Stephen King and the Dark Tower slapdown

We’ve been following the waiting game at Universal with The Dark Tower series, which was going to be a three part movie and TV series directed by Ron Howard.

Now it goes without saying this isn’t an easy, or cheap proposition for any studio to take on, and of course it’s been called the most ambitious project since the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which thankfully paid off because New Line bet the entire company on it.

Besides, one of Hollywood’s most dependable A-list directors, Ron Howard, would be at the helm, so the reins wouldn’t be handed over to some kid who just had a few rap videos to his credit. 

Even so, The Dark Tower series was pushed back by Universal over budget concerns, with a deadline of July on whether the series would get the greenlight or not.

Even with Howard confident he could keep the movie on track, and within a reasonable budget, the other shoe finally dropped and Universal passed.


Now Stephen King’s reaction has hit the ‘Net, and considering he’s no rookie to having his work adapted good, bad or indifferent (or stuck in development hell), he’s clearly not surprised at these current turn of events.


“I’m sorry Universal passed, but not really surprised. As a rule, they’ve been about smaller and less risky pix; maybe they feel it would be better to stick with those fast and furious racing boys,” King told Entertainment Weekly. 

“I bear them no ill will, and trust Ron Howard to get Roland and his friends before the camera somewhere else. He’s very committed to the project.”


And of course, Movieline made the joke, “Not for nothing, but isn’t Universal spending $200 million on Battleship? If that’s not risky, what is?”

Again, all this is preaching to the converted, the geek community’s probably also resigned to all of this as well.


But don’t lose hope. As Stanley Kubrick liked to say, nothing worthwhile was ever achieved without suffering, and to get any project up on the silver screen is a hell of an obstacle course. 

Can Ron Howard go the distance and push a pretty risky project through in an increasingly risk adverse Hollywood? Stay tuned…