Universal is Possibly Pulling the Plug on Adaptation of 'Dark Tower'?

May 6, 2011
Source: Variety

Dark Tower

If the studio putting the kibosh on Guillermo del Toro's anticipated adaptation of At the Mountains of Madness wasn't enough to get people pissed off at Universal Pictures, this next bit of unsettling news just might do it. Just to be clear, an official decision hasn't been made yet, but Variety reports that there have been rumblings that the studio has become apprehensive about their ambitious three-film, two-season TV series adaptation of the Dark Tower book series from Stephen King. But the good news is the project would go into turnaround so director Ron Howard and Imagine could move this over to another studio.

Apparently an official decision from the studio is expected in the next few days as casting is still underway with Javier Bardem's deal to play the lead character Roland Deschain being nearly done. Honestly, it's hard to be genuinely upset at Universal because the project is such an unprecedented undertaking that requires audiences to stick with a story between films and TV series over a span of about four or five years. It would be costly, and it's just a risky project in general. Of course, at the same time, it's disappointing that risks like this can't be taken unless there's some kind of silly branding like a toy or board game involved. And it will be even worse if the project just fades out of existence. Feel free to sound off below and tell Universal just how badly you want this adaptation to come together!

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Just do the damn film, people will flock to it.

Xerxexx on May 6, 2011


You'd think that would be the first thing they'd say to each other over there at Universal. Christ, guys, get it together.

Cracky on May 6, 2011


I know right? Its like they think in a completely different manner...the manner of dumb assedness.

Xerxexx on May 6, 2011


I can't say I'm really bothered by this. Neither Ron Howard nor Bardem would have been my first choices to take on this mammoth project. I read "The Gunslinger" the first time when I was in 8th grade, which was about 22 years ago; after all this time I wouldn't have a problem to wait another two years or so to see someone else take a shot at it, tbh.

Anonymous on May 6, 2011


Had a feeling this was going to happen way back when it was first announced. Why couldn't they just make a decent set of movies like the LOTR trilogy or Harry Porter series??

Ron on May 6, 2011


I agree a little with SuicidalOptimist. Wasn't too thrilled about Howard from the get-go, but it seems he owns the rights to the property development. So, I don't think he's going any where. Might be if he takes it to another studio it pushes back on the Bardem casting, which would probably make me a little happier. I just can't see him playing Roland. He's more of a bad guy from Mejis.

TowerPower on May 6, 2011


Ok guys, I'm sorry.... I am glad there is delay, if they don't get the Roland character right Dark Tower is dead on Arrival. This project is no joke. I've read the books as well and no CGI was needed ! So I am saying please get this right. Note:from a fan/woman

Bettybmusing on May 6, 2011


This is for Universal: Fast Five doesn't give you an excuse to keep making bad decisions. You think because one movie did well (it was amazing from what I hear) on its opening weekend that makes people forget about throwing out At the Mountains of Madness. I'm not familiar with the Dark Tower series but I am still looking forward to it. I hope they don't go through with this cancellation.

Lamar on May 6, 2011


I agree with most and welcome the delay. Get this film right or not at all. The Dark Tower series is a project you don't want to screw up in the beginning.

Boon on May 6, 2011


As seemingly the only person who thinks Stephen King movies tend to be awful (give or take the rare adaptation of his short stories), I think it's a pretty smart move by Universal. Westerns aren't doing so hot at the box office right now, even less so ones that bend genres. For every 'Rango', there's a 'Jonah Hex'. Plus, that's one GIGANTIC investment to make sight unseen for a franchise that may never make it past the first film. I'd say spend a bit more and make ONE movie. Then, if that one is successful you can continue on with the TV shows and sequels.

Peter Sorensen on May 6, 2011


I ask everyone this "If you had to take out another mortgage on your house to make this happen, would you do it"? If you answered "absolutely' then there is a good chance that you may lose you house, just remember that there is not guarantee in this business and it is easier to whinge and complain when it is not your money. I say good on Universal for very being cautious on this project before they proceed.

Happy123 on May 7, 2011


I hope something positive happens with this film. I was very non-plussed about everything I've heard from this project. However, I have come to accept that the book and the film/series are two different entities. Ron Howard can make a good film, and Bardem is a heck of an actor. Whatever they do, I think it will be interesting. Hope all goes well, and also hope that something get's done with Mountains of Madness as well.

Eric81375 on May 8, 2011


This shouldn't come as a surprise because trying to finagle a Trilogy/2-part made for TV Mini-Series is not only an overwhelming task, its outrageous expensive. Throw in the fact that this series lacks the following of a title like LOTR, or Harry Potter (both could "possibly" pull this feat off), and its a no brainer a studio is balking. I would've balked after Ron Howard and Akiva Goldsman were given the reigns.

Quazzimotto on May 8, 2011


Screw Universal and screw movies. Ship it over to HBO and let them give it the same treatment that they're giving Game of Thrones. These kind of things work way better as big budget TV epics than they do as movies, you can't cover enough in a 120 minute screening.

Shikaka on May 9, 2011

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