When the news broke that Ron Howard and Brian Grazer were going to bring the Stephen King series The Dark Tower to the big and small screen, there were a lot of people betting against it. The general consensus was that, as the series was being split over 3 Movies and 2 TV seasons, the whole story wouldn’t be cohesive or told in the way that most fans want.
Rumours of names were bandied about for the role of Roland – The Gunslinger and it looked like Javier Bardem was about to sign on the dotted line. That’s a huge commitment for anyone and, apart from The Lord of the Rings, there hasn’t been a production of this scale and in these formats before.
Well it appears now that Ron Howard and Co. might have bitten off more than they can chew. Reports that the project was put in turnaround (Hollywood’s equivalent to Limbo), circulated and that the whole gameplan was about to fall apart.
From the horses mouth this week comes word that indeed the project is still on and that Ron Howard is keen to get it into gear. I’ll let him explain:
“We had to pull back to our September start date due to budget delays and ongoing story development and logistical issues, but Dark Tower is moving forward,” Howard said. “We’re thinking of starting in early spring now. I can’t really say who’ll be in it yet, but Javier Bardem has shown a great deal of interest. We’ll know by the end of the summer, when our flashing green light goes solid.” The project would start with a feature film, followed by six hours of TV content, starring the same actors as in the movie. “There are elements of the Dark Tower saga that are more personal and can be best dealt with on television,” Howard continued. “TV allows you to roll out details of the characters in a more methodical way.”
Let’s hope production isn’t delayed too much as this is a tale that should be told, and be told well. Ron Howard needs a hit, and after the last couple of duds (The Dilemma, Angels and Demons) it would be awesome to see him hit this one out of the park. Personally, I hope he get’s Frank Darabont involved as he would be my personal choice to helm this epic journey.
The Dark Tower series (novels) are available at any good bookstore.