It’s being reported today that Universal, who has been planning a big budget adaptation of Stephen King‘s The Dark Tower, may now be getting cold feet on the project.
The first obvious issue to crop up would be the project’s budget which, when you consider that the studio wants to do three films and two miniseries to bridge the gaps between, would be quite immense. It is expected that Universal will decide in the coming days whether they want to put the project into turnaround and shop it to other studios, who could then partner on the project or take it over entirely. However, as of right now, Universal is moving ahead with the project.
Back in September, Ron Howard (Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind) announced plans to adapt the epic series of books with at least the first to be directed by him. Universal soon joined up as a distributor with NBC expected to carry the miniseries.
Javier Bardem‘s deal to play the lead character of Roland Deschain is nearly complete, but there is still other casting that needs to be completed. Howard and his long-time associate Brian Grazer are set to produce the project while Academy Award-winning screenwriter Akiva Goldsman writes the script.
This isn’t the first time someone has attempted an adaptation of the series. J.J. Abrams (Star Trek, Super 8) and his associate Damon Lindelof (Lost) had optioned the rights from King, but were unable to come up with anything that they found satisfactory. The series, which is “rooted in a post-Apocalyptic realm resembling the Old West as well a parallel modern-day world,” is not going to be easy to adapt, but perhaps Goldsman will be able to pull it off as he’s had to deal with some strange material before such as TV’s Fringe.
A target date of May 17, 2013 has been set for the first film.