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development hell

Dark Tower Update: Javier Bardem Out, Russell Crowe Considering

Ron Howard's quest to birth his bold vision for Stephen King's career-spanning series The Dark Tower — Howard wants three films with two television seasons filling the gaps — is starting to feel as long as the eight books themselves. Last we'd seen, Warner Bros. was considering picking it up after Universal said "thanks but no." Now Warner has received a new script from Akiva Goldsman (A Time to Kill, I Am Legend) for the first part, and the studio should decide within two weeks whether to move forward. Potentially decisive: the recruiting of Russell Crowe, who worked with Goldsman and Howard on A Beautiful Mind and would replace newly departed Javier Bardem as gunslinger Roland Deschain.

"If Crowe stepped up as the gunslinger, it would certainly help the project," Deadline writes, although it's fair to wonder how Crowe would manage the massive undertaking, considering his starring role in Darren Aronofsky's Noah and that Bill Hicks movie he's planning to direct. We've already weighed the pros and cons of this project coming to life on the screen; now we've just got to sit back and see what happens. Really, some fine actor should just sign on to this thing, hang on for the unusually formatted, genre-bending ride, and let it define his entire career.