The Dark Tower book series is considered Stephen King's fantasy magnum opus, so it's no wonder that a film adaptation has been on the table for years now. Problem is, Oscar-winner Ron Howard (long attached to direct and/or produce the project) hasn't been content to adapt King's literature into either a Game of Thrones-style epic TV series or a big-budget movie trilogy; he and writer/producer Akiva Goldsman (Winter's Tale) have wanted to make both, which explains why both Universal and Warner Bros. have balked at the proposed multi-platform endeavor in the past.
Despite issues getting the necessary funding for the proposed Dark Tower cross-platform venture, Howard and producer Brian Grazer have always maintained that the project was never been dead in the water - just (much) slower than expected to make its way down the pipeline into production. In the meantime, it would appear that the filmmakers have been meeting with potential cast members, including one rising star who threw his hat in the ring a while back.
AICN caught up Aaron Paul at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, where the actor is promoting his new film Hellion by writer/director Kat Candler, having previously visited the Utah-held festival in 2012 to promote the alcoholism drama Smashed (which he co-headlined). The site's contributor "Quint" eventually turned his conversation with Paul to Dark Tower, in part because the actor has previously revealed on Twitter - back in Fall 2012 - that he'd like to play the character Eddie Dean in the movie/TV adaptation.
Well, fans aren't the only ones who like the idea, according to Paul:
"I've had a ton of meetings on that. I just had a general sit down with Ron Howard, who is a huge fan of the show (Breaking Bad, naturally), which is such a crazy thing to even think that Ron Howard even knows who I am. They're definitely planning on making [The Dark Tower]."
Paul also re-iterated that Howard and Co.'s plan remains to make a Dark Tower movie trilogy that has "a television element to it," as was originally proposed. One possibility (and this is pure speculation) is that the TV "element" might be a spinoff series revolving around side characters who're tangentially related to the main Dark Tower narrative; in other words, a show that is to the trilogy what Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is to the Marvel Studios' film universe, story-wise.
Eddie Dean in Dark Tower, for those unfamiliar, is an ex-heroin addict whose raw talent for gunslinging is shaped by protagonist Roland Deschain - a grizzled warrior and last in the line of gunslingers, who's on a quest to locate the fabled Dark Tower. Drug problems aren't the only thing that Eddie shares in common with Paul's Breaking Bad onscreen persona, Jesse Pinkman; the pair also have troubled pasts and share certain personality traits in common, which is why Paul has long been viewed as a natural fit for the Dean character.
Typecasting concerns aside, Paul reads as a smart choice for reasons that go beyond his compelling screen presence; he's also looking to further breakout bad (sorry, could resist) in Hollywood soon, with his leading role in the Need for Speed movie this March and supporting turn in Ridley Scott's Exodus later this year.
Combined, Paul's current star wattage with that of proposed headliner Russell Crowe as Roland Deschain may not be enough to get Dark Tower green-lit right off the bat, but it would at least help to move the project another step forward. Moreover, with Hollywood's newfound love affair with building shared universes - whether they are home to superheroes, old-fashioned monsters or citizens of a galaxy far, far away - in full bloom, it seems "now" might be Dark Tower's time at last.
Do you like the idea of Aaron Paul playing Eddie Dean in The Dark Tower? What are your thoughts and feelings about the multi-platform approach in general? Let us know what you think in the comments section!
We'll keep you updated on The Dark Tower's status as more information is made available.