The adaptation of Stephen King’s series of The Dark Tower has been through all sorts of development problems. Originally the film was due to be directed by Ron Howard for Universal in 2010, with Howard then producing a further two films, and this would be accompanied by a TV series.
Jarvier Bardem was leading the cast, and HBO was behind the TV series. Universal then pulled out and it all came crashing down. Howard stayed involved though, and pushed and pushed to get the adaptation made.
Warner Brothers then stepped in, but panicked over the budget even though Howard and producer Brian Grazer cut $50 million of the budget.
In 2013 Howard confirmed the film was still being developed, but would not give updates as there were none, until now…
Deadline confirms that Sony have now come onboard the ambitious project, with a plan for a series of films plus a TV series. New Sony Pictures head Tom Rothman has settled on The Dark Tower as one of his first franchise plays.
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.”
Keep all those fingers crossed that this is finally happening!