Javier Bardem Hefting Dark Tower's Guns

He's closing a deal to star

He’s been connected to the part for a couple of months now, but it finally looks like Javier Bardem is spilling ink on a contract to play gunslinger Roland Deschain in Ron Howard’s ambitious, multi-faceted adaptation of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series.

After being the top choice for Howard and collaborators Akiva Goldsman and Brian Grazer, Bardem’s been through the usual casting tango – including a stage where Grazer told the world that the actor was “psychologically locked in” (OK, Brian… time to go lie down in a darkened room). Now, according to Deadline, Bardem’s so close to being on board that Howard has started the process of finding other cast members based on Bardem being Deschain.

And it’s not exactly your average job: Howard and his team are planning a trilogy of films plus a TV series that will run between the second and third cinematic outings and work as a prequel to the story. Bardem’s deal apparently includes an agreement to star in the first movie and options for the two other movies, getting paid a nice chunk of change to commit to everything. Well, he and Penelope Cruz have just had a child together… He could probably use the cash.