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COMics & Comics 31208- lOGO

Howdy Inter-Webbers, I’m Matt Cohen and I’m gonna pretend that I haven’t been away for a while. Or, I’ll lie about it.

Yeah, the second one.

Let’s try that again…

Howdy Inter-Webbers, I’m Matt Cohen and I’m finally back from the Arctic. It was cold, kinda boring, but surprisingly good bagels.

Let’s skip through all the pleasantries and get to a subject near and dear to my heart - Stephen King’s THE DARK TOWER series. Since around the age of 11 I have been obsessed with these books, the characters, and the worlds they inhabit.  Like every other good Tower geek, I have dreamed about the day when the books would be adapted to a more visual format. Well, in Peter David’s comic series for Marvel, we got just that. A new, fresh blast of life has been pumped into an honored but very (and purposefully so) dead series. I assumed once I finished the final book, that Roland and his Ka-Tet would no longer grace the world in new mediums. Thankfully, I was wrong. Along with the comic book which is now in it’s second series, writer, director, producer and Hollywood “It” guy J.J Abrams has announced the acquiring of the rights to adapt the book to film (or television… only time will tell). With this sudden and, quite frankly, awesome news I thought it would be fun to pretend I had the job of casting the films, bringing my cherished childhood  (and beyond) memories to life.

So, without further ado (or adont), I present my dream cast choices for the DARK TOWER films (or television series… Again, J.J’s all about the vagueness).

Also, if you haven’t read the books, do it… Now. Turn off your computer, go to a bookstore or library, and do it.





The main man. The last son of Gilead. The last of the Gunslingers. One of the single most iconic and, quite frankly, fantastic characters in the realm of fiction. This is the big one. Cast this wrong, and the whole project falls apart. Roland has been one of the hottest “characters” that actors like to attach themselves to for years, and I’m sure a war is ensuing right now in the talent agencies of Hollywood. I’ve heard Bale, I’ve heard Jackman, and while they both and many others would LOOK like Roland, I think Josh Brolin would bring the sense of solemn pride and years and years worth of pain that Roland carries with every step of his weary feet. Look at his work in NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN as a sort of model for how Roland’s tone and demeanor should be. Lots of thoughts going on, but you can’t read it in his face. And maybe that’s what it comes down to. That blank, reading your soul type poker face that Brolin can rock so perfectly. Also, I tend to think Roland is closer in age to 50 then 40, so Brolin would work perfectly in that respect, as well. And, on a nitpicking note, though Bale and Wolvie can do a convincing American accent, there’s no substitute for the real thing. Anyone who doesn’t see this should just wait for JONAH HEX which is almost a Roland audition in my mind.

Runner Up: Viggo Mortensen - Would make a fine Roland if not a little to pretty, but I do think our collective memories of Aragorn cloud our judgement a bit.



The second member of the Palaver and our first link as readers to our own world, worthless, weak, addicted Eddie - in the course of 6 books - goes from helpless junkie to a hero only rivaled by Roland himself. Eddie is 23, a NYC native, and badly addicted to heroin when we meet him, so casting wise I think I would go for a guy who can play both “junkie” and “heartthrob” to carry the entire arc believably. If you haven’t caught this young man’s work since 3′RD ROCK FROM THE SUN, you may be a bit puzzled right now. If you caught flicks such as the phenomenal BRICK, then you would know that Levitt is obviously one of the finest young actors working today, and could easily pull off the pathos needed for Eddie. And I know we’ve never really seen what Eddie is supposed to look like, but in my mind, this is pretty much it.

Runner Up: Shia Lebouf - I do genuinely see the appeal in Shia and think he will have a long and great career, but this may be a bit too “hard” for his current sensibilities.



The trickiest bit of casting in my opinion. This actress would have to portray three distinct characters, different ages, and DRASTICALLY divergent personalities. My one exposure to Torres was her work on FIREFLY and SERENITY, but anyone who’s seen her act know that she plays a strong female character, to say the least. You would need to capture the fire of Detta, the wisdom of Odetta,  and the beauty and love of Susannah. I think Ms. Torres is definitely able to meet the challenge. Also, we know for sure that she can handle a weapon.

Runner Up: Zoe Saldana - I haven’t seen STAR TREK yet so my only experience with her is her bit parts in the PIRATES movies, but man, is she gorgeous… Yeah, that’s all I got.



A cry of “who? rings out across the internet. If anyone saw Rob Zombie’s mediocre HALLOWEEN reboot, they may remember the one entertaining aspect of the film - the kid who played young Michael Myers. I really dig this kid’s look, which is far from your conventional “pretty boy” child actors. Rather, Daeg looks like an actual kid, something I think would tremendously boost our attachment to the tragic and tragically wonderful character of Roland’s “adopted” son, Jake Chambers. Now, we don’t know if this kid quite has the chops, but the look works and he’s age appropriate. I say give him a shot. Also, because I refuse to cast Freddy Highmore in literally every single role meant for a male between the ages of 9 and 15.

Runner Up: Unknown general casting call…



The baddie to end all baddies. Stephen King’s version of the devil, or if not the devil himself, certainly his main trickster demon. Randall Flagg, or some derivation of him, has appeared in too many Stephen King books to count. Most notably THE STAND, but certainly at the forefront of the Tower series as well. I mean, it all started when the man in black fled across the desert… so we would need an actor who can give off a sense of pure evil while at the same time a strange charm. Someone who could be ageless and just “reborn” all at once. Basically, a badass mo’fo. And if you know me, theres only one man who that could be - Lance…. Henriksen. Yes, that Lance Henriksen. The man who gave us Bishop, Frank Black, and Ed Harley. One of the coolest, most iconic, but sadly underused and overlooked actors alive today. THIS would be the role to define his career. A chance to channel all that swagger and mystery into a character finally worthy of his talents, rather then whatever sci-fi channel movie of the week he’s done recently. Look at those eyes - shark eyes… doll’s eyes…

Flagg’s eyes.

Runner Up: None needed. This is the role he was born to play.



One of the fan’s favorite characters, the priest we knew and loved in SALEM’S LOT returns from apparent death to save and join Roland’s Ka-Tet and to play a bigger role in the sage than anyone could have foreseen. Lovable, noble, trustworthy. A stand up guy. And for as long as I’ve been a fan of the man’s work, I get that exact vibe off of the fantastic Brendan Gleeson. Though he may not look like the traditional image of Callhan, this man’s range is so wide and varied that he’d have no problem stepping into the vamp hunting priest’s shoes. His casting would add an air of “esteem” to the project as well, because it’s only a matter of time that critics and award voters recognize him as one of the greatest actors of his generation.

Runner Up: James Cromwell - Because I like crappy Stephen King TV miniseries. If it wasn’t TOO broke, I guess don’t fix it.



The Pale Man. The Fawn. The Angel of Death. Abe Sapien. Silver Surfer. ______ Hobbit Role. The modern king of creature performances. And the Crimson King is about as far from a human as you can get. This, my friends, is what they call a no-brainer (cue PLANET TERROR reference)

Runner Up: Zach Efron - He creeps me out. In the sense that I think he wants to murder me and do terrible things to my soul. A la the Crimson King


Now, the remainder of the characters, though “secondary”, are extremely important and cherished to Tower fans like myself, and I’ll be back next week for part 2 of this column, with a look at who I would cast to fill out the rest of the DARK TOWER universe. So please, if you enjoyed this little venture, check back next week for the conclusion. All of your friends are doing it… PEER PRESSURE!!!!

And, as always, please give a listen to BAGGED & BOARDED w/ Matt and Jesse and MEWESCAST, exclusively here at QUICK STOP ENTERTAINMENT.

Until next time friends,

“Long days and pleasant nights”

-MATT COHEN is currently dancing the Commala!”

Twitter= CamelToad (cause everybody’s doing it!)


8 Responses to “Comics & Comics: The Road to Gilead Part 1”

  1. mattcohen Says:

    oh, it feels good to be back :)

  2. Dom Says:

    I completely agree on Odetta. Torres would be my first choice as well. My other picks (aside from the mentioned Mortensen) will remain a secret.


  3. mattcohen Says:


  4. Declan Says:

    I’m actually just on the tail end of re-reading the DT books, as well as reading the comics as they’ve been coming out, so this is totally where my head is at right now. Gotta say, good call so far on all the roles. Brolin is definitely the better call compared to Viggo, especially since the character is already so close to Aragorn as it is. My only worries about the movie casting-wise is having a kid good enough to pull of the roll of Jake, and being able to buy the Eddie/Susannah relationship.

    Just a note, unless you wrote this article quite a while ago, the comics are far further along than into the second series. So far they’ve completed “Gunslinger Born”, “The Long Road Home”, “Treachery”, as well as a few one-shots, and “Fall of Gilead” begins soon (next month?).

  5. mattcohen Says:

    Hey Declan. Thanks for the read, and the comments.

    Re: the comics. You’re right, what’s funny is I just now realized that. i have read every tower book to come out, but have been extremely “un-moved” since the start of the second arch, that I didn’t even realize all the Marten/Steven stuff consisted of a new series.

  6. Janet Davis Says:


    (Runner Up: Viggo Mortensen - Would make a fine Deschain if not a little to (too) pretty, but I do think our collective memories of Aragorn cloud our judgement a bit.)

    Yours maybe, but not mine. Sorry to disagree here, but I’ve seen Mortensen’s body of work, and it stands above Brolin’s, head and shoulders. I’ve pictured him mentally and physically ever since the book first came out.
    You don’t think Mortensen can ugly up on a dime?
    Tall, skinny, introspective, troubled, solitary, quiet, single-minded and intrepid. Commanding when needed, and explosive when necessary. And a man you NEVER want to screw with.
    Mortensen has been described as all of these personas, both in person, as well as on screen. (Except personally explosive)
    Brolin is only known to the general public to be explosive in real life. And not for noble reasons. (Ask his wife)
    And I personally saw him go off on a waiter in an L.A restaurant several years ago, and he behaved like a rich, spoiled twelve year old, howling to be comped the top drawer wine because of ‘who he was.’
    Excuse me, but who the fuck WAS he, but the unproved son of a TV actor? There are hundreds of them out there. He behaved like an entitled brat.
    And recently arrested for the same relative nonsense.
    Not the Roland of MY dreams.
    What a ponce.


    I’m afraid I’ve not seen this boy’s work, so cannot comment, to be fair. The best to him.
    I have however, seen Kodi Smit-McPhee’s role in Stephen King’s ‘Nightmares and Dreamscapes’ episode of “Umney’s Last Case”. A pretty fucking phenomenal performance for a lad of his age and experience.
    Check him out, maybe?

    On all other parts I either agree with you, or don’t have a clear opinion on.

    All in all, you’re pretty right on, though.

    Good eye, dude.



  7. Declan Says:

    “The Long Road Home” and “Treachery” weren’t as good as “Gunslinger Born”, but definitely worth reading. I can understand what you mean though, the second series did kind of meander a bit, especially at the beginning, as did the third. My main concern going forward is having Lee off art. Even when the story wasn’t A+, the art always was.

    Lance Henriksen is inspired casting, especially for the Marten parts. It would be interesting seeing what they did for the Flagg scenes. Henriksen with long, flowing hair would be quite the sight to see.

  8. ZBarclay Says:

    I think I’d have to cast my vote for Mortensen. Viggo could pull it off, in my opinion.

    On another note…Abrams acquired the rights a while back for…$19.

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