You have got to admire Ron Howard, he is a filmmaker that doesn’t give up and despite all the roadblocks he’s encountered, he’s still working on his adaptation of The Dark Tower. The ambitious scope for the project, which included three films, two TV series and Javier Bardem attached, was balked at by Universal who just couldn’t get behind the mammoth project. Fans shouldn’t lose hope yet though as Deadline is saying that there is the possibility of revival for The Dark Tower at Warner Bros.
Javier Bardem is officially out of the running for the role of gunslinger Roland Deschain and now Russell Crowe (who starred in Howard’s Oscar winning A Beautiful Mind) is the name who will be attached to the character as Warner Bros. chews over the decision to give The Dark Tower the greenlight.
The structure of the franchise will be the same, it will be three films that are split up with two limited run TV series. It is a huge undertaking for both the financiers and the filmmakers and if it moves forward, it will take a good 5 years (if not more) out of the lives of Howard, Crowe and producer Brian Grazer.
For Howard and Grazer there may not be a problem but for Crowe, who has recently finished filming on the beginning of a potential franchise with Man of Steel, it could be too big of a commitment.
The scope and scale of The Dark Tower is quite something, it would be a very expensive venture that would rival the budget of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings. The other issue is with the content of the books, which as you would expect for Stephen King, is not the typical franchise material. Some of it is very hard R and if Akiva Goldsman’s screenplay shows any sign of that, then we maybe looking at another studio passing on the project.
That being said, Warner Bros are looking to mount another successful franchise after losing Harry Potter and Christopher Nolan’s Batman films. If they decide to put a lot of money behind the project, we could have a monster hit on our hands, not to mention that HBO is owned by Time Warner which could provide the natural home for the TV series. And, one of HBO’s biggest hits in recent years is the fantasy epic Game of Thrones, and the elements which are similar to that in The Dark Tower may be a big draw for the executives.
Either way, we expect to hear a decision on the matter in a couple of weeks time, but for now I’d remain slightly optimistic about the future of The Dark Tower.