Film/Television Adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower Scrapped
The plans to adapt Stephen King’s The Dark Tower–into three non-consecutive films and two television mini-series to run in between the releases of said films–have been abandoned. Ron Howard and Akiva Goldsman were dreaming big with this one, but apparently a little too big.
Although some hiring had already been done–Javier Bardem was lined up to play The Gunslinger, and Mark Verheiden had been hired to work on scripts for the mini-series–in the end Universal couldn’t quite wrap its head around such an ambitious proposition.
The interesting thing is, Universal had already greenlit development of the project, pushing for production to start this summer with a February release date. After reviewing Goldsman’s script for the first film and the first leg of the TV series, however, the studio would only give the go-ahead for one film. Having already hired Verheiden for the television leg, however, the filmmakers were not content with dropping their plans to make a single film. They had already planned on filming the television show simultaneously with the movie, while the set was still erected.
According to Deadline, “insiders said that Universal brass loved the filmmakers and the project, but couldn’t make it work with the current budget in its business model.” The article also mentions Warner Bros., which is currently financing two installments of Peter Jackson‘s The Hobbit, as a possible landing place for the project.