Stephen King’s ‘The Dark Tower’ film killed - and reborn? - again

Stephen King has been waiting a long time for “The Dark Tower” series to find a place on screens. “The Gunslinger,” the first book in the series, was published in 1982, and he’s returned to that science fiction/fantasy/horror/western world for almost 4,000 pages. More than once, it has looked like Hollywood would tackle the enormous cross-genre project. More than once, the project has been killed.

That’s what happened Tuesday at Warner Bros., which passed on “The Dark Tower.” Deadline reports, “After getting an overhauled script from Oscar winning scribe Akiva Goldsman, the studio just balked on the project that Ron Howard wants to direct with Brian Grazer, Goldsman and King producing, and with their A Beautiful Mind star Russell Crowe being eyed to play the gunman Roland Deschain.”

If this sounds like a rerun, it is. The project -- packaged as three feature films and two limited-run television series -- was killed by Universal last summer. In July 2011, Universal, operating under Comcast’s new, frugal ownership, announced it would not produce “The Dark Tower.” In that iteration, Javier Bardem was set to star; as in this one, Brian Grazer was producing, Goldsman was scripting, and Ron Howard was directing. Howard and Grazer had worked on the project for a year before approaching King -- and then the bestselling author came on board as a producer.


“I’ve been waiting for the right team to bring the characters and stories in these books to film and TV viewers around the world,” King had said in a statement, back when things at Universal were looking good. “Ron, Akiva, Brian [Grazer] along with Universal and NBC have a deep interest and passion for ‘The Dark Tower’ series and I know that will translate into an intriguing series of films and TV shows that respect the origins and the characters in ‘The Dark Tower’ that fans have come to love.”

Fans have bought more than 30 million copies of “The Dark Tower” books. The most recent book in the series, “The Wind Through the Keyhole,” came out in April of this year.

Maybe there is hope for them. Deadline has updated its report about Warner Bros.’ passing with news that a new financier may have stepped in. Media Rights Capital, the company behind the surprise summer hit"Ted,” is reportedly in talks to bring “The Dark Tower” to screens. Finally.


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