There are a lot of great films on the horizon, but one franchise that has us excited more than any other is Ron Howard's big screen adaptation of Stephen King's 'The Dark Tower.' King's epic tale of gunslinger Roland Deschain's quest to find the fabled Dark Tower – a nexus of all the universes – has spanned multiple novels, spin-off books, and comics. It's a work that draws inspiration from Arthurian Legend, Tolkien's Middle Earth stories, Robert Browning's poem 'Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came' and spaghetti westerns. It's a sprawling and epic creation that King cites as his magnum opus.

Naturally the idea of seeing these characters and their mythical world on the big screen has geeks frothing at the mouth in anticipation. Speculation is already running rampant as to which big Hollywood actors will land roles in the potential franchise – and it seems like some of Tinsel Town's biggest names are clamoring to be considered.

Hit the jump for the latest casting rumors on 'The Dark Tower.'
The early buzz surrounding casting for the role of Roland had Javier Bardem and Viggo Mortensen as the front-runners. According to The New York Post, another A-list actor has taken the pole position: Christian Bale. Contradicting that, however, is a report at Deadline that claims that Bardem officially has been offered the lead role by Howard and Universal: "While formal negotiations haven't yet begun, there's a high level of enthusiasm internally that they've got their cowboy." (Mortensen has moved on to 'Snow White and the Huntsman').

Meanwhile, sources close to the project tell The Post that 'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter is currently on the shortlist of actresses being considered for the role of Susannah, along with French/Moroccan actress Ghita Tazi.

It seems a given that we'll hear many more names tossed around for parts in 'The Dark Tower' before filming begins in preparation for its 2013 release. It's to be expected, as the adaptation of King's series has the potential be a franchise rivaling the 'Lord of the Rings' and 'Harry Potter' films. There doesn't seem to be a bad choice for Roland amongst these three actors – but if you were casting the film for Howard and King, who would you go with? Cast your vote below.