After surviving a halted production that was restarted with a lower budget, you’d be forgiven for thinking The Dark Tower might still have a chance at being produced. Those hopes will now dwindle to little more than a dream, as Universal has passed on adapting Stephen King’s 7-novel series. The ambitious plan was even greater in scale than The Lord of the Rings; Ron Howard was set to direct a film trilogy and two limited run TV series. Akiva Goldsman was writing the scripts, Javier Bardem was to star as Roland Deschain, and Goldsman, King, and Brian Gazer would produce the whole mess.
Supposedly, Universal would only commit to the first film, which the filmmakers couldn’t accept. I suppose they have some right to not want to waste money on a media franchise whose first installment wasn’t well received. But as The Lord of the Rings proved, planning these things all at once produces fantastic results.
This being Hollywood, The Dark Tower isn’t necessarily dead. If the crew finds another backer, the project could still see the light of day. Goldsman’s Weed Road is based at Warner Brothers, which is also making The Hobbit films, so that could be a possibility. For Universal though, it’s yet another high-risk-high-reward project they’ve passed on, after breaking our hearts over At the Mountains of Madness. What a shame.[Via Deadline]