It was quite a cliffhanger last year when the big screen adaption of The Dark Tower wound up in limbo at Universal.
Just a quick recap: The epic Stephen King series was set up at the studio and was going to be a three movie series with a TV series in-between movies, to be directed by Ron Howard and his long time screenwriter Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind, Batman and Robin). At the last minute, Universal blinked, and decided not to make the film.
The short answer was it would be too costly, and indeed this is probably the most ambitious movie series since Peter Jackson tackled Lord of the Rings, but there was also speculation that Universal had already spent a ton of money on Battleship and a movie called 47 Ronin.
As Stephen King quipped, it made better business sense to stick with the Fast and Furious movies than to try anything risky.
Essentially, this is the same thing that happened with Guillermo Del Toro’s dream project, At the Mountains of Madness, which would be the most expensive horror film to date with a proposed $150 million budget.
Usually when Hollywood tells you you’re free to take a project somewhere else it really means you’re dead in the water, but now a report has hit Deadline that The Dark Tower may indeed be setting up shop at Warner Brothers.
As Mike Fleming reports, in Hollywood speak Warners is “in talks,” but as Fleming also tells us, the studio is “now very close to a deal that will give Ron Howard the chance to direct at least the first feature,” and with Javier Bardem possibly back onboard. (Bardem was originally slated to star as Roland, and once Dark Tower fell apart at Universal, he moved on to be the villain in the new James Bond, Skyfall).
If all goes according to plan, the first film could roll by early 2013. As Deadline reminds us, Warners has indeed been interested in the project for some time, and the between TV series could wind up at HBO, which would really be a smart move. So now here’s another cliffhanger to see if this will come together, but it sounds a lot more stable than the last go round with Universal, that’s for sure.