Ron Howard's long-gestating Dark Tower project is buzzing again, and that means a new rumor is afoot about who'll play the lead role.
It's been a while since we've heard anything concrete about Howard's ambitious plans to adapt Stephen King's epic seven-book (eight, if you count the companion story The Wind Through the Keyhole) fantasy saga into a movie trilogy linked by seasons of television. For a while there, it looked like the project was definitely happening. It had a studio, a TV network and a possible star in Javier Bardem, but then it all fell apart. The project has since shown several signs of life, including rumors of new stars and new studios, but Howard himself said last year that he and his team have taken a "vow of silence" when it comes to the film, until they finally have something definite to announce.
Well, Howard's still not talking, but yesterday we did hear from Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul that he's taken "a ton of meetings" with Howard and company about playing Eddie Dean, the saga's heroin-addicted, reluctant hero. Paul also said that Howard is "definitely planning on making it," and confirmed that the project is still shooting for three films with television elements mixed in. That's not confirmation from Howard himself, but Paul's a very hot star right now, so the fact that he spoke up about the project means something's definitely rumbling behind the scenes once again.
That was enough to get the rumor mill cranking away pretty fast, and just like that we've got our first big (new) casting rumor with regard to who'll play the saga's stoic, weathered, epic hero: Roland Deschain, the gunslinger.
According to a "Phantom" source over at Schmoes Know, The Dark Tower may be Howard's next big project, and he's planning to finance it through Media Rights Capital and his own company, Imagine Entertainment, with the TV element possibly landing at Netflix. As for who'll star, the source had only this to say:
"I hear Liam Neeson is interested."
Now, before we go any further, we have to accept that this is only a rumor, and should therefore be heavily seasoned with salt before we chew on it. That said, what about Neeson? He's certainly got the bearing to play Roland's noble side, and in the last decade or so he's had a good bit of experience in the action department with flicks like Taken and The Grey, so we can definitely see him gunslinging. Plus, he's got genre cred from roles like Qui-Gon Jinn, Ra's al Ghul, and Darkman. He'd be an older gunslinger than some of the other rumored stars of the flick, but he could pull it off.
What do you think? Will we see Neeson as Roland, and if we do, will it work?
(Via Schmoes Know)