Fans of Stephen King’s ‘Dark Tower’ series have been asking for a big screen adaptation for years. Universal Studios officially announced a unique plan for the project back in November, but just when fans finally thought that they were sure to see their wish come true, a huge wrench has been thrown into the gears.
Universal’s plan for ‘The Dark Tower’ was to include Imagine Entertainment and NBC. The first film would be released theatrically, after which a season-long TV series would run on NBC that connected to the second theatrical film. After the second film hit theaters, another season of the TV series would run connecting the second film to the third. This platform-crossing project was hoped to bring in higher revenue for the studios, as well as allow the series to remain faithful to King’s extensive novels without having to make several lengthy films.
The first films and the first episode of TV series were set to be directed by Ron Howard. Javier Bardem had been in negotiations to play the lead character in at least the first film and TV series.
Just over a week ago, The Hollywood Reporter broke news that Comcast, the new owners of Universal Studios, had “serious budget issues with the massive project.” Sources claim that “the project was in trouble and on the verge of being put in turnaround” because of the extremely high cost of production. Although Universal wouldn’t comment on the rumors, Imagine said that the claims were false.
On Friday, THR reported that ‘The Dark Tower’ would remain with Universal and that a compromise was in the works. Director Ron Howard, producer Brian Grazer and writer Akiva Goldsman are rewriting the script and changing the direction of the franchise with the intention of lowering the expensive costs, ultimately pleasing the studio’s owner.
While filming was originally set to start this fall, a new start date has not yet been announced. It is also unknown as to whether the rewritten script and re-imagining of the previous plan will still include a two-season NBC series.
What do you ‘Dark Tower’ fans out there make of this?