The The Dark Tower is at a crucial stage in its construction, according to Deadline. Warner Bros., who showed interest in the project after NBC Universal passed last year, are expected to receive a script from Akiva Goldsman for the first chapter of the Stephen King western, and will make a decision on whether or not to green light the opening leg of the massive undertaking.
The mammoth transmedia project is still earmarked to span two limited run TV seasons and three movies, but in a new development Javier Bardem is no longer in the running to play the gunslinger Roland Deschain. Deadline understands that director Ron Howard and producers Brian Grazer and Goldsman are now pursuing A Beautiful Mind star Russell Crowe for the role. While no deal is in place, Crowe will be the actor Warner Bros. use in their thinking when deciding on whether or not to take the jump.
The Dark Tower follows the last living member of a knightly order of gunslingers, with Deschain becoming humanity’s final hope to save civilization as he sets out to find the Dark Tower. Along the way, he encounters characters, good and bad, in a world that has an Old West vibe.
No further news on a potential outlet for the TV portion of the story (should all go well) has come to light, but HBO was mooted as recently as March this year, and would seem like a decent fit what with their successful foray into the world of fantasy with Game Of Thrones.
Fingers crossed this all comes together as it would be both fascinating and groundbreaking to see this epic story unfold (partially) on a long-form platform that would enable character and story to prosper. We’ll keep you updated on developments.