Ron Howard's planned multiple-platform adaptation of Stephen King's epic "Dark Tower" saga has had a rough time in development. Recently, Universal decided to pass on the project, which had Javier Bardem attached to star in three films and two limited-run TV series, probably on HBO.
From there, Warner Bros. considered funding the ambitious undertaking, but switching studios may have cost Howard and producers Brian Grazer and Akiva Goldsmith their leading man. Deadline is reporting that WB has a new draft of the Western-fantasy's first installment from Goldsmith, but with a new star attached. Howard's "Beautiful Mind" star Russell Crowe is now in the mix for the role of Roland Deschain, according to the site.
While no deal has been made with Crowe, his is the name the team is using to make their final pitch to Warner Bros. With Crowe and the new script in place, the studio has two weeks to decide whether to move forward with the project.
Adding Crowe as the potential lead for the project continues the actor's recent series of high-profile bookings. He recently won the highly coveted lead role in Darren Aronofsky's biblical epic, "Noah," and next summer, Crowe will play Superman's father, Jor-El, in Zack Snyder's reboot of the character, "Man of Steel."
When MTV News' Josh Horowitz spoke with Brian Grazer earlier this year for "Tower Heist," the producer confirmed his intention to take the TV aspect of the project to HBO and that he still believed Bardem was attached.
"We're going to do ['The Dark Tower'] with HBO," Grazer said. "We'll do the TV with HBO, and we'll do the movie with ... to be determined. We'll do it right."
A large part of moving the development forward involved cutting out significant portions of the budget. "We're going to do that movie. We've lost $45 million out of the budget," Grazer said. "When people say no to you enough, then you have to lose money, which we've done without harming the scope of the film."
Check out everything we've got on "Dark Tower."
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