It what may come as sad news for fans of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower who were anxiously awaiting its translation from book series to feature films and TV series, it looks like Universal has decided to pull the plug. News came late yesterday that the studio decided to not move forward with the extremely ambitions adaptation of the series which would have started with a trilogy of films and two limited-run TV series.
So now the filmmakers, which include star Javier Bardem, director Ron Howard, producer Brian Grazer, screenwriter Akiva Goldsman and Mark Verheiden, who was set to co-write the TV elements with Goldman, need to look for a new place to set up. It’s going to be a tall order finding a studio that’s willing to go on the hook for what would surely be a commitment of at least $500 Million (or more).
It’s not that hard to understand why Universal was reportedly more interested in doing one film to see what happens before moving forward with the rest. In this climate that’s a big bite for any studio to take and they were probably looking to minimize their risk. Makes sense.
In case you’re not familiar withThe Dark Tower series, it centers on the last living member of a knightly order of gunslingers named Roland Deschain who becomes humanity’s last hope to save civilization as he travels the land on a journey towards the Dark Tower. Along the way, he encounters all manner of characters, both good and bad, in a world that’s part Old West and part magical realm.
It’s quite an interesting series so let’s hope it finds a way to the big screen. In the meantime, Marvel is doing some excellent adaptations of the series which are plotted by Robin Furth and scripted by Peter David. Stephen King serves as Creative and Executive Director of the comics.