Ron Howard Offers Hope For ‘The Dark Tower’

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

Ron Howard gives Dark Tower details 570x313 Ron Howard Offers Hope For The Dark Tower

Over the last year or so three big budget films from A-list filmmakers were put on hold by Hollywood studios due to their massive costs. The Lone Ranger had Johnny Depp starring as sidekick Tonto, with Jerry Bruckheimer producing and Gore Verbinski calling the shots. At The Mountains of Madness had Guillermo Del Toro attached to direct with Tom Cruise starring and James Cameron producing, while the final film was Ron Howard’s adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series, with Oscar-winning screenwriter Akiva Goldsman penning the script and Javier Bardem in the lead role.

The Lone Ranger finally got to saddle-up in front of cameras when the budget was scaled back from $260 million to $215 million, while yesterday it came to light that At The Mountains of Madness may not make it to the screen due to similarities with Ridley Scott’s forthcoming Prometheus. However, there now appears to be some light left in Howard’s Dark Tower.

The Dark Tower was first announced in 2010 by Universal Pictures as a movie trilogy and a television series, but the studio got cold feet on the project last year, pulling the plug and putting the film into turnaround. Recently there was news that Warner Bros. was interested in picking up the trilogy and the series (which would potentially air on HBO), but nothing was set in stone. It seems like Howard is still working on the project as he tweeted:

“Spent day today in a story session on…Dark Tower simple smile Ron Howard Offers Hope For The Dark Tower Terrific meeting w/ Akiva Goldsman & Erica Huggins No timetables but very positive.”

It’s good news for those who have been anticipating this adaptation, as it shows that Howard is still actively developing The Dark Tower, but as Howard states above, it’s only a “story session,” the greenlight to shoot is not a sure thing. Reading between the lines – it appears that Howard, Goldsman, and Huggins are trying to fit the story to suit a budget that appeals to Warner Bros. so that it will be economically viable to produce such a mammoth project.

Even though it is based on a successful series of books, The Dark Tower is far from a sure thing at the box office-as the tepid grosses for the R-rated The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo illustrate, so I’d imagine that Warner Bros will be making sure that they make this for a good price. After all, I’d imagine that the last thing the studio wants is a John Carter style bomb on their hands.

More on The Dark Tower when we get it.

Source: Twitter

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  1. Please, I only ask of two things…
    1. This movie be made.
    2. This movie is at LEAST half as good as the book.

  2. enough with the darktower @#$!tease already! LETS GET TO THE GOOD STUFF!!! =) I’d love to see this really come to life. Oh, and in case you Dark Tower fans dont know King’s new DT novel “The Wind Through The Keyhole” is out now.

  3. I want a DT film, but not from Ron Howard. Please don’t let that hack around DT!

    • Hack? How many movies have YOU made that were as good as Apollo 13, Parenthood, A Beautiful Mind, Cindarella Man, and Frost/Nixon? Yep, that’s what I thought.

      • Please. You can name any film of his that’s “good” and it will never erase the memory of The Da Vinci Code or Angeks and Demons. He’s responsible for those abominations. If he can’t adapt simple thrillers successfully, how will he be able to take the highly complex Dark Tower series and adapt it successfully for tv and movies? Bazinga. Yep, that’s what I thought as well. And I would also like to know what movies you’ve made, if any actually exist, that are as bad or good as R. Howard’s. Weakest argument ever, man.

        • He adapted those abominations of storytelling about as good as anyone could. Steven Spielberg made Hook which is a bad movie by most people’s standards, yet he also made Jaws, Close Encounters, and Raiders. Spielberg’s not a hack. Kubrick made Eyes Wide Shut, which was a definite misfire, yet he also showed genius with pretty much all his other films. Every director can make a horrible film, but if the amount of achievements far outweigh the amount of crap, then you can’t really call them a hack unless you’re just being silly. You don’t want to be silly, now do you Voodoo man.

          • Wow, I usually hate guys name Michael. You hit the nail on the head with your points. Every director has his bombs and I never thought Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code translated well to the screen. With that said, I didn’t think Da Vinci Code was that bad. Howard, however, has hit many home runs before. Many of the fans thought the best way to handle the books were to turn it into a series on HBO also. Have you seen Game of Thrones? That was adapted from books as well. Thus far, that’s been fantastic. albeit not entirely loyal to the books. I think Howard has the right ideas in mind when adapting this thing. He’ll get the really important stuff in the movies. Then do a series so he doesn’t leave out the lesser important plotlines and character development.

          • I like your style, Michael. Those are some fine points.

          • You’re arguing with a cretin who actually used “Bazinga” as some kind of punctuation to a point…
            This guy thinks a show whose whose network TV audience, which so brain dead they need a laugh track to tell you where the supposed funny parts are, is clever enough to quote – and HE is baggin on Ron Howard’s work?!?!

            Just walk away – he has long forgotten the face of his father for Ka’s sake!

  4. I would love to see this adapted for the big screen but I fear very few people will actually like this series. I love the series and I love Stephen King, but lets be honest. This series is out there.

  5. Ah, poor John Carter. People (especially Hollywood execs) need to realize it was Disney’s own fault for giving Stanton pretty much free reign to do whatever he wanted with no checks and balances. This extended to even things like marketing but Disney has proven with The Avengers they know how to market a movie if allowed to do the job.

    So if you don’t want a John Carter on your hands, just make sure you have a good TEAM working on a project. Pretty simple really.

  6. I hope this movie never gets made. I put a curse on it.

  7. I can’t wait to see this in movie or TV show form. If it’s not close to the books don’t bother.

  8. This is my favorite book series, either way it goes, movie or series please don’t butcher it like they did the Sword of Truth book series with that Legend of the Seeker show.

  9. My thoughts on The Dark Tower adaptations:
    The financial budget is presenting the roadblock. Universal didn’t want to sign on for three films, which would all cost a pretty penny, because they knew it wouldn’t appeal to the average moviegoer. It would be a total waste of millions of dollars to invest in a project that would never pay for itself. This has nothing to do with the Dark Tower literature not being any good; it’s excellent material, but it’s not suitable for the average person’s taste. You could argue that a more conservative audience of moviegoers couldn’t be counted on to pay the price of admission to a DT film. Due to their eccentricity, the films simply wouldn’t appeal to a large enough sector of popular culture. In the end it all boils down to the Benjamin’s. On the same topic, Universal was smart enough to recognize that they wouldn’t profit from this film because of the large audience that would automatically be eliminated from ever seeing the DT films on the big screen—children. For example, a father would not be able to take his children to the Sunday matinee to see The Gunslinger. I think even the most loyal King fans can agree that The Dark Tower is not going to be the next Lord of the Rings, which was unique from the standpoint that a parent with kids could go to the theater and appreciate the film without having to worry about them waking up in the middle of the night screaming. Think for a second of how the Susanna rape scene from The Wastelands could be adapted to the big screen and stay within a PG-13 rating. Is it even possible? The true Dark Tower fans would tell you that plot scenes like this and many others would have to be included in the films because they’re so critical to the universal storyline. How about Susan Delgado being burned at the stake? Take William Wallace’s wife having her throat slit in Braveheart and multiply it by five—that’s the Dark Tower. The DT is not PG or even PG-13 rated material; it is extremely graphic and imaginative material that would simply not appeal to the younger or more conservative audiences within pop culture. LOTR films appealed to a much larger audience, including children, than the DT films would, primarily because they had derived from classic literature that had already been socially accepted by mainstream popular culture. LOTR literature was around for 70 years and was regarded as classic before it had ever been thought of as a major motion picture trilogy. The Dark Tower literature is not yet in the same league, but it could be in time. If Howard’s ambition is to do the films now and not 30 years down the road, his biggest challenge will be cutting costs without selling out the DT literature. In my opinion, that is the only way the films are going to be made. Warner Bros. may be more apt to sign on for the trilogy if they recognize that they can successfully produce these films while living within their means. The DT literature is popular enough that the films could and will be successful from a financial standpoint, but they would have to be done without breaking the bank. I believe there are ways:
    1.) Don’t market the films as if they’re going to be the next Star Wars trilogy. The true Dark Tower fans will come to see the films, if done correctly.
    2.) Others will come to see the films if the critics’ reviews are good enough. I still believe that Howard can adapt the literature to the big screen without selling out and still appeal to sectors of popular culture. For example, kickoff the film trilogy with Wizard and Glass, which, in my opinion, is where the strongest storyline of all the DT novels exists. Instead of waiting until somewhere in the second movie or miniseries to introduce the backdrop plot that inspired Roland’s motifs, make the Wizard and Glass the entrance film. It has elements of the classic love story/cowboy western incorporated with the gothic/sci-fi staples that make the DT so captivating and sacred. It would be the classic portrayal of the ‘bildungroman’, which is a story about a young person coming of age (i.e. the character of Pip from Dickens’ Great Expectations).

    3.) Don’t break the bank trying to turn the films into a modern-day Independence Day. In my opinion, CGI is overrated and can be overdone, as evidenced by many recent films in the past 10-15 years. People are not going to come to see the DT films because of computer generated images; however, if used the correct way and not overdone, CGI can only strengthen the films’ popularity. Save the really eccentric stuff (i.e. Blain the Mono from the Wastelands) for the branching miniseries. I think HBO could do a wonderful job with turning the entire Wastelands novel into the first miniseries and use a slightly more cost efficient form of CGI (i.e. Terra Nova).
    There are so many other things that could be done to make the Dark Tower films a reality; we could sit here and argue all day long. In my opinion, here is how the movies/miniseries could successfully be projected:
    Film I—The main story about Roland’s youth from Wizard and Glass incorporated with cut scenes from The Gunslinger (i.e. the flashbacks to the chapters that introduce Cort, Hax, Steven Deschain, etc.). Once the main ‘Wizard’ backdrop is portrayed in the first two hours of the film, cut right into the plot of The Gunslinger for the last 45 minutes. The first film will have to commence somewhere out in the desert with Roland hot on the Man in Black’s trail; possibly after he lets Jake fall. It would be a dramatic ending to an already emotionally charged first film.
    Miniseries I—The story picks up either immediately after Jake falls or right as soon as Roland meets Jake at the station; either could work. The miniseries would capture the latter half of the Gunslinger in two or three episodes and then jump right into The Drawing of the Three; however, this is where Howard’s job will be difficult. This is the critical introduction to the other main characters in the ‘Drawing’; he may want to wait to begin film II with the story that proceeds in the Drawing of the Three. If that would be the case, the backdrop story of Roland’s youth in the ‘Wizard’ would be the entire first movie; The Gunslinger would be the bridging miniseries in between films I and II; film II would be entirely about The Drawing of the Three, which, in my opinion, is a close second to ‘Wizard’.
    Film II—The entire story of the Drawing of the Three for the first 2 and a half hours and a culminating introduction to the evil Tick-Tock Man and Randall Flagg/Man in Black characters for the last 30-45 minutes.
    Miniseries II—Would tell the main story that evolves in the mid to latter part of The Wastelands and resuming with the smaller parts from ‘Wizard’ (i.e. The Wizard of Ozz pseudo-story). In my opinion, many parts of The Wolves of Calla could be condensed into this same miniseries over the course of four or five individual hour-long episodes.
    Film III—Would cover the last two novels—Song of Susannah and the culminating novel, The Dark Tower. I have heard many King/DT fans say they thought the last two novels were significantly weaker storylines than those in the earlier novels; I am inclined to agree with them. That isn’t to say that the last movie couldn’t go out in grandiose fashion and satisfy the fan base that put so much time and imagination into the stories in the first place.

    Again, these are very rough ideas and my opinion of how the films and miniseries could successfully be projected.

  10. Jerpens needs to get hired by Ron Howard, STAT.

    If The Movie is even Half as good as The Steven King Masterpiece then it will be a BLOCKBUSTER HIT
    I Love The Idea of HBO doing a Series in Between a Trilogy of BIG Screen MOVIES
    RON HOWARD + WARNER BROS. Please DONT Hesitate to Spend The $$$ and just Make The DT MOVIES !!! Think about How many Loyal DT Fans there are out there that are a Definite to Buy A movie Ticket and then Add All the Steven King Movie Adaptation Fans and then of course all the newbies to The Story and you get BLOCKBUSTER NUMBERS

    • Not bad but a little to butt rock to tell you the truth… To my mind and ear it does not have any “feel” close to the themes in the story.

      After thinking about it a lot the song that “Feels” closest in sound to my mind and ear is “The Chain” by Fleetwood Mac, if you could get that same sound and then squeeze in a dry yet rich deep lonesome voice singing about being the last of your kind chasing shadows to the end of time then you’d have something.

  12. Dark Tower fans needs these movies and series. Something different and ground breaking. Ya’ll did Harry Potter why not do several movies about a Western Horror story? Come on now.

  13. The only way I feel this could possibly be done correct would be for it to occur as an HBO series and for the love of god, can anyone see a better Rolond then Viggo Mortinson? Well whatever is decided in the end please, please, please do NOT make it a three part movie. You will for sure destroy the detailed amazing story I have come to love so much.