Friday, January 28, 2011

'Tower' & Prometheus Circle Talent

Two projects I have a solid amount of interest in are Ridley Scott's "Prometheus" and Ron Howard's adaptation of Stephen King's beloved saga "The Dark Tower." Both projects have a bit of steam behind them and now seem to be circling some solid talent as well. Take a look below to see who has been cast or is circling the anticipated projects...

Starting with Ridely Scott's project "Prometheus," the film was originally conceived as an Alien prequel but has now shifted into another film that is rumored to feature "Alien DNA" along with the Space Jockey seen in Ridley Scott's original scifi masterpiece Alien. Much else about the script has been kept under a veil of secrecy other than it was penned by screenwriter Damon Lindelof.

Enough about the script and on to the casting. "Prometheus" has landed Michael Fassbender to co-star along side Noomi Rapace. Fassbender who has become something of a hot commodity since his performance in Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds will play an android in the Scott scifi set to release June 8, 2012. Fassbender is a very talented actor and seems like a perfect fit to play an android role in Scott's next motion picture.

In other "Prometheus" news, rumors are swirling that Charlize Theron and Angelina Jolie are also in talks to play roles in the film, but I remain hopeful that neither of those two castings will pan out. While I understand 20th Century Fox's desire to have a talent driven film, I would prefer to see a film filled with up and coming talent versus people we've seen on screen for more than 10 years. Not to mention I loath both Jolie and Theron as actresses.

Universal Pictures and director Ron Howard have officially offered Javier Bardem the lead role, Roland Deschain, in the Stephen King saga "The Dark Tower." The role is a pretty big deal not just in the minds of Dark Tower fans but that it will be a cross-platform multiple picture deal.

As announced last year, the plan is make 3 movies as well as 2 television installments. The outline at this point is a feature film followed by a television event that will bridge the first and second films. Then a second television event that will be a prequel introducing Roland as a young man. Finally a third film to close out the saga.

So all together 4 huge roles Bardem could potentially play. The 5th (the prequel story) would obviously not feature Bardem. Now I've never read any of King's 'Tower' novels but their concept and ascetic appeal to me and Bardem seems like a fantastic choice to play a the last living member of a knightly order of gunslingers who exist in a world meshed between fantasy and the Old West. I've seen a lot of negative feedback from hardcore 'Tower' fans that Bardem is a bad choice because of his ethnicity, but that is just plain stupidity. Just because you've had this one voice in your head while reading the books does not mean the studio needs to match that. It's clear Roland was created in the image of Clint Eastwood's The Man with No Name character, but I think its fine to step outside of that tired typecast. I'm glad to see Universal taking a few risks. Let's just hope they all pan out.

The plan thus far is that Howard will direct the initial film as well as the first television event. Form there, who will be directing is yet to be determined. Universal intends to create a Lord of the Rings type trilogy that has the feel of the Old West. Pitched as "an alternate Americana, one part post-apocalyptic, one part Sergio Leone."

"The Dark Tower" scripts are being adapted by Akiva Goldsman who has penned a number of Ron Howard's previous films including "A Beautiful Mind" "The Da Vinci Code" and "Angels & Demons." The downside to Goldsman is he's never done a great job with action/adventure. His heady dramas have always been solid, but films like Batman & Robin, Lost in Space, Batman Forever, I, Robot and I Am Legend stick out in my memory like an unforgettable nightmare.

Stay tuned for more news on both these fronts as they develop in the coming months.

Sources: THR | Deadline