It's been an long development process for the adaptation of Stephen King's The Dark Tower series. Ron Howard took on this project years ago and Universal originally planned to move forward with it last summer. They eventually passed and Ron Howard had been looking for a new home for the project.
Earlier this year, Warner Bros. hired Akiva Goldsman to polish up the existing script for the first film and they are close to making a decision with a new lead actor in the role of gunslinger Roland Deschain. Since 2010, Ron Howard had been set with Javier Bardem in the lead role, but Deadline is reporting that Howard, Goldman, and Brian Grazer are in talks with Russell Crowe to star in the film.
Crowe recently took part in Warner Bros.'s new Superman movie and they were also talking to him about playing Dracula in a new film. He's definitely interested in genre projects over at the studio and he adds star power that could see the first Dark Tower movie get made. It is said that within the next two weeks Warner Bros. will make a decision on whether or not to green light the first film.
The original plan was for a trilogy of films and a TV series that would bridge those films together. The entire project would cover all of Stephen King’s novels in The Dark Tower series. That is still the plan and we'll hear more about the TV component and release dates if Warner Bros. takes on the project.
For those who are unfamiliar with The Dark Tower, the series consists of 8 books (with this year’s release of The Wind Through the Keyhole), which follow gunslinger Roland Deschain in his quest to reach the Dark Tower: “The opening chapter in the epic Dark Tower series. Roland, the last gunslinger, in a world where time has moved on, pursues his nemesis, The Man in Black, across a desert. Roland’s ultimate goal is the Dark Tower, the nexus of all universes. This mysterious icon’s power is failing, threatening everything in existence.