduous one, which means that the filmmakers would need to plan for Bardem to have time away from the series to pursue other projects, or they would have to pay him a great deal of money to keep him attached to only The Dark Tower for at least two years, if not longer.

The exact details of the negotiations have been kept under wraps, but it seems that Bardem will be receiving the biggest payday of his career if he accepts. Coming off a recent nomination for best actor in Biutiful, Bardem is also being talked to for a role as the villain in the upcoming James Bond film starring Daniel Craig, and directed by Oscar-winner Sam Mendes. It may not be accurate to say that Bardem’s star is rising—with an Oscar win and a recent nomination, it has already risen—but his demand is definitely increasing.

Produced and at least partial directed by Ron Howard, The Dark Tower follows Roland Deschain, the last Gunslinger who is hunting for the Dark Tower in a world steeped in mysticism with a Western flair. As the mystery of the Dark Tower unravels, Roland becomes the last, best hope for humanity.

When news of the project first broke, Bardem was among the first names mentioned as taking the role of Roland. If he agrees to the deal, the rest of the cast can then be assembled, and filming could begin as early as this year.

So, fans of the series:  what do you think?  Can Bardem pull of the role of the last Gunslinger?

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