HBO News Blog

‘Dark Tower’ Decision Coming Soon; Russell Crowe Rumored to Play Lead Role

By Charlie Harwood on Aug 3, 2012 to Dark Tower, HBO News

An adaptation of Stephen King’s Sci-Fi Western Dark Tower might have new life, and may be coming to HBO. Director Ron Howard’s seemingly impossible idea of turning the novel into three films and two television series’ fell apart back in July 2011 when Universal decided not to back him on the project. Now, according to, Warner Bros. will be receiving a script for the first installment of the series and will decide whether to green-light the project within the next two weeks. Writing the script will be Akiva Goldsman, who won an Oscar for his work with Howard on A Beautiful Mind; but, that’s not the only connection to the 2001 hit film. Howard and Goldsman have apparently reached out to Russell Crowe about playing the lead role of Roland Deschain. While no deal with the actor currently exists, Warner Bros. will be evaluating him as they make their decision and are more likely to go forth with the project if he’s on-board. When Universal dropped out, Warner Bros. became interesting in taking on the franchise and using it’s sister-company HBO for the TV components that would air in between films. HBO has always been adventurous and willing to take risks on big project like this, and given the success of their newest fantasy Game of Thrones, it seems like the premium network would be an ideal avenue for Dark Tower.

Dark Tower follows Roland Deschain, who is the last living member of a knightly order known as gunslingers. Politically organized along the lines of a feudal society, it shares technological and social characteristics with the American Old West but is also magical. Many of the magical aspects have vanished from Mid-World, but traces remain as do relics from a technologically advanced society. Roland’s quest is to find the Dark Tower, a fabled building said to be the nexus of all universes. Roland’s world is said to have “moved on”, and it appears to be coming apart at the seams.

  • Tower fan

    Jonathan Rhys Meyers, he’s got the right ability to play this part. He can be very intense and aloof at the same time, as seen in the Tudors…

    • I’m only reading the series for the first time now (currently on Wizard and Glass), and I can kind of see that.

      I think Guy Pearce wold be perfect, though. He has the gaunt, weathered look, and those blue bombardier’s eyes, not to mention he’s a great actor.

  • Sam

    Please no Russel Crow. Don’t ruin it! Maybe Jeffrey Dean Morgan!

  • please_no_crowe

    whoever thought russell crowe was a good idea must’ve been the same idiot that casted ben affleck as batman.

  • Adragonfly

    No way, not Russell Crowe. He is all wrong for Roland!! Who on earth would even cast him?? Obviously someone who has never read the books. What a disappointing choice he would be. I can’t imagine what his pay would do to what would have to be a huge budget anyway. Now I have to say, I wouldn’t have thought of him but Viggo Mortensen would make a fantastic Roland!! What an interesting choice. I think he would fit the role perfectly. I can even hear his voice saying “Thankee Sai” I can certainly picture him as Roland Deschain. Josh Holloway would be a great choice as well.I could picture him and I really think he would fit the bill quite nicely. Even Dylan McDermott or Daniel Craig could be interesting.Actually I just thought of someone that would be really good as Roland, that would be Jim Caviezel he would be a great wild card pick and would give the role some depth.However, I’m just not crazy about Javier Bardem at all.He just doesn’t fit my picture of Roland. I never thought of Roland as Spanish.With all of the actors I have just listed that I think could be a good fit, I just can’t even fathom where anyone who read the same books that I did came up With Russell Crowe!! Maybe since Russell’s such a hefty guy, he could play Blaine the Monorail or something. :))

  • Billy Holder


  • I always thought Robert Patrick would make a great Roland. I don’t see Javier Bardem as Roland at all.

  • giddyabouthis


  • Loui

    NO F_ING RUSSELL CROWE!!!! Your FIRST idea was brilliant, Russell will ruin roland!!!

  • Windsong

    The books were a fantastic adventure and I have often wondered why there have been no attempts at a series! I’m keeping my fingers crossed…

  • susannah dean

    drop the series idea, its gonna’ drive me crazy. I’m not too sure about the films either, some masterpieces need to stay in their original form and stay that way forever, especially if Russell Crowe is who they’re looking at for Roland. If they do , do this it needs to be films, films that surpass the magnitude to Lord of the Rings, these films if to be perfect replicas of the series would very expensive and extremely long, the story of The Dark Tower deserves nothing less.

  • Dax

    I agree with the majority, Russell Crowe would be a big mistake. Clint Eastwood would have been almost perfect for the role and I would have to say I envisage Roland very near to Clint Eastwood. Russell doesnt have the grace that Clint / Roland has. No movies just a series would be awesome!

    • Adragonfly

      I always pictured Eastwood too!! I bet a lot of people do :))

  • What’s Daniel Craig doing? Has anyone thought about him for Roland? Someone should! Please!

    • Sam

      Daniel Craig wouldn’t be a terrible choice. Not my first pick but a hundred billion times better than Russel Crowe.

  • NO to Russell Crowe!!!!

  • Hell NO!!!! Not Crowe! there is no quicker way to damn the production. I love Stephen King, and I love the Gunslinger, but I despise Crowe and will NEVER EVER for out anything to see him in anything.

  • Anonymous711

    a big name actor would automatically color the character toward that actors previous roles. so if you pick a big name, make sure he’s really, really worth it. in other words, NO RUSSELL CROWE! you pick him, you may as well trash the whole thing and just cast will smith. but if a big name is a must, at least have him take some lessons from Clint Eastwood, ok? personally, i’d prefer unknowns in the leading roles, with the big name going to a co-star or a minor or repeating role. it tells the old tale in a new way, while letting everyone know that it’s something the “old hands” are behind. considering that Stephen King spent more than 20 years writing the series just to make sure he got it just right, i think the least you can do is pick the right actors to tell his story, yes? i’m sure King will have a website with plenty of suggestions…

    • I would WAY rather have Will Smith than Crowe. I’d take Madonna over Crowe. But I like Stephen Moyer, and I’d be more than happy to have an unknown.

  • Joe Mama

    no viggo, no russell crowe. please please please. We need an unknown face for this.

  • Donald Ryan

    I believe that, if this series is done correctly, The story of Roland could become a phenomenal series for HBO or anyone willing to take a chance on it. There is so much great material and story lines to delve into. I hope someone gives it a chance!!!

  • candice

    Roland was lean… Not that I have anything against Russell Crowe, love him but… Viggo Mortissen would be a way better pick..

    • Rob

      Nobody would be better than Clint….

      • candice

        ahhhhhh Clint… no… there ISNT anyone who could have played him better… since really I think that is who King modeled Roland after anyway haha

        • Rob

          I agree..Great minds…

        • clark

          clint would be the best but hes too old now. roland was mid fifties or early sixties by the time the series is over. clint looks too old now. i almost want a grizzled unknown actor to play roland. he needs to be perfect. i wanna know whos gonna play eddie and suzanna. another unknown would be good for jake as well

  • Mwilso21

    They need to drop the films, and do it exclusively as a series on HBO. Three films and two limited series is, frankly, a stupid idea. Sure it’s “different” and “unique”, but it’s also a lot to ask of viewers to keep up with three theatrical films and two seasons of a TV show, just to get the full story.

    • clark

      it depends how its done. maybe a movie for the first book and for wizard and glass since its rolands first assignment. maybe a movie for the last book and series the rest. i cant wait to see the drawing of three in high def. the door and rolands eyes behind eddie and the gangster shootout in the leaning tower bar.

    • It would be interesting to see the movie to TV thing actually happen just because it hasn’t been done on this scale before.

  • Dreamlife

    I would much rather see Russell Crowe than Javier Bardem for this role, but how about getting an American actor for an American role? My pick would be Josh Holloway and he even comes with a Southern accent?

    • Kevin

      American actor for an American role? Roland is not American.

      • clark

        he may not be american but he is based on the american west and speaks English along with six other languages

        • clark

          no southern accent. he needs a cigarette infused dryness that is straight and unwavering bordering on monotone

    • Melissa

      I don’t care for Russell Crowe. I think that Javier Bardem has a sincere depth to his acting that is appealing. And he is unusual yet striking making him mesmerizing which would fit Stephen King’s style in my opinion. It doesn’t matter where the actor is from if he is a great actor. I loved Javier in No Country for Old Men.

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