Now, not so sure. Several news outlets, including Deadline and The Hollywood Reporter, are hearing that Howard’s ambitious plan to team with Universal for three film and two television adaptations of Stephen King’s masterwork has been put on hold. Staff members working on the project have reportedly been put on “hiatus” as Universal contemplates ways to bring down the budget on the massive “Dark Tower” endeavor.
THR adds that Universal’s current thinking regarding “Dark Tower” centers not just on budgetary concerns, but also a “creatively lacking” final portion of the project. The outlet indicates that the final call on whether or not to move forward is “expected soon.” But Deadline reports that no matter what happens next, plans to start shooting in September have been scrapped.
Representatives at Universal have declined to comment on the report while Imagine president Michael Rosenberg has denied that the project has been shelved.
“’The Dark Tower’ is not in turnaround,” he tells THR. “There are issues and on-going budget discussions with almost every film in development.”
My take, for whatever it’s worth: there’s no question that “The Dark Tower” is a monumental undertaking, as those familiar with the series well know. Howard’s vision in particular is huge in scope and, most like, immensely expensive. Given the subject matter at the core of King’s novels — which, if you’re at all familiar with the author and his work, is as gruesome and exhausting as it is fantastic and exhilarating — it was always a long shot that the tale of Roland Deschain would ever successfully transition to the screen.
But with writers, directors, showrunners and, hell, Javier Bardem already attached, it seems a real shame to put “Dark Tower” back in the drawer. If Universal decides they can’t see the project through — a decision that, while disappointing, would be perfectly understandable given the big risks involved — then I sincerely hope that another studio is ready, willing and eager to join Roland’s ka-tet as he rides on towards the Tower. If not, well… we’ll always have the books. For some fans, that’s more than enough.
Do you think “The Dark Tower” will ever make it to screens, or is this the end of the road for Roland Deschain? Let us know what you think in the comments section and on Twitter!