Apr 30 2012 4:00pm

The Face of the Dark Tower: Casting Thoughts For Roland Deschain

Stephen King’s Wind Through the Keyhole was released on April 24th, and while that glorious day gave us King fans a chance to once more immerse ourselves in the stories of Roland and his ka-tet, the offering of a new book has resparked the ever present question: when will we see a Dark Tower movie? And the better question is, if we see a film adaptation, who will play Roland Deschain?

Many might remember the rumor frenzy last year that said that Ron Howard and Universal Studios were coming together to bring the epic films to the silver screen. There was even talk of an attached TV series. Yet sadly, the new year came with no new rumors aside from word that Universal had walked away from the table. In March, the frenzy began again as there’s a chance Warner Bros. might be interested, so we can say thankee-sai for that. But if the film becomes a reality, just who would play our entrepid gunslinger Roland? Roland might remind us all of Clint Eastwood in his heyday, but outside of that screen titan, could any other Hollywood stars pull it off? Tons of names have been thrown around from Hugh Jackman to Christian Bale, Gerard Butler to Daniel Craig. And while Wolverine, Batman, Leonidas and Bond are all powerful actors, here are some other names to consider for the imaginary casting couch. Some you might know from Hollywood’s A-list and some might be new to you. You decide: do they have the Roland chops?


The ’Official’ Choice: Javier Bardem

This international star is no stranger to the Dark Tower rumor mill. When the film was a sure fire go, articles across the internet trumpeted him as the pick for our hero Roland. And why not? The No Country For Old Men star has a sexy intensity in multiple languages that cannot be denied. Yet where I’ve seen Bardem do a great dead-eye in No Country and sexy man of the world in Eat Pray Love, I wonder if he can pull off the questing soul of Roland. 


Jeffrey Dean Morgan

Enter the actor everyone seems to mistake for Javier Bardem all the time, Jeffrey Dean Morgan. The Watchman actor first caught my eye playing Sam and Dean Winchester’s dad on Supernatural and quickly graduated to a big screen powerhouse. Slated to appear in the upcoming remake of the 80s invasion flick Red Dawn, Morgan has a gruff intensity that belongs in the gunslinger Roland’s attitude and yet can handle deeper emotional scenes, like those expected between Roland and his kid associate Jake.


Viggo Mortensen

How could this guy not make the list? Take the Stetson-wearing look Viggo rocked in Hidalgo and import some of the noble fire of Aragorn, plus maybe just a touch of that unearthliness he had as the Devil in The Prophecy (yup, that was him!) and bam, that’s a terrifying Roland. We’ve already seen Viggo stride across Middle-Earth and a destroyed America in The Road — he’d shake the dust crossing the desert on his way after the Man in Black.




Michael Fassbender

A personal favorite of mine, Michael Fassbender has spent the last few years in Hollywood proving that he can pretty much make gold out of anything he puts his hands on. From a wild-eyed Spartan in 300 to the brooding and sexy Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre, Michael Fassbender has proven he can put his hands on an established character and make it his own. For reference, just look at what he did with Magneto in X-Men: First Class. With his upcoming credits including the hotly anticipated Prometheus, adding Fassbender as Roland might just be a license for the films to print money while counting on a definitive and invidual performance from a versatile up-and-comer. 


Timothy Olyphant

For an outside the box idea, let’s consider Timothy Olyphant for a second. A powerfully talented actor, Olyphant has already proven his wild west swagger as both Seth Bullock in HBO’s Deadwood and Raylan Givens on Justified. Sure, his movie credits have been all over the place — the bad guy in Live Free or Die Hard and the title character in Hitman are just two examples — but Olyphant has a strength to his performances that is almost palpable. I could believe him as an intense lawman in a lawless land because, heck, he’s played it before!


Thomas Jane

An often overlooked Hollywood gem, Thomas Jane is another who could bring that powderkeg spark to a Roland performance. Jane is no stranger to working with Stephen King material, as he starred in the 2007 adaptation of King’s short story The Mist and in the 2003 adaptation of Dreamcatcher. He also proved that he can provide fierce brooding power while playing The Punisher. Just slap him on some gun belts and he could be that balance of square-jawed hero and harsh-eyed gunslinger we’re looking for. 



Lucas Bryant

For a slightly younger and less known choice, there is Lucas Bryant of Syfy’s Haven fame. With more television than film under his belt, Bryant plays the stone-faced Nathan Wuornos on Haven, a small town sheriff with strange and unusual issues in his home town. Though he might not be as well known as some of the A-listers previously mentioned, Bryant could just be the unknown that stands out in such a pivotal roll. 



So, what do you think? Good choices? If not, how about some of your own? Let’s hear them, Dark Tower fans, sound off if it please ya, and let’s think just who would we want as our very favorite gunslinger. 

Shoshana Kessock is a comics fan, photographer, game developer, LARPer and all around geek girl. She’s the creator of Phoenix Outlaw Productions and

Mordicai Knode
1. mordicai
I don't believe we'll ever see a Dark Tower film.
Brian Z
2. Brian Z
I still put my money on Guy Pearce. He may not be as Tall as I would like, but if you look at him in The Proposition, he fits the Long and Ugly.
Brian Z
3. Foxed
I'd like to see Jeffrey Donovan as Eddie Dean.

And Bardem has a good face for Roland. At least, a Roland that's the Good, the Bad, and the Hollywood Ugly.
Brian Z
4. Lou Morgan
As it happens, I've just started reading these: I picked up The Gunslinger, blazed through it (pun intended) and have moved straight on to The Drawing of the Three - and the image I've got stuck in my head for Roland is Karl Urban, most likely due to seeing him as Black Hat in "Priest". I know he's not quite right for a few reasons, but that's the picture in my head, and so far it's not shifting!

All that said, now I'm really into the books... I'm not sure I'd ever want to see it on film. Heresy, I know, but still...
Brian Z
5. silver97rwa
My choice would be Norman Reedus. SK spends an awful lot of time talking about Roland's eyes...and every time I look at Norman Reedus I am immediately drawn to his eyes. And he easily fits into the intense/badass image I have in my head of Roland (though younger).
Emmet O'Brien
6. EmmetAOBrien
Give the technology another ten or fifteen years and then sample Eastwood from movies where he was the right age, would be my preferred approach.
Paige Vest
7. paigevest
From the time I first read The Gunslinger at the age of 18 (or perhaps I was 19) over 20 years ago, I imagined how amazing it would be to see the story adapted to the big screen. For nearly that long, I've prayed that they never do it. They very rarely do a book justice when its adapted, and it's even more rare for an SK book to be adapted well.

That being said, I'd be hard pressed to choose a good Roland from these offerings. Long, tall and ugly with piercing blue eyes... not one of these guys looks right. I know that eye color is a small thing compared to the caliber of an actor but it's a big thing for me, personally. While I loved Daniel Radcliffe's portrayal of Harry Potter, it *still* bothers me that his eyes weren't green and that they couldn't just pop some contacts in there while make-up put that scar on his forehead, you know?

Michael Fassbender has the eyes, as does Viggo, but they're both too pretty. Thomas Jane has a great face (not ugly but definitely rougher and more hollow-looking) but the wrong eyes. While I would like a great actor for Roland, I also want him to LOOK like Roland... just like I want whoever is cast for Detta/Odetta/Susannah to be a black woman, as King wrote her, and not a white or otherwise colored woman as was being discussed last year when the Bardem rumors were rampant.

Al my opinion, of course.
Brian Z
8. Improbable Joe
Jeffery Dean Morgan and Lucas Bryant would be CHEAPER, and that's a pretty important deal. Lucas Bryant feels more long, tall, and ugly than the other choices, even though I've never considered him for the part before. He actually sort of carries himself with a sort of Old West cowboy badass vibe on Haven, come to think of it. If Misha Collins were taller, we'd have a winner...

Plus, the bigger stars I feel carry a bit of baggage that makes it harder to buy them in other sort of iconic roles.
Ruth Vincent
9. LadyAtarah
Viggo has a good look for the character as well as the dedication to play any character well.
After watching Lost, I think Josh Holloway could pull it off.
A little makeup could keep anyone from looking too "pretty"-- though I think Roland looked nice when he was younger, at least...
Brian Z
10. Dolphin
Timothy Olyphant, the Clint Eastwood of our times, would be perfect in the role.
Brian Z
11. gecko
Clint Eastwood. Accept no substitutes. So what if he's bit advanced in years? So is Roland.
Maria Pestrovo
12. Maria Pestrovo
I am all for Timothy Olyphant. He may not have the looks (look-wise, I think Viggo Mortensen will be close to perfect), but he sure can play.

Just please, please not Javier Bardem. Nothing against the actor, but he is not Roland.
13. Freelancer
I like Olyphant, but I've never seen him look anything remotely like "haunted", and if you can't do that, you can't be Roland. I was half expecting that someone would say Nathan Fillion, and my response would be nearly the same. Thomas Jane would be a good fit.
Brian Z
14. MistyMassey
I like the Guy Pearce suggestion. Those cheekbones are exceptional! Or if he's unavailable, I think James Marsters could play the part well - he's definitely got the gunslinger walk down.

Bardem, though, is a mistake.
Marc Gioglio
15. Fuzzix
I think Harrison Ford would do much better than anyone mentioned thus far. These other guys are all too young to give the "how old is he really" impression.
Paige Vest
16. paigevest
I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who doensn't like Bardem for Roland. I've seen many comments in various places on the net that rave about how awesome he'd be and all I can think when I see such comments is, "No, no, NO! Have you ever even READ tDT?!"

Brian Z
17. Nerves
Firstly, I think it's got to be played by someone at LEAST in their 40s, I like JD Morgan.

Now, I strongly believe it could work as an adult animated series, in the style/feeling of Afro Samurai. Let the artists loose on it and throw realism out the window.
Brian Z
18. Holly S.
I was just thinking about this question as I re-read all of the Dark Tower series about a month ago and I had kind of settled on Viggo Mortensen. I could see him the whole way through the stories without a hitch.
Brian Z
19. Cami
I think that Frederick Weller, the lead actor in the USA series In Plain Sight, has the right look for Roland. He has a brooding look and an ageless face that makes it hard to tell his age. And he gives off a very mysterious, dark aura. Added to all this, he is good looking in an unconventional way.
Brian Z
20. Rosstf68
I think that Sean Bean would make a great Roland. he has that worn look and Roland is a cross between the west and the Knights of old, I think that Bean would make Roland come to life.
Brian Z
21. Gregor
Fassbender and Bryant are too young and pretty boy to play Roland, they don't match the long, tall and ugly description. BTW I thought Eddie Dean called the gunslinger "tall, dark and ugly", been a long while since I read the series.

Mortensen, Olyphant and Jane fit the bill because their looks have range and can play a weathered type.

My vote is for Josh Broland... gruff looking, ambiguous age, great actor who can play dead pan and taciturn.

I find Harrison Ford an interesting suggestion and Jeffrey Donovan would make a great Eddie!
Brian Z
22. teresa4842
I just saw the movie "Cowboys and Aliens" and I had never seen Daniel Craig before this, and the first thing I thought was...he looks like Roland!!! That is exactly how I saw him in the book, it's crazy, so I started looking to see if there was any news about Dark Tower and found this.
I vote Daniel Craig, it's just uncanny how much he reminds me of Roland!!
Brian Z
23. DC Mouse
Dood, read "The Gunslinger" back in the mid 80's(?) and have been obsessed with the series ever since. Even got a blue coffin tattooed on between my trigger finger and thumb on my right hand (hey! There weren't any other tats in the books!)
Young Clint (so long as we can dream), but Tim Olyphant. I've thought about this for years. He's the only one I can see with the chops to be Roland Deschain.
Brian Z
24. wingback88
Here is the order of the best candidates
1. Viggo Mortenson (by a mile)
2. Josh Brolin
3. Thomas Haden Church

Zoe Saldano is a no-brainer to play Susannah, and I like Aaron Johnson as Eddie.
Brian Z
25. hello
clive owen is my choice right age blue eyes dark hair just watch shoot em up or children of men!
Brian Z
26. Ben Slightman Jr.
The most interesting, but sane suggestion that I've found thus far is.......drum roll please..... Hugh Laurie. I realize he's got the whole "House" vibe going on, but I think as soon as he steps in a pair of shor'boots, you'll believe he IS Roland.
Brian Z
27. 0011000100111001
F**k everyone who's been mentioned so far, including Hugh Laurie. He is NOT Roland! The ONLY actor who could portray such a character is JACKIE EARLE HALEY (AKA Rorschach and Freddie Kruger). He's got blue eyes, looks JUST like him, and his acting was impeccable inWatchmen. He was likeable, yet he wasn't a nice guy AT ALL. He's got the look AND the personality for Roland. Also, here's a list of other characters and actors who could easily portray them:
Eddie Dean | Edward Norton
Susannah Dean | Halle Berry
Father Callahan | Clint Eastwood
Walter o'Dim / Randall Flagg | Mel Gibson
Brian Z
28. Ben Slightman Jr.
I love when ppl feel they need to be belligerent to get their opinion out there. You drop an f-bomb to begin your thread post and suddenly you're the only person in the world who's entitled to an opinion? I usually overlook this sort of thing, but let me tell you why I'm not going to. I never said that Hugh Laurie WAS Roland. I said you would BELIEVE he was. So your smart allecky capitalization just proves how belittled your comprehension skills are. All the actors mentioned above could play Roland, it's just whether or not they would bring that certain something to the part. Roland is iconic but, like most literary characters, unless you are the author, or he somehow managed to snap a photorealistic polaroid of what he sees in his mind, then you really don't KNOW that Jackie Earle Haley looks JUST like him. Haley is a quirky character actor, a damn good one at that, but, IN MY OPINION, he lacks the foreboding nature that Roland exhudes. I recall in "Wolves" where one of the cowboy ranch hands was scared just looking at Roland. You're scared of Haley in Nightmare because he looks like someone who might actually rape your children, not because he has any kind of powerful, menacing qualities. His voice, maybe. Same goes for Watchmen. Rorschach didn't need to convey his trouble over a pregnant member of his ka-tet with a look, because he was masked the majority of the movie. I didn't want to, but also, how bout height. Haley's a whopping 5'5''. Not at all JUST like Roland in that aspect either. I don't really feel the need to say anything else. I just wanted to show that opinions are just that, you don't have to be a douche just because you disagree with someone else's.
Ed Norton-42 Eddie Dean-23
Halle Berry-45 Susannah Dean-around 30
Eastwood was a basis for Roland, so there goes that idea.
Mel Gibson? Really?
Show some respect to other fans of the Tower instead of immediately shi**ing on their opinions.
Paige Vest
29. paigevest
You know, Ben... I'm in complete agreement with you. From your choice of Hugh Laurie (great eyes, gaunt features, tall, great at being an asshole) as a good possibility for Roland, to your incredulity at the attitude presented by #27, to your opinion of Mel Gibson as Flagg... which was pretty much my reaction, too.

Really, great post all around. *nodnod*
Brian Z
30. Countermeasures
Nail on the head Benny. I don't know about the Hugh Laurie part though, I haven't seen him in enough things. All I've seen, he's been at least somewhat comedic (sometimes ridiculously comedic). I'm not sure he could get dark enough.
But I think, what 0011000100111001 was trying to say, is that he/she would like to see this made into processed Hollywood garbage. That cast, though there's some talent there, they're too well-known. I'd look at them all and only think about other movies I know them from.
I'm still up in the air on almost all of these options for Roland, I was actually excited about Bardem being picked... Oh well.
For Susannah though, I honestly think Naomie Harris (28 Days Later, 007 Skyfall) could be perfect. She's got the attitude, and the looks, without being bombshell beautiful like Zoe Saldana.
Also... Holy crap- just struck me, Tom Hiddleston (Loki, from the Avengers) as Randall Flag/Walter... Geezus, that'd be perfect.
Brian Z
31. Countermeasures
Interesting idea here... What about Vincent Cassel as Roland. He's a great actor, he's played a bad ass in plenty of movies. He's french, which done right, could add just enough exotic sound to Roland's voice, because let's face it, I don't think Gilead was in America. Here's a trailer to a surreal western with Cassel - and this was 8 years ago, he's aged a lot since this movie.
Jordan Saul
32. countermeasures
Alright, here's my incomplete list of who I think would make some decent choices:
Roland - Vincent Cassel
Eddie - Ryan Gosseling or Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Susannah - Naomie Harris
Jake - I've got nothing...
Father Callahan - Alan Arkin, best I can do at 1:00am
Susan Delgado - Imogen Poots (Yes, yes, and yes)
Randall Flagg - Tom hiddleston or Robert Carlyle or Willem Dafoe
Brian Z
33. Ben Slightman Jr.
Countermeasures......You've got some fine suggestions. This isn't a knock or anything, but are you from across the pond? Most Brits I know seem to pinpoint that Hugh Laurie comedic persona straight off. I'll tell ya this much though, Vincent Cassel has most assuredly got the ugly part down. hahahaa. Also, I actually saw something the other day that Naomie Harris had been signed on. Don't know the certainty of that though.
Brian Z
34. Countermeasures
Haha, I suppose I may be from across the pond, but it depends on which side of the pond you're on. I'm in the states- not sure if you thought I was from the UK because of the Hugh Laurie observation. That would be awesome, and completely coincidental if Naomie Harris really were signed on, I hadn't heard that, but I think it'd be a great move. For a few minutes last night, I was thinking the main kid from Super 8 would've made a good Jake, but I looked him up and he's like 16 now. I'll keep fantasizing about the cast until it's on IMDB...I JUST WANT THE MOVIE TO FREAKING HAPPEN! But I think I'd rather it never happen, than happen and not be good.
Brian Z
35. Soup or Fly
I thought about Hugh Laurie as well for Roland, but I just couldn't picture it. What about Anson Mount, he plays in the TV series Hell on Wheels, I thought he would make a pretty good Roland, not the best though, clearly that belongs to Clint Eastwood. For Eddie, maybe a character type like Michael Weatherly plays Tony Dinozzo on NCIS, somebody like that. I like the choice of Tom Hiddleston for The Man in Black
Brian Z
36. Sooner
I was all about Viggo Mortensen, but then I had another thought... It's gonna sound strange at first, but stop and consider: Paul Bettany. He has the piercing blue eyes and aesthetic face. He does "tortured" very well - see Legion, Priest and his Dustfinger character in Inkheart (oh, and the albino in The Da Vinci Code). Yes, he's blonde, but hair can be dyed. I vote for Jared Leto as Eddie - he's got the heroine addict thing down.
Brian Z
37. s2rt
Clint Eastwood. There can be no other casting for Roland. Even Stephen King admits to thinking of him when the power of Ka brought him to write.

Best get cracking then, the great man is not getting any younger.
Brian Z
38. Countermeasures
Sorry to say it, s2rt, but it's going to have to be someone else. Aside from Eastwood being waay too old (he's in his 80's!) for what this role would require, and he has already said he's done acting and is only going to direct from now on. So I really doubt he could be talked into a handfull of movies followed by a TV mini-series. Just isn't going to happen, no matter how much we all wish Eastwood were 30 years younger.
Paige Vest
39. paigevest

From the Wikipedia page on Roland:
'At the start of the story, Roland is in his 40s, but is physically in his 50s at the end of The Gunslinger when his age is arrested as he slumbers for ten years. Most of his hair is gray or white, but some remains black. His facial features are described as rough (although Susannah once compared them to that of a tired poet; Eddie frequently refers to him as "old long tall and ugly"), and he has light blue eyes, often referred to by characters and Stephen King as "bombardier's eyes".'

The more I consider your suggestion of Paul Bettany, the more I kind of love it. Bettany's in his early 40s so could age along with the series, he's tall enough, he's got the eyes (where Bardem certainly does not), his lanky build is pretty good for the part and he's appeared to be pretty gaunt (a feature I associate with Roland) in several roles, and he certainly has the acting chops to pull off Roland's tortured, determined, and ruthless demeanor. His hair could definitely be colored to match Roland's salt & pepper, but hair was never an issue for me in many of the choices... mainly it was eyes, build, height, ability to portray the character properly.

So yeah, great suggestion... Bettany is now my #1 choice, say true. :o)
Brian Z
40. eastwood is roland
roland was old and warn, i dont think anyone other than clint eastwood should play him, he is just a perfect fit.
Brian Z
41. Jmaxdoctrines, prossix
Funny thing, I always pictured the gunslinger to look like John Marston from Red Dead Redemption. Probably that gun part that did that for me. I am in the middle of Wizard and Glass and honestly, I haven't really had a lot of good mental images when it came to peoples faces. I can see Bardem in that role, I would be interested who then they would choose as "Will Dearborn" and Susan Delgado. If in fact Bardem was Roland.
And Eastwood? C'mon, there are so many great actors way more qualified than Eastwood.
Brian Z
42. Ben Slightman Jr.
Been obsessing a little over this now, and I've found a list of Eddie choices. When I read over them, one person caught my eye....Justin Kirk. If you've ever watched Weeds you'll know what I'm talking about. Just liked that idea really well. Paul Bettany is a pretty good choice for Roland too. Question though....I imagine the first movie will follow the Gunslinger plot pretty well. I see the movie ending at the beach, maybe in front of the first door. My question is, will any of our bickering and banter mean anything if the majority of the "main" cast isn't even in the first one? Seems like Roland, Jake, and MIB are the only ones we will see first. At least for a while. While there are some good characters other than those in The Gunslinger, most of the real standouts don't come along for a while. I'd like to see your thoughts on The Gunslinger cast. Alice, Sylvia, Nort?

oh yeah, and soup or fly, Anson Mount is a bad ass on Hell on Wheels. He's got the skill, i think.
Brian Z
43. Ben Slightman Jr.
After I posted that last one, I found out that Bardem is out, and that they're looking at Russell Crowe for Roland......
Brian Z
45. heathicus
The last time I had read the books until recently was when Wizard & Glass was released. On those readings, I always pictured Clint Eastwood. But I'm reading them again now and I'm almost finished with Wolves Of The Calla. I think due to the way he is described as being older and getting arthritic in that book, along with watching a lot of Sons of Anarchy lately, I can't help but picture Ron Perlman for Roland Deschain. He has the intensity and subtlety. The faded blue eyes. Eddie describes Roland as "old long, tall, and ugly" which certainly fits Perlman. I could see any of the guys listed in this article as Eddie, but not Roland.

And I see Halle Berry as Susannah.
Brian Z
46. setbland
Clint Eastwood is who I saw in my mind when I read the series... That said Laurence Fox could play Roland. For Eddie perhaps Jamie Bell and for Susannah... Jennifer Hudson.
Brian Z
47. windlegends
I vote for Anson Mount. He has the haunted, rugged and grizzled looks and he can do more with his eyes and facial expressions than most actors can with an entire page of dialogue.
Brian Z
48. Countermeasures
Laurence Fox? That guy is waaaay too young to play Roland. Anson Mount actually does look pretty badass, I could probably see that. I don't think Ron Pearlman could ever be wiry enough, or ruggedly handsome enough (as much as I like the guys characters) to play Roland. I actually like the idea of Justin Kirk (Weeds) for Eddie, he's got similar character (good call Ben Slightman Jr.).
I think Imogen Poots would be a perfect choice for Susan Delgado. What about Tom Waits as Nort, the insane weed-eater? He would nail that role. And I'm still seeing Robert Carlyle or Tom Hiddleston (Loki) as The Man in Black.
Brian Z
49. joew771
Jim Caveziel
Jim Caviezel
Jim Caviezel
Jim Caviezel
Jim Caviezel
Jim Caviezel
Jim Caviezel
Brian Z
50. JamesOB5
I say Viggo ... he'll fit the role best. Check out this link ... it allows you to pick whoever you want for Roland and the rest of the "The Dark Tower" characters.
Brian Z
51. Angela Renee
Thomas Jane would make an.awesome Roland!
Brian Z
52. JustTheTip
Daniel Craig would be perfect... he is the exact image of Roland. Even the eyes are same. If you haven't seen cowboys and aliens you need to watch it. The whole time I was watching that movie I was thinking to myself that he would be perfect to play Roland
Brian Z
53. Jason Connor
1. Josh Brolin
2. Viggo Mortensen
3. Daniel Craig

NOT Javier Bardem.
Brian Z
54. theflyingtinman
Roland should not have a recognizable face. I would love to see an 'unknown' cast in that role, maybe with a supporting cast of stars.
Brian Z
55. andycap
Aaron Paul from Breaking Bad as Eddie...he is perfect.
Chandler Riggs from walking dead would make for a decent Jake in my mind.
Zoe Zaldana as Susannah
And as for Roland...everything hinges on this, I would not be dissapointed to see Javier Bardem play him, I never imagined it myself while reading but am convinced that he could do a great job. Other then that I would also throw bones in for Viggo, Anson or Russel Crowe even though I think Crowe would make for a great Cort.
What are thoughts on Keanu Reeves as Roland? He is old enough and has that gruff, solitary persona but kinda known to have not much talent.
I think for anyone to even consider Hugh Lauire or Jackie Earl Haley is just insane... but to each their own.
adam miller
56. adamjmil
"Aaron Paul from Breaking Bad as Eddie...he is perfect."

This. A thousand times this.
Brian Z
57. cistar
Michael Fassbender as Roland, Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Eddie, Zoe Saldana as Susannah, for bad guys, Javier Bardem as Walter O'Dim, Tom Wlaschiha-game of thrones assasin as the man in black (1st book, the sorcerer)
Brian Z
58. OhYesCWill
I've read the DT series multiple times and never saw an actor that I pegged for this role until I watched Justified, so my vote is for Timothy Olyphant, most definitely. He not only has the look, but the build and the swagger of Roland.

I like Aaron Paul (plays Jesse Pinkman in Breaking Bad) as Eddie Dean.

I also like your idea @andycap about Russell Crowe playing Cort...that would be epic!
Brian Z
59. OldTowerFan
Anson Mount is the perfect choice. Everything about his appearance and facial features and demeannor sez to me "Im Roland . I also like Aaron Paul as Eddie"
Brian Z
60. EzequielStepanenko
I think an amazing choice would be ROBERT PATRICK, I wonder why no one else thought about him, he looks like Roland also a litle like Clint Eastwood, he has the blue eyes the voice of a tabaco smoker, and the experience that non of this actors has
Brian Z
61. TongPo
I know this may sound crazy but I really like Shia LeBouf as Eddie. Fast talking, spastic, and always on edge (at least in the first few books). Shia would be a great Eddie.

As for Roland my top three have to be Josh Brolin, Josh Holloway, and Daniel Craig. And my crazy pick would be Brad Pitt, I think he would be surprisingly awesome in the role.

To the guy who suggested Keanu Reeves - No, no, no, no. He's saved the world enough times.
Brian Z
62. fabulouslyawesome
Clint is the only person I picture for Roland, but someone suggested Ron perlman....interesting and I have never thought about it until that point, but I think that would actually be a great choice!
Look up Thandie Newton for susanna. Perfect Choice, curvy (susanna is not a toothpick like zoe(can't act worth a shit) saldana) and sassy.
I have pictured colin ferrel as Eddie, but he's a little too old for that role. Aaron Paul would be okay, but I am picturing Eddie being more darkish?
The kid who plays Carl in the walking dead would be great as Jake.
Randall flag? hugo weaving :D mr.anderson......
Dixon Davis
63. KadesSwordElanor
Outside the box pics: Kurt Russell, Johnny Depp, Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Wahlberg, Jeremy Piven

Way outside the box pics: Jack Black, Zach Galifianakis or Will Ferrell after finishing P90X
Brian Z
64. Countermeasures
KadesSwordElanor: Are those idea for Roland?! ....You're fired.
Dixon Davis
65. KadesSwordElanor
Countermeasures @ 64

First, please note “outside the box” statement.

And B, I guess my P90X comment wasn’t enough of a sign that I made these suggestions with my tongue pressed firmly against my cheek.

3rdly, in all seriousness
1. Clint
3.Resurrect John Wayne
Brian Z
66. Countermeasures

PHEW! I really wasn't sure if you were serious. There have been a few suggestions that were ridiculous enough that I thought maybe you actually meant it. I retract my previous statement.
Dixon Davis
67. KadesSwordElanor

At the risk of you taking back your retraction, what about Alan Rickman as a serious "out of the box" pick.
Brian Z
68. Countermeasures
I personally couldn't see him as Roland, I don't think he's tall and lanky enough. And his voice... I mean, his voice is amazing and original and full of character, but I don't think Roland would sound anything like that (at least not in my head). Alan Rickman could be somebody in it, and be amazing, just not sure who at the moment.
I really hope they finally settle on somebody besides Russell Crow, I just can't see that, at all. But only time will tell!
Brian Z
69. RichardFannin
I wonder if the guy who suggested Edward Norton for Eddie and Halle Berry for Susannah has even read the books... Eddie is 23, and Susannah is 28ish. Also, the fact that Susannah's parents were both African American is a fairly significant plot point, so even if Halle Berry was 20 years younger, she couldn't accurately play the part.
I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Iain Glen for Roland. Think Jorah Mormont, plus guns. He's even got the eyes for the job. He's certainly got the voice for it. Sounds like he could be from Gilead.
My list is:
Roland: Iain Glen. Hugh Laurie would also be more than acceptable. He was my choice until I saw Iain Glen as Jorah. Daniel Day Lewis would also be good
Eddie: Aaron Paul. Hands down.
Susannah: Rutina Wesley
Jake: Any 9 year old boy
Randal Flagg (Martin, Walter): Ian McShane (think Al Swearingen) or Gary Oldman
Cort: Clint Eastwood. He's got to be in it. This is as good a place as any.
Gasher: Clint Howard
Tick Tock Man: Josh Holloway
Eldred Jonas: William H. Macy
John Farson: Jeremy Irons
Susan Delgado- AnnaSophia Robb. Can't use a 16 year old actress. Too many important plot points that need to be played by an actress over 18.
Brian Z
70. Scherome
I'm probalby alone in this but someone with the "lone wolf leader of a pack" attitude would be Thomas Gibson. I'm not the biggest fan of Criminal Minds, but his portrayal of the last son of Eld would be very convinsing.
Brian Z
71. darkfall18235
Roland - I wish Wes Bentley was a little older. He's got the eyes. I could see Tim Olyphant. He was in Dreamcatcher, too. Not a huge Javier Bardem Fan. I could definitely see Hugh Laurie but I feel like people would associate him with House and lose Roland. I also have a little wish to see Jim Carrie in the role. Don't hate me for saying this...he is a great actor even if he is totally typecast.

Eddie - Zachary Quinto, maybe? Or Jesse James...the kid from The Butterfly Effect. He can definitely pull of brooding young man and he is 21 now, so close in age. I could also see Ryan Reynolds though he may be too old.

Susannah D - I like Naomi Harris. Halle Barry is WAY too old for this. Zoe Soldana would be a close second.

I also like a suggestion I read for Jake as being Chandler Riggs....but he might be just a smidge too young. I read a fake article once that Justin Beiber had been cast, thank god it was not true.

Susan Delgado - Jenna Boyd. She was in another Ron Howard film as a young girl and was fantastic.
Bucky Katt
73. BuckyK
Fassbender for Roland. Almost perfect.
Bucky Katt
74. BuckyK
I'm willing to wait 20 years for a CGI Clint Eastwood.
Bucky Katt
75. BuckyK
Why is nobody pondering the Man in Black?
Brian Z
76. Lee Forrest
Hugh Laurie has always been Roland Deschain in my mind- he is perfect and would look the part too.
Brian Z
77. Legion
Roland = Daniel Day Lewis...thats is all...
Paige Vest
78. paigevest
#77... he just might have the acting chops for it. Juuust might. *nodnod*
Brian Z
79. Pipal7
I've been saying Lucas Bryant for a long time now! I thought i was the only one, but he would be PERFECT!!!!!! They could always make him look older with make up if needed. But he has always been my #1 choice, he even kinda resembles a young clint eastwood. And he's got both the gunslingers eyes and the cold gunslinger feel down. He would be perfect, more people need to get on board with this. Ya, he's not a big hollywood star, but neither was harrison ford before star wars.
Brian Z
80. pppssshhhh
excuse me.....

Michael Shannon.

that is all.
Brian Z
81. Me oh my
I just saw Solomon Kane and it wasn't so great but I must admit that I think James Purefoy had the perfect "Roland" look. That wad the first thing that came to mind. Not too sure about the acting but definitly had the look.
Brian Z
82. SoonerGal
When I think Roland... I see Jim Caviezel...

He's the right age, dark hair that is greying glue eyes, tall, thin, rugged and plays a good badass - and can handle a gun.
Brian Z
83. just mean enough
I like the idea of Olyphant, or I'd like to see it played by Anson Mount.
Brian Z
84. shaddowwalk
It hit me like a ton of bricks! A new chanel, PIVT apperantly bought the rights to Farscape, which they play alot to my joy. BUT the star of that show who plays Jon Chriton, would be and is perfect for Roland!! His name is Ben Browder, and he has all the right aspects especially those blue bombadeers eyes!! TOTALL LOCK!!
Brian Z
85. Christine2384
Viggo Mortensen is ideal, for those of us who have read the series and really took the characters to heart. Thomas Jane would be my second pick strictly based on facial features. Remember that Roland was designed from Stephen King's hero of westerns Clint Eastwood. Someone who is old but looks young, piercing blue eyes filled with old knowledge. This character really doesn't age until nearing the latter of the journey. These, perhaps to readers, are essential to the character building in a movie or series. In the end the hope is to say, "Wow! they really captured the true essence of the character!"
As far as Eddie Dean is concerned, they need to find someone who can physically and mentally morph from sleasy, skinny slime into a heared rippling hero through the journey.
In the end these are just our interpretations of the characters, but as a side note. Viggo has already proven himself to be capable of embodying the rugged hero, weathered and loved.
Brian Z
86. Bigmammagator
Please, Please! Would someone just take a look at this season's Hell On Wheels on AMC. Anson Mount would be perfect for the dark, brooding, yet strong-willed Roland.
Brian Z
87. amd
Hopefully this will never be made as it is guaranteed to be absolutely awful, just like nearly all of the movies made from King's books. However, there is no doubt that Lucas Bryant would made a great Roland. The picture above does him no justice. They would have to make him a little less pretty, a few scars and such, but he'd be a fantastic Roland.
Paige Vest
88. paigevest
@amd, I agree that it would be awful. They would cast everyone wrong and there's no way they'd do justice to Roland's quest and King's opus.
Brian Z
89. teig
20 years ago I would have said Scott Glenn. Now there are only 2 I can think of that have the age and agility. Kurt Russell has the fighter pilot blue eyes and the longevity of a trilogy. But then if he is not available, Sean Bean would be a perfect Roland. He has the intense, commanding respect as an actor and he knows his way around this type of genre. I'd give Rob Lowe a look for Fast Eddy Dean. There is of course only one Father Callahan, Clint as he is today. But since I'm sure he wouldn't agree, James Cromwell would be a good fit.
Brian Z
90. jacobandy
Post #69 Richardfannin has this thing nailed on the head as far as I'm concerned. Well done.
Brian Z
91. Lizzie&Stef
Josh Brolin for Roland, Ryan Gosling for Eddie, Tom Hiddleston for Flagg. Jus sayin
Brian Z
93. Packa
I gotta say that i do not think that anyone "on the stage" at this point is good enough to depict Roland. Some have the looks and not the personality and other way around. Most are too young. People seem hung up on the eyes, they can (and SHOULD) wear contacts, the eyes are important but not when picking the actor since contacts are easy to come by and easy to put in. I think an Unknown needs to play him and carve Roland's image on the screen from scratch and not have anyone associate that person with anything except Roland.
Eddie, on the other hand, Aaron Paul could play it well I think.
Susannah, Thandie Newton is what i picture as i read.
Haven't given much thought to anyone else really. Read all 92 comment on here though and still couldn't find a suitable Roland. Hope they don't disappoint and use Bardem.
Brian Z
94. themrnutz
My pick, for your consideration, do it please ya: Mads Mikkelsen.
Brian Z
95. Lawsyes
Thomas Gibson is Roland. He just is. And PLEASE not Javier Bardem. Nothing against him, but he is NOT Roland. He just isn't.
Brian Z
96. sikesed
what about karl urban? i think he would make a fantastic roland.
and i know this is a little far fetched but what about ryan reynolds as eddie?
Brian Z
97. jacobandy
People.. Please stop with this Ryan Reynolds crap. Honestly, you're on crack.
Brian Z
99. DarkTowerFan1044
What about Cillian Murphy?

He could be gaunt enough and has the perfect piercing blue eyes for the role of Roland and would look even more convincing with a bit more stubble.
Brian Z
100. DarkTowerFan1044
Or Jim Caviezel

Brian Z
101. William Cullen
Brian Z
102. Mjustus
I've had an image of Jim Caviezel as Roland Deschain for years! He has the build, the look, and the intensity required to play such a pivotal character!
Brian Z
103. A.J.
This post and comments contain some of the best suggestions for the Dark Tower Cast I've ever come across. One of my favorite book series of all time, I've gone back and forth over whether I want some studio to attempt to bring it to life on screen. Apprehensions aside, here's my list:

1. Viggo Mortensen (has the dark, brooding, menacing on the surface, but good deep down looks and acting ability)
2. Hugh Jackman (ditto)
3. Daniel Day Lewis (I could see him transforming to become Roland completely, inside and out)
* Hugh Laurie was an interesting suggestion, but I think he reads as more smarmy than dark and somewhat menacing

1. Joseph Gordon Levitt (I think he has great depth and can encompass the wise-cracking junkie with crazy raw gunslinging ability)
2. Jared Leto (he has the tortured junkie down, though I don't know if he can nail the humor and light-heartedness that is also a big part of the character)
3. Jake Gyllenhaal (I know most people won't like it, but I think this could be a good fit)
4. Aaron Paul (He's a popular choice, and I wouldn't be upset at the casting, but he seems too predictable and somewhat hokey)

*FORGET Halle Berry, she's not the only actress of color, smh. I don't think her acting is a good fit, AND she's too old for the part.*
1. Naomie Harris (great up and coming actress)
2. Tracie Thoms (Good chops and seasoned, would also be good at pulling off the wide range of Susannah's multiple personalities (must be sweet and tough). Also I think she's a good age, as she should be older than Eddie.)
3. Kerry Washington (might be a bit too one dimensional, though)
4. Lupita Nyongo (This kid is going places, would bring a fresh face to the franchise. I especially think she would pair great with Jared Leto.)

Young Roland:
1. Ryan Gosling (I think Roland looked better in his youth, but of course they would have to tone Goslings looks down more)
2. Jake Gyllenhaal (again, I think he could work for some reason)
3. Liam Hemsworth (might be too much of a dreamboat, but he's shown some promise in the few things I've seen him in)

Child actors are tricky and Jake is such a developed and complex character. Maybe that kid from Iron Man 3 if he isn't too old by then.

Steven Deschain:
1. Russel Crowe
2. Josh Brolin
3. Christian Bale?

Randall Flag:
Daniel Day Lewis
Hugh Laurie??
Johnny Depp (would be interesting)

Susan Delgado:
1. Jennifer Lawrence?
I think this role would be easier to cast considering the large amount of young starlets out there.

Sorry for the length, but I've been pondering this for quite some time, lol. Feeback welcome!
Brian Z
104. chaz25
I really like Thomas Jane. He has the look, the personality, and he is not so popular that he already has a set image on screen. He can adapt to the role. But he really has the look down. Viggo Mortison is also a good choice.
Brian Z
105. Nisey
Clint eastwoods son Scott!
Brian Z
106. wmorris
Well adapting DT to a movie will most likely fail as it is wayyyy to much to cram into even 2 movies per book. It should be done as a Tv show on a paid channel. therefore that cast should be mostly unknowns.

Everything hinges around Roland. Whether you play him as a mid 40s or a younger man he HAS to be able to play that silent serious all the time roll. Its easy to add age in hollywood. You can add height too. But you can't add facial expressions.

Anson Mount could do it but he would have to bail on HoW. Jim Caveazal is interesting but again he would have to bail on his tv show.

Can't make DT into a movie though. would be butchered
Brian Z
107. Christopher Valdes
Roland is the classic anti-hero (and I mean that in the best possible way). Some actors have that bad-ass look built right in but the guy would have to have the chops to pull it off too! Ms. Kessock mentioned him in passing but I think Timothy Olyphant is the forehead slapping, "that's IT!!!", number one choice. There's a reason he nailed the role of Bullock in Deadwood, and Raylan Givens in Justified...but only if he's a fan of the Dark Tower series. The actor who lands the role has got to want it so bad, he owns it. Second choices would be Michael Fassbender, Norman Reedus, Ryan Gosling and let's toss in Andrew Lincoln. Also, I hadn't thought of Dark Tower as a cable show until seeing the idea in this forum. It's a great idea. Each book as a season, like the Game of Thrones, with the money of an HBO, AMC or now even Netflix to back it. Yes, please!
Paige Vest
108. paigevest
You have some good thoughts here, and no offense but I think that I would slit my own throat if they were to cast Ryan Gosling as Roland. Say true.

Brian Z
109. ergin
javier is abig mistake , roland is unbelievable , ? thing jim caviezel is best
Brian Z
110. undercover
J'aime l'idée de Lucas Bryant.
Brian Z
111. Christopher Valdes
paigevest + Ryan Gosling = 911 call

OK paigevest, if it means that much to you, I'll strike Gosling from the list! I'm just not ready for that kind of guilt.
Brian Z
112. Jennifer D
Tommy Ruddell would be a perfect Roland!
Brian Z
113. Ozer
You know, Stephan KING says in novel "Roland is ugly" and his height 190 cm.
But Javier is too too too ugly, and too short for the role of Roland
I thing Jim CAVIEZEL best choise for this role.

And Aaron Paul, would be the best choice for the role of Eddie.
Paige Vest
114. paigevest
Thanks, Christopher... I appreciate your unwillingness to facilitate my suicide. ;o)
Brian Z
115. Ox Moac
Okay my dream cast is Aaron Paul as Eddie, Josh Brolin as Roland Deschain but Michael Fassbinder might be able to pull it off... Taraji P Henson as Odetta/Detta/ Suzanna, Kevin Spacey as the man in black. Not sure who could pull off Jake.. maybe Dakota Goyo? Or Tristan Lake Leabu..
Brian Z
116. costin
I have read the series recently, but to be honest I was unable to put a real face on Roland. However, watching the Walking Dead made me think of Roland as Norman Reedus. I always imagined Cort as Lance Henricksen.
Brian Z
117. Stitched
I think Lucas Bryant looks the part of a relatively young, but adult Roland Deschain, say Roland circa Little Sisters of Eluria. He may come across as a little "soft" to some people for the part, but he's got the (North) American accent I think is essential to the role, and there's a not over-the-top darkness about him that feels like Roland. Plus, let's face it, Stephen King uses type-and-shadows of characters -- sometimes overt "twinners -- and Bryant's portrayal of Nathan is a pretty obvious type-and-shadow of Roland.
Brian Z
118. Stitched
Some talk here that Gilead isn't America. Certainly, it's not. It's another time, another world, But, sorry, anybody who's read the books has to see that America is at least a template for Roland's world. Even discounting the metaphysical appearances of places like New York and Topeka in the novels, even the place names and obvious geographic references are related in important ways with the North American continent. That's why I say the main characters should have American (Canadian works) accents, and I'm skeptical about many of the British, Australian or other European candidates mentioned earlier. However, Mel Gibson as the Walter? Lol ... he's not who I picture, but that's pretty damned good.
Brian Z
119. Stitched
Another idea: Bryan Cranston as Walter. Yes, Walter as Walter. The Man in Black. The Dark Man of the a hellish, otherwordly but still recognizable American Southwest. And, yes, Aaron Paul as Eddie.
Brian Z
120. Stitched
Robert Patrick is another interesting person. But, there's something inherently comical about Patrick. He's a very good, underrated actor and certainly has the gruff quality of an older Roland. But I just see his natural personality as too impish to be Roland.
Brian Z
121. Stitched
A little outside the box, but not too far: Forest Whittaker as Cort. Yes, he's black, and there's no indication of that in The Gunslinger. But he's a big man, a harsh one, but a person who commands respect and loyalty. Whittaker in Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samarai and as Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland presents some of the obvious, diverse aspects of Cort, in my opinion
Brian Z
122. Phil R
I always envisioned Josh Brolin as Roland. But would be more than satisfies with Viggo
Brian Z
123. john-evert
What about the soundtrack? Beatles' hey jude obviously. Some songs by the Doors would definetly be fitting :)
Is ennio morricone still alive? Team that guy up with nick cave! Nick Cave would actually make a pretty cool Roland. Tall, ugly, faded blueish eyes and that dark romantic streak that NO one seems to mention. Thats the most important aspect of the character, gods dammit. ..maeby a bit to narrow oberoende the shoulders, though...but certainly demanding on stage. Im rambling
Brian Z
124. sissy
want actors capable of layers to their personalities..

michael fassbender - roland
javier bardem - marten
yaya dacosta- susannah
ezra miller -eddie dean (ruthless intelligence and charismatic enough to pull off)
Brian Z
125. Chacko
Has to be someone with the commanding, blue, bombadiers eyes.

You really need someone who is closed to looking like King and Clint Eastwood.
Brian Z
126. Stinkyweasleteats
Scott Eastwood, Clint's son. The problem of Clint's age is now solved.

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