I just know that this post will be live for five hours, tops, and they will make The Big Announcement. That’s good. Let’s get the tension over with.

And we’re supposed to know this week.  Roland Deschain will be cast.  At least that’s what Ron Howard and Brian Grazer told MTV.

It’s down to Viggo Mortensen and Javier Bardem, two names who have been bandied about for a few months now. Color me surprised! The initial quotes I heard from Howard (“They’re all about Viggo.”) sounded like fan service, not actual casting talk.  Rumors that Mortensen and Bardem were in the running sounded like more unsourced hope.

But now Grazer says they’ve spoken to both, and Ernie Estrella of Pop Culture Shock informs me Howard also name-dropped them on The Howard Stern show last week.   Again, I’m gobsmacked and delighted, but also dubious, if only because both actors could decline … and then we’re stuck with who?

And it’s a possibility. This is a huge commitment that will span television and movie screen, as Howard confirmed the saga won’t be recast for the small screen. Everyone will pull double duty.

If Mortensen and Bardem are the final two contenders, my money is on Mortensen. His schedule is freer, The Dark Tower saga seems up his alley, and he likes to experiment with genres and directors.  He may find the two formats to be an intriguing challenge, and sign on just for that.

Bardem has a lot of stuff in pre-production, and he’s about to be a father.  That could induce him to be pinned to one location (tv is great for that), but given his ties to Spain and its film industry, it seems unlikely he’ll do something so longterm. He’d certainly be good in the role, but I just don’t see him doing it.

We’ll see. Will it be this week?   I hope so, but I suspect we’ve got some more teasing left with this, and some unlikely names to crop up.  But man, I hope not. I hope it’s Mortensen. The man can handle a saga and a gun.

[via Screen Rant]