Javier Bardem Racing Towards <i>The Dark Tower</i>?

As Ron Howard and his team race to put their ambitious vision of The Dark Tower together, all eyes are on potential casting. We've heard names like Viggo Mortensen and Jon Hamm bandied about as possible contenders for gunslinging antihero Roland Deschain, and now a new name has been drawn into the mix: Javier Bardem.

The No Country For Old Men actor is reportedly the frontrunner for the role of Roland in Howard's Dark Tower, according to The New York Post. Mortensen, an oft-mentioned fan favorite, is listed as "a close second" behind Bardem. It goes without saying that neither actor's reported proximity to the Stephen King adaptation is official, but it's worth wondering about Bardem's qualifications at least since this is the first we've seen him mentioned. Frankly, I think he would be great -- he's got the exotic look, an air of blood-strewn ferocity that you can buy into, certainly capable of sacrificing a child's life for the sake of the perceived greater good. But even if Bardem is an excellent (if unexpected) choice for Roland, he still pales in comparison to Viggo -- really, is there a more perfect candidate for the destiny-driven shooter?

Although the two actors are listed as leading the pack of Roland contenders, it's hard to imagine either Bardem or Mortensen agreeing to the hefty commitment required from this Dark Tower adaptation. Three films, two seasons of television — not exactly something you would expect Oscar winners and nominees to sign up for lightly. Still, the thought of either Bardem or Mortensen pursuing the Man in Black with Eddie and Susannah Dean at his side is too compelling to ignore entirely, isn't it?

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