When Universal Studios decided to back out of making three feature films and two limited-run TV series based on Stephen King’s mammoth post-apocalyptic Western The Dark Tower back in July, many thought it was the end of the project. Luckily for fans of the series of books, the partners in the film all pledged they were going to find a way to get a movie made. Now, the films and television series may indeed become a reality thanks to Warner Bros.
According to reports, the company is very close to a deal that will give Ron Howard (Apollo 13, Frost/Nixon) the chance to direct at least the first feature. They are also in talks with Javier Bardem (No Country For Old Men) about starring as the gunslinger Roland Deschain.
In the story, Roland Deschain is the last living member of a knightly order known as gunslingers and the last of the line of “Arthur Eld”, his world’s analogue of King Arthur. Politically organized along the lines of a feudal society, it shares technological and social characteristics with the American old west but is also magical.
Many of the magical aspects have vanished from Mid-World, but traces remain as do relics from a technologically advanced society. Roland’s quest is to find the Dark Tower, a fabled building said to be the nexus of all universes. Roland’s world is said to have “moved on”, and it appears to be coming apart at the seams. Mighty nations have been torn apart by war, entire cities and regions vanish without a trace and time does not flow in an orderly fashion.
Sometimes, even the sun rises in the north and sets in the east. As the series opens, Roland’s motives, goals and age are unclear, though later installments shed light on these mysteries.
Akiva Goldsman (who wrote the script) is producing with Brian Grazer and Stephen King. More on this story as the project gets closer to production.