It’s been one of the longest cliffhangers in recent Hollywood memory, and the other side finally blinked – again.
The three part Dark Tower series is now officially a two-time loser, with both Universal, and now Warner Brothers, passing on the potential Stephen King franchise.
A fast recap for those who haven’t been following the action: The big screen adaptation of The Dark Tower was initially set up at Universal with Ron Howard directing, and Javier Bardem as Roland Deschain. It’s going to be a three-part film, much like Lord of the Rings, but also with a TV show that would fill in the gaps between films. Universal passed because it was too expensive and too ambitious, and they ate up a lot of money on Battleship, which tanked.
So then The Dark Tower was being looked at by Warner Brothers, which had several weeks to make its final decision. Apparently that decision came on August 20, and they’re passing. As Deadline tells us, the script got a major reworking by Akiva Goldsman, who won the Academy Award for A Beautiful Mind, because apparently there were some hopes it could be done if there were budget cuts made, (This happened with The Lone Ranger, which was shut down, then up and running again once the budget was greatly reduced).
Still, no go with Warners for whatever reason, and as Deadline points out, it’s odd that Warners would pass considering they’ve done big and epic with Harry Potter, the Christopher Nolan Batmans, and now The Hobbit, which is being stretched into a three-parter.
So why not The Dark Tower? If I was Ron Howard or Stephen King, I’d definitely be pretty frustrated over all this, but it’s very difficult to get a movie made in Hollywood, and it’s often times a big game of hurry up and wait.
Still, there may be hope yet, as a company called Media Rights Capital is supposedly “in serious talks” to pick up the reins after Warner Brothers passed. Media Right Capital made the comedy Ted, which oddly enough was released by Universal, and they’re also releasing the next film from District 9 director Neil Blomkamp, Elysium. So this is very geek friendly territory, and the guy who runs the joint also is a big fan of The Dark Tower.
So once again, here comes another cliffhanger, and who knows where all this is going to land. Maybe with Media Rights Capital funding it, it could actually wind up at one of the studios that already passed because they don’t have to pay for it, which has happened before with movies, and it could end up a bittersweet irony if that comes to pass. Another potential solution could be a long form cable series on HBO or Showtime, just Game of Thrones it up a little and I’m sure someone will come runnin.’