According to Howard:
“So my answer is: it got delayed, it’s never gone away. We’re working on it, and Stephen is very patient with us, and Akiva’s just gone off and directed a movie, I’m continuing to work, but the Dark Tower dreams – fever dreams, rather – are still there, but we’re not going to give it a timetable.”
This more or less echoes Howard’s previous updates, but he did provide one interesting bit of news regarding the direction of the story. At one point, King inserts himself as a character in the story, and while this meta-King has a pivotal role, Howard hinted that things could change. Has Howard thought about it?
“Yes. And I will admit Stephen has said, ‘I don’t have to be in this.’ But that’s not to say that he won’t be!”
It would be fun to see King play himself (or different versions of himself), but none of this amounts to much more than keeping the hope and idea of this project alive in the fan consciousness. With this year’s The Lone Ranger tanking hard – adding to the list of niche properties adapted into would-be blockbusters which no one cared about – don’t expect a major studio to throw it’s weight behind this anytime soon.
Then again, if the slate of upcoming Stephen King projects prove successful, this might be enough to keep his brand popular in the public eye. If so, it could give a studio the confidence to push forward with filming at least the first novel in the series, The Gunslinger, which is enough of a stand-alone entry to make its success – or failure – a decent gauge for the rest of the series’ potential.
The Dark Tower is currently in development. Stephen King’s Under The Dome series just wrapped up its first season, and Carrie hits theaters on October 18th, 2013.