'Dark Tower' Adaptation Might Happen Again

March 13, 2012


Ron Howard's on-again-off-again adaptation of Stephen King's The Dark Tower series may be back on thanks to Warner Brothers' need to fill the empty spot in their fantasy league left by the departing Glasses Wizard.

The story of Howard and producer Brian Grazer's attempt to adapt The Dark Tower is nearly as long as the King series itself, except it isn't really at all. I don't know why I wrote that. It just seemed like something to say. The Dark Tower has spanned eight books over thirty years, while I can probably lay out the year-long struggle to get it on screens in a few sentences. Basically, early last year Howard and Grazer set the series up at Universal, with plans to have Javier Bardem star in a film trilogy and a limited-run NBC Television Event. By summer, the skittish Universal freaked out about the cost and backed out, but when fall rolled around, rumor had it Grazer had set up the television portion at HBO, because those guys don't even flinch at making hugely ambition epics for nerds.

That still left the film portion without a studio, but now that is said to be close to a deal at HBO sister studio Warner Bros. They've already paid Ron Howard's frequent, unremarkable scribe Akiva Goldsman to polish his own script to his usual matte finish, will likely have Howard directing the first film in the series by this time next year. Javier Bardem's participation is still considered likely but dependent on availability.

Also worth noting: In case you'd forgotten, Warner already has begun to adapt Stephen King's similarly-post-apocalyptic, slightly-less-epic The Stand into a probable trilogy with Ben Affleck in the director's seat. It seems the studio really did go through with their winter plans to stay inside, play through all their Zeppelin in chronological order, and "read all King's hard shit." And now they're gonna make some movies.

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