Ron Howard talks about 'Dark Tower'... and a photography competition

Ron-Howard

Image Credit: Michael Buckner/Wireimage.com

Ron Howard got on the phone with EW.com yesterday to try to talk about his new project with the camera company Canon — a competition in which amateur shutterbugs send in still photographs with the hope that the pics will be selected by Howard to be turned into short films. But we weren’t paying much attention to that. We were too busy peppering the director of A Beautiful Mind with questions about The Dark Tower, the feature film and TV miniseries that Howard is planning to adapt from the epic Stephen King series of sci-fi/fantasy novels about a roaming alternate-universe cowboy named Gunslinger.

“We had to pull back to our September start date due to budget delays and ongoing story development and logistical issues, but Dark Tower is moving forward,” Howard said. “We’re thinking of starting in early spring now. I can’t really say who’ll be in it yet, but Javier Bardem has shown a great deal of interest. We’ll know by the end of the summer, when our flashing green light goes solid.” The project would start with a feature film, followed by six hours of TV content, starring the same actors as in the movie. “There are elements of the Dark Tower saga that are more personal and can be best dealt with on television,” Howard continued. “TV allows you to roll out details of the characters in a more methodical way.”

Oh, yeah, the Canon thing: Send in pictures based on a series of movie themes — like setting, time, character, mood, relationship — and maybe Howard will pick one of them to be made into a short film by a professional director (still to be determined). The campaign is called Project Imagin8ion, and it’s already received 10,000 submissions. Good thing Howard has until spring to sort through all those snapshots.

Comments (99 total) Add your comment
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  • Matt

    Pretty pumped for this; Javier Bardem is a weird choice in my opinion, but an interesting choice as well. Hope he takes on the role.

    • Jean Guy Levesque

      Javier Bardem?? Roland is white not mexican. Vive la Quebec!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • tw

        Javier Bardem is white you dumbass, he’s Spanish. Mexican is not a race anyway.

      • Hank Single

        Neither is white, dumbass.

      • jenjen

        Mexican is a race (people from Mexico). Neither Mexican nor Spanish people are white. But I don’t think his race is ever really stated.

      • Brandon

        First of all our race is HUMAN, Spanish, mexican, or white is an ethnicity.

      • Kiefer

        Our species is human, ethnicities are where we are from and our skin color decides our race. jeez use your brains. lol

      • Ann

        HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! I just saw this and it made me laugh out loud! Let’s try it one more time:
        Mexican & Spanish = Nationality – the country you live in or are from. To call somebody “Mexican” refers only to the country they come from, not their race, ethnicity (in specific terms), or species, nor should it be considered an insult to anyone.
        Race = Genetics. Color of skin, eye, hair, but today it’s mostly where your ancestors came from. WAY back when. Many Mexicans are from Spain, which is in Europe, some of which is part of the Eurasian area called Caucasus which is where the term “Caucasian” comes from which is what ‘White” people are called and why. Mexican people with dark skin and eyes are often descended from one of the Indian tribes native to the area.
        Ethnicity = includes race, but not necessarily. Ethnicity refers to groups with common cultural, linguistic, &/or religious backgrounds and beliefs
        Species – Human like cats are feline, and dogs are canine
        So, to worry that we aren’t all just getting along because someone called someone a Mexican, is really as racist as
        And that’s our history lesson for the day.
        As for the actual topic here, I also vote for Daniel Craig…for president of the world.

    • The Chic Geek

      I always pictured Roland as more of a Clint Eastwood/Man With No Name type of guy.

      • Jessica

        That was intentional, King has said he was based on Eastwood’s characters before. I always think of Eastwood, too. However, as an aside to Jean Guy Levesque, I am four books in and he never specified the “race” of anyone in Mid-World that I can recall.

      • Mike

        What about the Mejis, I assumed it was a play on mexicans.

  • hamsun

    pumped as well, but would rather see daniel craig as the lead.

    • Jackie

      I totally agree! I do not see Javier Bardem as Roland at all. He’s an excellent actor, but I don’t think he’s right for this part. We are, however, talking about Ron Howard, the man who cast Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon, so poor casting decisions are not a huge surprise.

    • tmo1138

      I agree about Daniel Craig. He’d make a great Roland.

      But honestly.. I’d rather King stayed true to what he said and NOT make this into a movie or TV series.. Not at all..

      • pete

        Daniel Day Lewis for sure

    • kf

      I completely agree with you. After seeing the trailer for Cowboys & Aliens, I thought he’d make a great Roland.

    • RickJ

      Daniel Craig would be awesome!

  • Maerlyn8

    Viggo Mortensen = the best choice.

  • Gillian

    Who is the guy that wrote this article? Roland is not a cowboy and his name is not “Gunslinger”! It really bugs me when writers don’t learn the content of what they are reporting!

    I agree Viggo Mortensen is the best choice for Roland. He is the only one I can see in that role. I don’t even know who Javier Bardem is, much less what makes him better than Viggo! Every time I have seen Viggo, I thought he would be a great Roland. It’s too bad Clint Eastwood is too old, he would have been an awesome choice 25 years ago!

    • Jaded

      Honestly! At least have someone who has actually read the books write the article. And Viggo would just totally rock as Roland!

    • melizaberry

      word! i said the exact same thing – his name is not Gunslinger.

    • Jessica

      I hadn’t even noticed that, how annoying.

    • jenjen

      I think Javier Bardem will be great. He’s dark and brooding. And if you have no idea who he is, then how to do you know he wouldn’t be right for it? And Javier Bardem has been seriously involved in Academy Award winning movies, so if you don’t know who he is, you don’t know very much about movies.

  • Trey

    Viggo’s a good choice, but my choice for Roland has always been Daniel Day-Lewis. Especially after seeing There Will Be Blood. It’ll never happen, of course, but a geek can dream.

    • Fitty

      Interesting, didn’t think about DDL as Roland. Would be great, and he’d own it. Really, the role is best filled by a semi-noname. Clint? No. Viggo? Too popular. Craig? Too perfect looking. Anyone from LOTR, LOST, Harry Potter, etc. shouldnt be considered.

  • John

    Clint Eastwood would be ideal
    40 years ago

  • Momo

    Javier Bardem is the psycho guy from No Country For Old Men. I’m hoping he’s interested in another character-maybe Marten or MIB-he’s definitely not Roland.

  • Frank Anderson

    They need to hire Timothy Olyphant. He has the look, the demeanor, and the acting chops!

    • tb

      agreed

    • Kristy

      Double agree!!

    • Steve

      Yes! After watching him be a total bad ass in Justified…it would be perfect!

  • Jabes

    Daniel Day-Lewis seconded! Great choice.

  • Lisa

    I agree. Javier is a great actor but completely wrong for this part. Viggo or even Guy Pierce would be better suited for Roland. Please Ron. Cast well. DD Lewis in a really inspired choice, too.

    • Jordan N.

      Guy Pearce is an inspired idea. He’s great in everything he’s done. Definitely would be an excellent choice.

  • Steph

    Viggo is just a bit too pretty. Remember that Edddie calls Roland ugly.

    I’d love to see Jeffery Dean Morgan as Roland so very much. He’s not exactly ugly, but he can play it (Watchmen).

    • Steph

      ***Eddie.

    • Deb

      Jeffrey Dean Morgan is too attractive to portray Roland. Viggo is hot too, but he can be scruffed up like in The Road. John Holloway to way too hot for the part. I like the idea of Daniel Craig. Perfect. Is Javier Bardem the cutie that Julia Roberts hooks up with in Eat, Pray, Love?

  • Canadian

    My Roland would be Hugh Laurie!!

    • jenjen

      Yes!! thank you! i think he would be perfect.

    • Cheryl Power

      Okay – I would love that too!

  • Jason S.

    Anyone think Josh Holloway would be good as Roland. I know Bardem is a more accomplished actor and bigger box office draw but he doesn’t seem right for the part for me!!

    • Marguerite

      Haha every time Josh Hollway rolled out a snarky comment on Lost, I thought what a good Eddie he would make! I can’t really see him as Roland…

      • kf

        You don’t think that Josh is a bit too old to be Eddie. Eddie is supposed to be early to mid twenties. Right?

  • Bomfy

    Please God (or which ever deity you prefer), do not let ‘The Dark Tower’ suck.

    That is all I want, make it as good or better then ‘The Stand’ and I can die a happy man.

    • Shannon S.

      AMEN…it’s starting to freak me out how I’m ALREADY worrying about this so much.

  • Chris Prochazka

    Ron your the best looking forward to all your work!

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