I still find it kind of unbelievable that Ron Howard and Akiva Goldsman really are moving forward on their adaptation of Stephen King's The Dark Tower, given how sprawling and ambitious the project seems to be, but Goldsman is already making plans for what he'll be doing after they're done. According to Deadline he's been given the greenlight by Warner Bros. to make his directorial debut with Winter's Tale, which luckily is not a take on the bizarre Shakespeare play, but an adaptation of Mark Helprin's Manhattan-set novel.

Goldsman won't be entirely a newbie director, as he's directed a handful of episodes of Fringe, but it will be a significant change for the well-known screenwriter, who won an Oscar for A Beautiful Mind and has worked with Howard on three other films. Winter's Tale combines the stories of a thief, a dying girl and "a flying white horse in 19th Century and contemporary Manhattan," which sounds, frankly, insane. The main character is Peter Lake, an Irish thief who breaks into the home of the dying girl-- a rich heiress, as it turns out-- and falls in love with her so deeply that he attempts to turn back time. Goldsman is apparently more interested in the fantasy elements, and clearly loves the novel enough to be passionate about the material. But it sounds insanely complicated, and a huge challenge for any director, especially a first-timer.

Then again Goldsman has been in the business a long time, and has enough friends in right places to help him out if need be. There seem to be some passionate fans of the novel based on the series of glowing reader reviews on the Amazon page, so Goldsman will have the added pressure of pleasing the people who have fallen in love with the book since it was first published 28 years ago. Any Winter's Tale fans out there want to pop in with some advice for Goldsman?

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