It looks like it’s finally going to happen!!!! — Roland and the Dark Tower are coming to a big (and small screen) near you. Director Ron Howard is scheming and dreaming while I write this, and has been for well over a year now, all in the hopes of doing King’s magnum opus justice. It’s a daunting (not to mention terrifying) task considering the source material spans seven books and nearly 4000 pages (and that doesn’t include the concordances, graphic novels, short stories, novellas, and poetry dedicated to Roland’s world). In these seven books King creates a sprawling, genre-defying edifice that’s a heady mash-up of science fiction, fantasy, western, and horror, unfolding upon a post-apocalyptic landscape in a world that has long since “moved on”.
The man in black
fled across the desert
and the gunslinger followed.
It was enough to discourage Lost creator J.J. Abrams, who walked away from the project some time ago justifiably intimidated. Not so Ron Howard and writing / producing partners Brian Grazer and Akiva Goldsman. They are on board full passion steam ahead, with King himself enthusiastically along for the ride. The roll out plan seems to be that 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. Read full article here.
Ahhhhhh!!! I can’t believe it … part of me is so excited, but part of me is absolutely petrified they’re gonna screw it up. It’s not just the world building they’ve gotta get right – that would be tough enough to pull off credibly (and please avoid overdosing on CGI slickness!), it’s the casting that will make or break this project. Who will play Roland? While many will argue he is now way too old, I still long to see Clint Eastwood step into the Gunslinger’s scuffed boots. Even in his twilight years, I have full confidence that Dirty Harry can pull off mature, wise, mean, merciless and calculating Roland, courageous and flawed, cool and temperamental. Who better to play a literary icon than a film legend?
Other names being thrown about include Viggo Mortensen, Daniel Craig, and heaven forbid, Kurt Russell. Of these three, Viggo would definitely get my vote, especially after seeing his heart-wrenching performance in The Road. Then there’s the casting of Susannah and Eddie Dean to consider … not to mention uber-villain Flagg, the man in black himself!
If you want to keep up with all the news coming out fast and furious about these projects, I suggest Lilja’s Library Dark Tower page here — the best, most comprehensive Stephen King website around.