Universal Passes on Ambitious Film & TV Adaptation of 'Dark Tower'
Back in September of 2010, an ambitious film and television adaptation of Stephen King's The Dark Tower series was confirmed to be set up at Universal with Ron Howard directing/producing alongside Imagine Entertainment partner Brian Grazer with a script from Akiva Goldsman. However, when Universal wanted to scale back the budget of the project, its future became uncertain and some script work was being done to make it a little bit cheaper so it could stay at the studio. Now Deadline reports Universal has officially passed on the project leaving Howard and co. to find a new home for the unprecedented project.
Apparently Universal was willing to commit to a single film after reviewing the scripts for the first feature film and the first season of the TV series that would follow. Obviously, the producers weren't pleased with that as they wanted to shoot the series of TV immediately following the first film in order to utilize the same sets and keep the cast in place to shoot back-to-back. There's rumblings that Warner Bros. who are now backing Peter Jackson's adaptation of The Hobbit, might be willing to back the project since Goldsman's Weed Road productions is based there, but nothing is official yet.
As of now Universal has simply said that they love the project, but just doesn't fit in with their business model at this time. Considering they also passed on At the Mountains of Madness from Guillermo del Toro, and are still reeling from Scott Pilgrim vs. the World performing poorly at the box office last year, this isn't all that surprising. However, it's still upsetting. Here's hoping another studio has the cash and the balls to pick the pieces of The Dark Tower up off the ground and get this project moving sooner than later. In the meantime, it sounds like Ron Howard will have plenty of time to make Rush before tackling The Dark Tower.