Kate Atherton writes for Bleeding Cool:
The Dark Tower is a peculiar beast. Stephen King's much-loved and well-read tale of a Gunslinger's quest has filled seven novels. There will be others. It is now to form the basis of alternating films and TV series with Ron Howard at the helm of the trilogy of movies.
Combining genres of western, fantasy, scifi and horror, The Dark Tower is widely anticipated to be the next big series of films, keeping audiences enthralled for years. This is largely because of the character of Roland Deschain, the Gunslinger, whose journey across a wild west landscape in search of the physical and metaphoric Dark Tower, a portal, is helped and hampered by good and evil characters, some of whom are nameless and others, such as Susannah Dean, who come with a history.
The New York Post, in just one sentence, revealed today that Naomie Harris (Pirates of the Caribbean) is being considered for the lead female character in The Dark Tower. And that was all it said.
Despite being an avid reader, and having a smattering of Stephen King novels lying about the place, I must admit that I have not read any of The Dark Tower books. There was not much chance, then, that this one brief sentence in the New York Post would do much to enlighten me.
Reading around, I learned that matters are complicated by the leading female character actually comprising more than one person in one. Susannah Dean is in fact a mix of good and evil characters, Odetta and Detta, who are fused together by the Gunslinger into the legless body of Susannah. The other thing I learn is that there is so much material here, it's a miracle they can condense it into three films and who knows how many television series.
Naomie Harris has mixed her characters before. In Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End she was both the beautiful and enchanting Tia Dalma and the vengeful ogress Calypso. She will have her hands even fuller in The Dark Tower. But who will she be taking on?
Several names have been associated with the role of Roland Deschain, the Gunslinger that Stephen King based on that archetypal enigmatic movie cowboy, Clint Eastwood. Javier Bardem and Viggo Mortensen have been named as favourites. Interestingly, that story also originated in The New York Post.
One thing is certain, this project is ambitious and it would mean a major commitment for anyone involved in it. And that includes its audience.