Ron Howard Talks About the Status of ‘Dark Tower’

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 13th, 2013 at 10:01 pm,

Fans of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series were recently disappointed when it was revealed that Universal’s ambitious adaption of King’s series (which would unfold over the course of several years on both TV and movie screens) was in danger of collapse.

Well, perhaps “collapse” is a strong word: Universal’s new owner, Comcast, came to the table wanting a second look at the Dark Tower project (costs and such) and decided to put the project on pause while they doa their due dilligence. However, according to director Ron Howard – who is shepherding the project along  – things are not as ominous as they may seem.

As Howard told EW:

“We had to pull back to our September start date due to budget delays and ongoing story development and logistical issues, but Dark Tower is moving forward,…We’re thinking of starting in early spring now. I can’t really say who’ll be in it yet, but Javier Bardem has shown a great deal of interest. We’ll know by the end of the summer, when our flashing green light goes solid.”

Those who have been following this project’s development will remember that Javier Bardem was locked for the lead role of gunslinger Roland Deschain – but with the delays in production, and the huge obligation a project of this scope would require, it seems like Bardem’s involvement is far  from a guarantee at this point. Howard was set to direct the first film based on a script by producer/writer/director Akiva Goldsman (Fringe, I Am Legend), and given his enthusiasm and vision for the project, I expect that Howard will stick around to at least try and see it through.

While three films and multiple interlocking TV series always seemed like a tall order for a project such as this, I think even the more casual movie fans were at least curious to see Universal’s grand experiment in multi-media franchise building/ storytelling unfold. What worked for Dark Tower (or didn’t) would likely have a significant impact on how studios like Marvel and DC/Warner Bros. went about building their superhero brands in the future. If Dark Tower‘s big/small screen approach was indeed an entertaining  success, ultimately it would be we, the fans, who benefitted. (Imagine, seeing a great movie and then soon after being able to continue the journey from the comfort of your own home with a well-envisioned TV series. Pretty sweet.)

As summer unfolds I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about the status of Dark Tower, who will be starring in it, who will be directing it, and if the multi-media approach will be kept. Stay tuned.

Source: EW

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  1. Just can the project altogether please :)

    • Really?

      I understand you saying that if youre afraid that it wont be anything near as good as the books, but if you mean that you didnt enjoy the books (which would mean that youre one of those lobster creatures in the beginning of the “Drawing of the Three), then I ask, why even click on this story?

      If you are being sarcastic, then either do this 😉 or this, jk, but a smiley face at the end just makes it sounds like youre serious…

      • well thats because I AM infact serious in what i wrote up there…don’t like it, don’t reasd it :)

        • So either A.) Youre afraid that this movie will not be as good as the books, or B.) Youre trolling…

          If its neither, an you didnt like (understand) the books, then why even click on this story in the first place?

          • Talk about trolling, let it go son.

            • @ Anthony
              I thought your weren’t going to be around here as often? Was that just wishful thinking?

              • Wishful thinking on your part, and I’m not on here as much, many of the old SR ranters will tell you that :)

          • Maybe he doesn’t like the idea and its his opinion.
            He needs to clarify that because you think he’s a troll?

  2. Send the project to HBO and have it done right. A la ” Game of Thrones.”

    And please lose Javier Bardem.

    • agreed on both counts

      • **There’s some Spoilers for folks who have not read the Dark Tower books in Chad’s comment below and my reply**

  3. Having followed King’s Dark Tower saga throughout what seemed like the better part of a century before his finally wrapping it up in a disappointing finale (which saw Roland at last reaching his long sought after destination & stepping through the mysterious door at the top of the Tower, only to find himself in the dessert following the man in black & starting his quest all over again from square one.), I’m not sure after that kick to the balls if I care whether they follow through with this project or not. Besides, are they going to go back & re-do some of King’s previous stories the Dark Tower intertwines with that were already made into either crappy ‘made-for-tv-movies’ years ago & other also crappy & not so successful big screen adaptations?? That’s a lot of material to cover with the undertaking of the Dark Tower project. I dunno tho’. I enjoyed the books until that damn ending kicked me in the balls after YEARS of following the story. Maybe through this venue, King could make amends for that ball busting finale by writing a 2 or 3 book follow up series that explains what outcome awaited Roland with having his intact horn for his second go around (or was it more like his 100th as he had been doomed to repeat his fate until figuring out subconsciously he needed that horn?? I don’t recall precisely off hand. Been awhile since I read it.)! Anyways, I’d be a liar tho’ if I say I wouldn’t follow this project at all. Be interesting to see how they pull this off. I do know however that if the 1st movie sucks, that’ll be it for me with the project!

    • **Spoilers for those who haven’t read the books**

      I actually thought it was a perfect ending to the book. Definitely followed the whole themes of time/dimensional travel and even more so, redemption. Roland had his lost Horn of Arthur Eld and had a chance to fix the wrongs for good this time. The thing that had me more discouraged in the books was how King wrote himself into his books as a God/Conduit-like being. That is going to be super tough to get the movie going public who have never read these stories to be able to embrace. Trying to even describe it sounds goofy.

      • Its an alternate (IDK if thats the right word or not) future of our own, and in that world, King (who created everything) is God…

        King is both the creator and the destroyer in the book, half way though writing it he couldve just said “then an earthquake swallowed everyone whole except their heads and a giant lawnmower came by, killing everyone, the end” but he didnt…

        • I understand what he did, and why he did it, but I just felt like it was kind of a cheap Deus ex Machina to explain it all and tie it together. I didn’t think a lot of it at the time, but after re-reading all of the books about 6 months ago, it was the part that stuck out most to me. You can really tell which books were written before (1-4) and after (5-7) the car accident. The last 2 books, which were the ones that involved “Stephen King” the character, were easily the weakest of the series, and will be the most difficult for the casual tv/movie viewer to accept.

          • yeah but , dont you see that he also reveals him self to be very frail and weak, to Roland, so in part showing him the weakness of his “god”. This is what plays on Roland beliefs, he sees the faults in his world.

  4. I see this just being a movie trilogy or even 4 or 5 films but I don’t see the TV show happening. To much is at stake. Even if the films do well how do you proceed if the TV Series don’t? It won’t work at ABC, NBC, CBS or Fox so that leaves the cable networks and even a successful series on cable will bring in @ 5 million viewers at the most. And that’s just not enough for it to work for a studio.

  5. A Game of Thrones approach probably would work better, but wouldn’t bring in as much money as three theatrical releases would.

    I’m still hoping that they manage to pull this off, but to do so successfully they MUST have a great deal of dedication and determination – from top to bottom.

  6. It kinda makes me worry, will it be half as good as the books? I mean, that IS a tall order…


  8. Tbh I rather see a David Gemmell’s Jon Shannow character get a film then the Dark Tower.

  9. I would nt mind seeing Timothy Olyphant as Roland he was great in Deadwood.

    • Loco, he’d be good! But, I still have a hard time with the two media transitions, simply put, you can get away with a lot more in a feature film than you can in a TV series.

      • not if it isnt on a major net work and to be honest it depens on where they handle the breaks, from movie to tv, there is alot of the story that would be considered pg 13 at worst. the biggest issue would be Odetta’s mouth she curses a lot but other then that the violence will mostly be gun fighting and that pretty much common on every network. id much rather see it on a channel like FX or A&E, but it being a universal project im sure we will see it on NBC

        • Problem with that is they AREN’T PG-13 books….

  10. Perhaps some of the thought behind jumping between medias is to get the audience more involved? It can be kind of fun to chase a story around as long as the story is made compelling enough. The first challenge is to get the audience to begin the chase. Leave them with the info to continue and make the reward sufficient to sustain the process. You have to be up for that of course. I think the movies have to be just satisfying enough that when you lose some, you’ll get them back into theaters for a second or third go round. Pay per view might work here too, if you wanted to pick up those you lost somewhere in the chase…