March 23, 2017

Javier Bardem offered ‘Dark Tower’ lead role

By Sean O’Connell Javier Bardem is having one of the busiest weeks of his career.

Tuesday brought Bardem his third Oscar nomination for his mesmerizing work in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s “Biutiful.” The same day, Bardem and his beautiful wife, Penelope Cruz, welcomed a baby boy, their first child.

Before he even has time to let all of this good news settle, Bardem reportedly has been offered a substantial role that would keep him employed for years.

Ron Howard wants the “Eat Pray Love” star to play gunslinger Roland in the multi-part adaptation of Stephen King’s epic series “The Dark Tower.” Deadline says negotiations have not started, but Bardem “has officially been offered the lead role by director Ron Howard and Universal Pictures.”

The adaptation, as of right now, is expected to span three feature-length films and a limited television run that would bridge the movies, meaning Bardem – or whomever accepts the lead role – will be very busy for a very long time.

King’s story follows Roland as he embarks on an impossibly long journey to reach the Dark Tower. It’s a massive scope, stepping through multiple worlds and weaving in hundreds of key characters that both help and hinder Roland from accomplishing his quest.

Universal clearly wants “Dark Tower” to live up to expectations set by the “Lord of the Rings” and “Harry Potter” franchises. Hiring Bardem to play Roland would be a very good start. But we are very early in the process, so take this with a grain of salt.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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