A multiple movie and TV series adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower has been on the cards for years, and Ron Howard was the driving force behind the first attempts at getting the huge project off the ground. Sadly budgets and studios caused the idea to die, only for Sony to come to its rescue earlier this year (with Howard staying as producer)
Back in April Deadline reported:
Sony Pictures has teamed with MRC to co-finance The Dark Tower, Stephen King’s novel series set in a world woven with magic and revolving around the gunslinger Roland Deschain. Sony will distribute what is planned to be the first in a series of movies. A complementary TV series is also being developed by MRC.
The new script is primarily based on the first book in the series, The Gunslinger, and the relationship between Roland and Jake. The film is a blend of horror and fantasy. The latest draft of the script is co-written by Akiva Goldsman and Jeff Pinkner. It was totally reconceived by Goldsman and Pinkner from the version that had been previously developed and which took root first at Universal and later at Warner Bros. Goldsman is producing through his Weed Road with Imagine Entertainment’s Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and Erica Huggins, and I believe the author is also in a producing capacity. Pinkner will be exec producer.
“I’m excited that The Dark Tower is finally going to appear on the screen,” said Stephen King in a statement. “Those who have traveled with Roland and his friends in their search for the Dark Tower are going to have their long-held hopes fully realized. This is a brilliant and creative approach to my books.”
Said Rothman: “There are few projects out there that compare with the scope, vision, complex characters and fully drawn world that Stephen King has created with The Dark Tower. I am a giant fan. And, as Stephen himself does, we love the direction that Akiva and Jeff have taken. This is a great opportunity for a director to put his or her stamp on a cool global franchise.”
Deadline now confirm that Sony may have found a writer and director for the first film, which is huge news considering fans were expecting Sony to also pull out given the adaptation track record.
Nikolaj Arcel is about to enter talks with Sony to oversee writing the first adaptation, and to also direct.
Arcel co-scripted the Swedish version of the Stieg Larsson novel The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and then directed the well-received A Royal Affair, which featured breakout performances by Mads Mikkelsen and Alicia Vikander and was Oscar nominated for Best Foreign Film.
Arcel, when he was getting going in Denmark, taught himself to speak and read English in order to consume Stephen King’s books in the writer’s native tongue. DEC062284_hi_DARK_TOWER_GUNSLINGER_BORNArcel is a huge fan of The Dark Tower and knows the series well. That impressed the studio, and he showed with Dragon Tattoo that he could go dark, which is important in this series.
Producing are Weed Road’s Akiva Goldsman and Imagine Entertainment’s Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Erica Huggins. King is also a producer. That quartet has been involved in this franchise since the beginning, and MRC kept it going when it was between studios.