Actor Christian Bale could be moving from The Dark Knight Rises immediately to Ron Howard's The Dark Tower series, portraying Roland Deschain.

The actor has pulled ahead of contenders such as Javier Bardem and Viggo Mortensen to emerge as the top choice of both director Ron Howard and author Stephen King for the role of Roland Deschain.

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We reported a few days ago that The Dark Knight Rises would likely be Christian Bale's last movie as Bruce Wayne/Batman, although he would return if director Christopher Nolan comes back for a fourth movie.

In other The Dark Tower news, Dexter actress Jennifer Carpenter is on the short list of candidates to portray Susannah Dean, along with French/Moroccan actress Ghita Tazi. We reported earlier this month that Naomie Harris was the front runner to play Susannah, although it isn't clear if she is still in the running for the part.