By our guest blogger, Joe Oliveto
Javier Bardem more or less came out of nowhere. Dedicated cinephiles may have been familiar with him prior to his iconic role in “No Country for Old Men,” but for most of us, it was that chilling portrayal of a remorseless hitman with an equally remorseless hair-stylist that established the actor as one of the most engaging screen presences working today.
It also made people say “friend-o” a little bit too much, but hey, we can forgive him for that.
We’d all like to see him in more films, and fortunately, according to Deadline, we may now see him in plenty more, as he is close to signing on to play Roland Deschain, the protagonist of Stephen King’s epic “Dark Tower” series, which is being adapted for the screen by Ron Howard in a rather interesting and unique format—a mixture of full length movies and two seasons of a TV show. The narrative of “The Dark Tower” is, well, tremendous—Stephen King loves to include as much detail as he can in his works—and this strategy is designed to incorporate as much content as possible.
If Bardem does indeed take on the role—and by now, there’s no reason to believe that he won’t—he’ll be committing himself to a major project that will clearly dominate a large chunk of his schedule for the next couple of years. As excited as we are to see what Ron Howard can do with “The Dark Tower,” we do hope that this franchise doesn’t distract Bardem from smaller projects as well. We want a balance between the blockbuster and the “Biutiful.”
Still, it’s a magnificent casting choice. Bardem has all the qualities to turn this nearly mythic character into a screen icon. We doubt he’ll win an Oscar for this performance, as the Academy rarely gives credit to genre films, but if he pulls it off as well as we think he can, well, he’ll probably deserve one.