‘The Dark Tower’ May Be Resurrected By Warner Bros.

Published 3 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:27 pm,

dark tower movie warner bros The Dark Tower May Be Resurrected By Warner Bros.

The Oscar-winning triumvirate of director Ron Howard, producer Brian Grazer, and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind) saw their plans to bring Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series to the big and small screen dashed last year, when backer Universal was spooked off by the sheer cost and scale of the project – leaving the whole endeavor in a state of limbo.

Grazer previously teased the possibility of a leaner Dark Tower with a new “satisfying” ending eventually coming to fruition, but there’s been little movement on the project in the months since then. That’s changed now, seeing how Warner Bros. is reportedly near to closing a deal that would ensure (at least) one feature based on King’s post-apocalyptic, western-flavored magnum opus ends up being made.

Fans of King’s original Dark Tower novels have expressed somewhat mixed feelings about Howard being onboard to direct – and fellow Oscar-winner Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men) remaining attached to portray the series’ protagonist, Roland Deschain – with news that Goldsman has changed the conclusion likewise prompting both positive and negative responses. As it stands, though, all of those elements look to remain firmly in place.

Deadline says that Warner Bros. has essentially bought Goldsman’s most recent Dark Tower script draft (which he is currently refining) and is eying an early 2013 filming start date for the first movie, to as to accommodate Howard currently being in production on Rush. Bardem should also be available to work on the project, seeing how his acting schedule will have cleared up by the year’s end.

Mark Verheiden writes dark tower The Dark Tower May Be Resurrected By Warner Bros.

King began writing his Dark Tower saga back in 1982 and has averaged releasing an installment every five years since then – with a limited edition of the eighth entry (subtitled “The Wind Through the Keyhole”) having been published just this past February. The series follows the ruthless last living member in a knightly group known as gunslingers (Roland Deschain) on a quest to locate the mythical Dark Tower, a building described as the “nexus of all universes.” Deschain’s journey takes him across a devastated landscape in a world which has “moved on” and leads him to encounter many a strange (and magical) character, human and nonhuman alike.

At first, Warner Bros.’ decision to “take a chance” on The Dark Tower might seem a bit odd, coming hot on the heels of Disney’s costly John Carter – a fellow ambitious adaptation of a multi-volume, genre-blending literary franchise – especially since concerns about the former project not being able to recoup its budget (which looks to be the case with John Carter) helped scare off Universal last year. Of course, King’s Dark Tower is not only a “hotter” property nowadays than the John Carter brand, but the first film in the former series has been refit for an estimated budget around $100 million (a far cry from the other’s $250 million price tag).

That’s all to say: while The Dark Tower now reads as being much less of a gamble, there’s no guarantee this won’t ultimately prove to be a failed would-be franchise starter for Warner Bros. (similar to John Carter and the studio’s Green Lantern movie from last year).

John Carter fails to top the box office 570x306 The Dark Tower May Be Resurrected By Warner Bros.

Can 'Dark Tower' avoid becoming the next 'John Carter'?

Grazer and Co. still have tentative plans for the Dark Tower TV series component to air on HBO, which is (not so coincidentally) a Warner Bros. sister studio. Such a move would better allow for production of a fittingly “adult” television adaptation of King’s fantastical series, along the lines of HBO’s Game of Thrones - or, at least, one closer to the tone and style of the Dark Tower movie(s).

So, all in all, even though The Dark Tower has shed a lot of weight, it remains (nearly) as ambitious an undertaking as it was this time back in 2011. So long as the deal with Warner Bros. doesn’t fall apart – and early signs indicate that it won’t – meeting and/or exceeding fans’ expectations looks to be the next major task for the project.

We will continue to keep you posted on the status of The Dark Tower as the story develops.


Source: Deadline

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  1. I really do not believe that Ron Howard can do this any justice. Once again its something with brilliant source material/visuals given to a director who simply do not have the ability to pull of something fantasy. Overall he is really good doing dramas (Frost/Nixon, A Beautiful Mind) The closest he got to soemthing epic was Willow done in 1988. Give it to the Duncan Jones’ or Neil Blomkamps of this world.

    • He has never done a fantasy movie, so what? Phil Jackson and Sam Raimi first did horror, now they are known for spiderman and TLOTR… Ron Howard has some great talent and Im just saying that I think it would be unwise to sell him short before we see a trailer.

      And the Dark Tower is more of a drama then it is a fantasy (overall), and if they make it into three movies and a tv series, no matter who directs either, I’m happy that I get to see eddie dean and all his wise cracking moments and Roland on his quest to kill Marten/man in black/randal flagg and find the dark tower.

      PS, your welcome screenrant, I found this online last night and sent it your way ;)

  2. If I’m not mistaken, didn’t he direct “Willow”? That was a fine little movie filled with memorable characters.

  3. Ridley Scott still gets work based on his success with “Alien” and “Legend.” What’s the point?
    I mean, obviously I’d like to see somebody like Peter Jackson and New Line get hold of this, but Howard has enough directorial chops to do this if he’s allowed to do it RIGHT.

    • All of Ron Howard’s movies are so darn “safe” and “middle of the road” borders on bland at times. I can guarentee you that this will be a all ages affair. The difference between Ron Howard and Ridley Scott is that Ridley can do action and fantasy.

      • I just dont agree. Howard is very capable of doing this justice as long as the script and cast are right.

  4. You’ll get no argument from me on Scott knowing what it takes to make action and fantasy.

  5. Bring Viggo Mortinson in and let Bardem leave if this gets going again

    • Took the words right out of my mouth. Viggo Mortinson was exactly who I was thinking of, Javier Bardem is a great actor and all, but he does not fit the role of Roland at all.

  6. viggo would be perfect for roland. but bodem would work for me, as well.

  7. Everyones immediately written off John Carter. its weird we live in a world where a $100 million weekend is considered a failure

    • Well, when that same film has to gross around $600-700 million just to make a profit – and it opens to split reviews from critics and casual moviegoers alike – then, yeah, suddenly a $100 million opening around the globe (following a pretty intense marketing campaign) doesn’t really feel so much like a “win.”

  8. I just finished reading “The Dark Tower” and the series needs to be a hard PG-13 or R rating to work. I’d rather this be a mini-series (or season) done by HBO or Showtime than having it turn into a PG rated family film.

  9. I’he read the whole series a couple times through, reading it again right now actually, and I’fe been waiting for this project for years. But honestly I think series over movies would be the better choice, some of these books just have too much in them , it would take 10 or so movies to do it justice.

  10. No movies. Just HBO. If the first movie flops then the rest of their plan is done for. I would much rather see this done as nothing but TV. HBO, Showtime, and Starz are putting out some great TV lately. Javier can go piss up a rope. It needs to be a no name. He is already too big of an actor to want to stay for the duration. The main problem they will have with TV, Movie, or both is Jake. He is the same age through to whole show. Time to hire a new Webster.

  11. But who would play Oy?

  12. Oh, no–not Javier Bardem! He’s a fine actor, but he’s not Roland! Not looks-wise, not speech-wise, not in the way he moves. Timothy Olyphant would be a much better choice in casting–he’s absolutely Roland!

    • I agree 100% Timothy has my vote hands down!

  13. Universal has missed a golden opportunity – ‘Penny Wise and pound Foolish’…

    Just look at what Cameron has done with Avatar! It was very good, but, no disrespect to Mr. Cameron, it is not in the same league as ‘The Dark Tower’ series.

    My entire family of 5 has read the series AT LEAST TWICE and there has been multiple copies of the entire series purchased as gifts for friends. There is such a huge audience out there that has never been exposed because they would rather watch a movie over reading a book. The potential market share is massive.

    Considering that special effects & CGI have improved a thousandfold since the series release, now would be a great time to leverage the technology with this captivating story.

    Side marketing bonus is the release of the 8th book ‘The Dark Tower: The Wind through the Keyhole’

    —ESTIMATED PRODUCTION AND MARKETING COSTS OF $400 MILLION (generous)——-TURNED INTO $2.781 billion at the box office ALONE!——————–


    If the necessary financial resources are in place, ‘The Dark Tower’ series will easily eclipse the $12 BILLION mark at the box office alone.

    Another suggestion that I believe would greatly enhance this project would be to add additional directors and create a quasi ‘Directing Team’ to oversee this massive initiative.

    Along with Ron Howard, I would add: Quentin Tarantino — Joel Coen—
    — Steven Spielberg — Peter Jackson — James Cameron —

    With a ‘ROCK STAR’ cast like this, the fans would be salivating for the finished product.


    The movies could be released in a manner similar to the launch of Tolkien’s LOTR Trilogy. This would generate a healthy revenue stream that could be used to fund the following releases and offset initial investment.


    • OOPS…

      I was referring to James Cameron’s ‘AVATAR’ when I listed these financials:

      —ESTIMATED PRODUCTION AND MARKETING COSTS OF $400 MILLION (generous)——-TURNED INTO $2.781 billion at the box office ALONE!——————–


  14. Bardem doesn’t work as a hero (anti or otherwise), or really as anyone at all. He’s just that boring invincible villain from that movie with no music, he has no place in a setting like this. Or you know…in a speaking role.

    Other than that, it would be interesting to see the novels brought to TV as a series rather than a film or series of films. Dexter, True Blood, Game of Thrones, all wildly successful book adaptations. Dexter runs away with the plot early, but I think part of the draw for True Blood and even moreso for Game of Thrones, is the idea that it’s coming from somewhere (though to be fair, I’m sure True Blood would be nowhere without Alan Ball). Lost and Battlestar Galactica have shown us just how unsatisfying a conclusion can be when the writers have no idea where they’re going from episode to episode. Game of Thrones being patterned after the novels the way that it is means they are less likely to spend the last season of the show retconning everything and breaking their own rules just to deliver an unrewarding and sloppy ending.

    Now, whether you think the Dark Tower series is solid to the last book…that’s another debate. But having a real plan for a series makes it so much more appealing than a show that writes itself into corners with endless questions and twists. In a world where every new show is a witless retread of something that was successful five years ago, a series like this would be treasured.

  15. i really dont think they should change the ending…. it will ruin the entire series.. and i believe that they should do the series in its entirety. ppl are willing to sit in a theatre for 3 or more hours now days. please dont mess this up. this movie has the potential to be better then LOTR ever was!! i would like to see IT remade in an R rating as well!

  16. I’ll say it. Christopher Nolan. He takes stories seriously and I think he could do all of it with minimum rewrite. I can not believe that this is such an issue. Harry potter no problem but can not figure out how to do Tower spot on for the adults!!!? I have to say no more for all those who know. And rumours of Russell crow, fack Crowe. But I have not thought long enough for a suitable actor.