In July Universal decided against moving forward with The Dark Tower, their adaptation of Stephen King’s epic book series with Ron Howard attached to direct. The intention was to make a trilogy of films with a TV miniseries in-between each film, however budget concerns caused Universal to bail.
Late last year producer Brian Grazer said they have since made changes to the script and in doing so they’ve managed to cut around $50 million from the budget. Now it looks like Warner Bros. is close to taking on the project, with a possible early 2013 shoot planned.
I hear that Warner Bros is now very close to a deal that will give Ron Howard the chance to direct at least the first feature, potentially with Javier Bardem starring as gunslinger Roland Deschain. And Akiva Goldsman (who wrote the script) is producing with Brian Grazer and the author.
Basically they bought Goldsman’s script and are paying him to do a polish. Howard remains attached to direct, likely in first quarter 2013.
This may be good news for fans, depending on whether they want an adaptation from Ron Howard or not. This is a similar situation to that of The Lone Ranger starring Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer which had to trim north of $40 million from the budget before filming could begin, only that project remained at Disney throughout instead of being set-up elsewhere.
The Dark Tower follows a gunslinger called Roland Deschain who is the last living member of a knightly order of gunslingers, and humanity’s last hope to save a civilization that will fall unless he finds the Dark Tower. Javier Bardem has long been attached to play the lead, and if all goes well he’ll be signing on soon.