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The on-again/off-again relationship between Hollywood and Stephen King’s masterful The Dark Tower series might be off again. At least fans are getting used to having their chains jerked around all of the time.
Despite recent stories suggesting that the wheels might actually be turning on a massive adaptation of King’s seven Dark Tower books, producer Akiva Goldsman threw some cold water on the flames of fandom. While promoting his directorial debut Winter’s Tale in New York City, the Oscar winner spoke to Collider and was asked specifically about the adaptation, and whether it was back on track. He replied:
It’s not officially back on, and we will never let it go – until Stephen takes it away from us."
By we, I’m assuming he means director Ron Howard, who has worked with Goldsman on such films as A Beautiful Mind, Cinderella Man and the two Dan Brown adaptations, The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons. They have been circling the Dark Tower movies for years now, but things don’t seem to be progressing. In fact, when Collider asked Goldsman if there was any truth to the casting rumors we have been swirling around in our mouths as of late, he replied, "No, but I love reading about it."
What a killjoy.
Then again, this really is nothing new in the realm of The Dark Tower. We have stories in our database dating all the way back to 2007, when noted King aficionados like Frank Darabont and Damon Lindelof entertained the notion that they would be able to translate the story of Roland, the Gunslinger, to the silver screen… in some fashion.
The story has changed multiple times over the years, usually because creative teams trying to adapt it have considered using a combination of feature films and television. The projects has changed studios, shopped around potential actors, and met roadblock after roadblock. This sounds like just another bump in the long and winding road.
We allowed ourselves to get excited because of recent comments by Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul, who mentioned that he had taken several meetings about possibly playing drug addict Eddie Dean in a project that would span different mediums. We dropped our guard and embraced the possibility of a Dark Tower adaptation. Goldsman puts us back in our place. He’s right, too. The adaptation of this enormous story is too large for a traditional approach. And too many "masters" would have to be served to pull it off in a Netflix/network-television/movie combination. I’m not sure this can ever work.
Goldsman, meanwhile, hopes that you’ll go see Winter’s Tale, which co-stars the man they once thought could play Roland: Russell Crowe. Chew that over while you watch this trailer.