Two weeks ago, it seemed likely that Warner Bros. would be moving forward with a Ron Howard-directed adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series, with Russell Crowe starring. Now, it is being reported that Warner Bros. has passed on the project.
Universal originally passed last summer, but Warner Bros. showed interest and hired Akiva Goldsman to create a new draft of the screenplay. There are no details on why the project has been canceled at Warner Bros., but Ron Howard and Brian Grazer are free to shop it around to another studio.
The original pitch involved three feature films and a limited TV series that would bridge the movies together between releases, covering Stephen King’s entire 8-book series of The Dark Tower. This is obviously an ambitious project and considered a big gamble by these studios, as it involves committing funds to the first movie and TV series.
We think that part of the problem is that Warner Bros. has other Stephen King-related properties that they are developing, including two-movie version of IT and a big screen adaptation of The Stand. Both of those projects are at the early development stages, but require less of a financial commitment.
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.