Howard & Goldsman Taking Over Stephen King's Dark Tower

April 29, 2010
Source: Deadline, Heat Vision

The Dark Tower Gunslinger

Given that we don't cover anything in TV and because I'm not that familiar with Stephen King's The Dark Tower, we haven't been following the development of an adaptation at J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot over the last few years. The epic series of novels was going to be turned into a TV series by Abrams, but they no longer have the rights. Both Deadline and Heat Vision are reporting that the rights have ended up in the hands of Imagine Entertainment and Weed Road Productions. Akiva Goldsman (Angels & Demons) will write the script, Ron Howard will direct, and his Imagine partner Brian Grazer will produce with Stephen King.

Here's where things get a little hazy, though. Both sites reporting this news seem to be unsure if Universal will actually move forward with this or not. Heat Vision thinks this could still end up as a TV series, saying that "one scenario" has the movie leading into a TV series, kind of similar to Stargate. On the other hand, Deadline says that Universal is "in talk" to acquire a package deal that includes the books and this team of producers/writer/director, but Warner Bros is in the running, too. Obviously all of this is coming together as we speak, so if you're a fan of this series, you'll have to wait for confirmation on all of the exact details.

The Dark Tower is Stephen King's own take on spaghetti westerns and the world of J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. They books focus on Roland Deschain, the last living member of a knightly order of gunslingers who exists in a world that has an Old West feel, but which is infused with magic. He is on a quest to find the Dark Tower, a structure that holds the key to the nexus of all universes. He meets many allies and enemies along the way, as the world crumbles around him. King has described the series as his magnum opus and there are a lot of hardcore fans out there. We'll keep you updated as this new version continues to develop.

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Reader Feedback - 22 Comments


Holy shit. what happened to the rumor that Eli Roth was doing it?

Jesus Loves You on Apr 29, 2010


The Gunslinger would make a GREAT movie... the rest of the books should DEFINITELY be on TV, preferably one of the cable channels (the nudity and language need to be kept intact). However, I was much more excited about this when it was in Abrams's hands... Howard and Goldman are AWFUL!

Kevin on Apr 29, 2010


Sounds cool

Dan W on Apr 29, 2010


I think those of us who cared were all looking forward to J.J.'s take on this. I really wish there were more to say other than..... Damn.

Somnambulist on Apr 29, 2010



People's Champ on Apr 29, 2010


Ron Howard...Akiva it'll be kinda boring, and everyone's suits will have nipples. Interesting. Why can't someone with Peter Jackson's passion for quality and scope take this on? Maybe it will if Warner Bros gets it hands on it. Done right this could be a 7-movie franchise, and Lord knows the WB loves milking them some franchises.

Outlaw on Apr 29, 2010


Give to Alan Ball and HBO.

Ben on Apr 29, 2010


Am I the only one that realizes Howard is a great choice for director? He has a great eye for detail, which The Dark Tower is full of. We don't need to see Abram's 'take' on this. We need to see King's vision translated to the big screen in epic scale. With Howard, I think we will get that, I am not too familiar with Goldsman, so I am hoping King has a hand in the screenplay writing. And Viggo Mortensen for Roland!

Deathtoll 2010 on Apr 30, 2010


It will be shit in no matter who directs or produces it. It is a fantastic series of books, much like the Hyperion Cantos by Dan Simmons. There is no need for a cinema version, people need to have imaginations and read for once. Shit cunts.

m on Apr 30, 2010


Ron Howard is a very poor choice for director. He makes everything far too mainstream and cuddly, something which The Dark Tower is emphatically NOT. I really want them to move forward on this, though, in some way. The Dark Tower is the probably the greatest work in American fantasy since Dune (I know it's SF, but The Dark Tower has some SF elements in it too and the relevant issue is world-building and scope). I think it would work out best as an HBO show, actually. It's so long and involved, with so much detail and story in every single book that I don't think movies could possibly do it. It would be like The Lord of the Rings movies, but with seven of them, and they would cut even more than LOTR did. The only film series that can go that long and actually use the same actors and follow the same storyline like that is Harry Potter--I don't think any other franchise could hold the public's attention and the contracts of its stars for that long. A well-produced HBO show like Deadwood or The Sopranos and set to last 5-7 seasons, though, could be perfect, allowing plenty of time for character and story development. It would probably be the most expensive TV series ever made, but it would still be amazing. I guess a movie of the first book that leads into the series could be a good option, too, although IMO the first book is by far the weakest and least likable. And Viggo Mortenson should play Roland. He would be perfect. IF you don't believe me, watch A History of Violence and change your mind. But if they couldn't get him, I nominate Guy Pearce as a backup (watch The Proposition). Oh, and just to clarify your point, Alex: The Dark Tower isn't really King's take on the world of Lord of the Rings. He just wanted to write a fantasy with the scope of LOTR, and took inspiration from Tolkien's quest, citing him as an important influence. The worlds are entirely different.

Stephen on Apr 30, 2010


Does anyone remember the opening scenes from The Mist? When the storm hit- there was a hand drawn poster art in the room where Tom Janes character was working- looks like a little cameo from King for Dark Tower!

sam on Apr 30, 2010


The Dark Tower is my favorite series ever and I read it once every year. I am both thrilled and terrified to hear that someone is trying to make it into a movie/series. The story is so incredibly complex and full of tiny details and has tons of characters with deep back stories. It best be a mini series on HBO or something. Then again, even a "mini" series would probably not be enough. This is an enormous project no matter who takes it on. The Gunslinger and Wizard and Glass would probably make fantastic movies. The story about Roland's youth, his friends, Susan and Tull have always been my favorite part in the series. #10 I could agree on Mortensen. I already said that when I saw him in Hidalgo. He just looks natural on a horse and as a cowboy/gunslinger type. Even tho he is not exactly "long, tall and ugly", he would be my first choice too. He is a great dramatic actor. #11, yes! When I first saw The Mist and saw the picture Thomas Jane was painting, I was screaming "Omg, look! It's Roland!!! Aww..." xD

SuicidalOptimist on Apr 30, 2010


No excitement about Howard and Goldsman taking this over. Ron Howard hasn't done anything with this kind of atmosphere in... oh ever? The whole energy of this story, from cracked out eddie, to the wizard and the glass with Roland as a young man, to the grand finale from Wolves of the Calla and Song of Susanna leading into a headlong rush into book 7 I think is too much to them. Too different stylistically. And if they end up doing it "their" way their just going to &%$*$ piss off the fans of the books, which are their most important audience. This needs to be a cable series, high end like HBO or Showtime or FX. Not Stars. it would need to be at least 24 episodes to tell the whole story. And if their going to do it, they should include the expanded story of Rolands youth from the Marvel Comics series King has been overseeing.

harm on Apr 30, 2010


I thought this was in good hands with Abrams. Too bad he didn't do anything with it.

germs on Apr 30, 2010


"...spaghetti westerns and the world of J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Ring." argh... thats insulting. Dark Tower is so much more. Its like religion and more. I hope they dont ruin the story and the deep truth of Dt with the movie. Gunslingers Forever.

Millus on Apr 30, 2010


Wait... How is Ron Howard now getting blamed, for Joel Schumacher putting nipples, on the Bat Suit?

Dave Lister, J.M.C. on Apr 30, 2010


god i hope they dont mess this up ... 'almost' all of S Kings movie adaptions from his books have been shocking

kee on Apr 30, 2010


J.J. Abrams has forgotten the face of his father! This project was safe in his hands... I'm afraid to watch it in Ron Howard's hands.

ThaSaltShaker on Apr 30, 2010


if they give this to that hack Abrams, then there really is no God...Ron Howard ANY day over that wretch St. JJ...

blasphemer on Apr 30, 2010


I read the first book and while it was pretty awesome, I never got around to the rest of the series. But from all I've read and heard, the other books continue to become yet another EPIC (read LONG) King story. While few of the film adaptations of his book effectively capture the full feel and weight of his stories, this one will probably be the toughest to adapt. It's incredibly grand and has really wild and fantastic elements and border on weird (but hey it's King right?). Don't really know how they'll pull it off, and I'm not sure Howard is capable of such a grand vision. This ain't no Willow, that's for sure:P

Marc on Apr 30, 2010


I'd rather see it done as a movie series. Because then maybe we'd get lucky and the franchise would run out of steam around book 5, which is when DT started going downhill imo.

Craig on Apr 30, 2010


I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the Talisman - the start of the whole gunslinger series. Wolf! Wolf!

Becky on May 2, 2010

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