It’s been a rocky road for the big screen adaptation of Stephen King’s ‘The Dark Tower’ series. Last year, Universal dropped the project due to budgetary concerns prompting producer Brian Grazer, director Ron Howard and writer/producer Akiva Goldsman to shop around to other studios. Luckily, Warner Bros. decided to pick it up and will now be deciding if they will want to go ahead and green light the first of what will be a grand multi-platform endeavor.
Goldsman has turned in the rework of his script for ‘The Dark Tower’ and Warner Bros. will be making a decision about whether or not to move forward in the next couple weeks. In the meantime, Howard will be working on a replacement for Javier Bardem (‘Eat Pray Love’) who is no longer attached to play the lead role of Roland Deschain. According to Deadline, the director is currently in talks with Russell Crowe (‘Man of Steel,’ ‘Harker,’ ‘A Beautiful Mind’). While no deal is officially on the table, Crowe’s involvement in the film will be a factor in the studio’s decision.
‘The Dark Tower’ is an ambitious project as it will encompass three films and two limited run television series. The first of the television series would tie in the first two films while the second series would be the tie between the second and third films in the trilogy. With HBO being the Warner Bros.’ sister studio, it makes sense that they would be handling the television portion of the franchise. It’s been reported that Mark Verheiden (‘Falling Skies,’ ‘Battlestar Galactica,’ ‘Heroes’) would be working with Goldsman to write the television component of the project.
‘The Dark Tower’ follows the story of Roland Deschain, the last living member of a knightly order of gunslingers and the last line of “Arthur Eld.” He is humanity’s last hope to save civilization as he goes to find the Dark Tower, a fabled building said to be the gateway to other universes. Along the way, he encounters characters, good and bad, “in a world that has an Old West feel.” Author Stephen King, who will also serve as producer on the films, has called ‘The Dark Tower’ series his answer to ‘The Lord of the Rings.’
With ‘The Dark Knight’ franchise just releasing its last film in the trilogy, Warner Bros. is in need of another franchise to fill that hole and ‘The Dark Tower’ could definitely be the project that will prove profitable for them. In a time where it seems that the studios are playing safe with remakes, it would be wonderful to see this ambitious venture on the big screen.
What do you think? Should Warner Bros. take the plunge and is Crowe the right man for the role?