Universal Passes On Ron Howard's The Dark Tower
Back in May things started to not look so hot for the Ron Howard-directed adaptation of Stephen King's The Dark Tower. Initially planned as a trilogy of films that would be linked together by a television series, the project was put on hold while the folks at Universal worked with the members of the production team to scale back the franchise and make it a more manageable monster. In the months since Howard has done his best to stay optimistic, saying multiple times that the project was still happening. Then things got a bit weird when it was reported that Howard had entered talks for two separate films, neither of which involved a character named Roland Deschain. Now it looks as though it's official: The Dark Tower is dead at Universal.
Deadline has learned that a deal between the studio and the filmmakers could not be reached and that there will no longer be any discussions about the project. The product was set to be based on a script by Akiva Goldsman, but apparently they may not be done trying to make the film. The article says that the filmmakers will continue to try and find a new company to back the ambitious project. According to the report, the production stalled when Universal would only commit to making one film, but the studio denies "that the studio was only willing to make the movie and not the series."
I can pretend to be surprised by this, but I won't waste your time. When the deal between Universal and Guillermo Del Toro for At The Mountains of Madness fell apart in March it became quite clear that the studio wasn't interested in funding an incredibly ambitious project with no guarantee with success. As for those that are upset about this news, I'm here to tell you that this might actually be for the best. Ron Howard never really felt like the right man to be behind the camera and their selection to play Roland, Javier Bardem, wasn't exactly what fans were hoping for. Perhaps someday we'll see a true adaptation of the seven-novel series, but it seems that now is not the time.
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