It’s been three months since Warner Bros jumped on board to spearhead Stephen King’s ridiculously long novel series The Dark Tower for an epic HBO and big screen venture with The Da Vinci Code director Ron Howard at the helm. Though in actual fact the adaptation has been brewing for much long… Universal Pictures had been working on it for years with Howard and his same team but succumbed to the pressures and financial risk of perhaps the most ambitious film development since Peter Jackson first pitched The Lord of the Rings in the late 90′s.
According to a new update on the development at Deadline, the project now hangs in the balance as Akiva Goldsman (The Da Vinci Code, A Beautiful Mind… and yes, Batman & Robin) is due to hand in his revised script in the next two weeks, leaving WB with some major decisions to make about how and if they should move the project forward.
The epic nine volume series of books details gun-slingin’ protagonist Roland Deschain’s journey across a decaying dimension and has an epic enough scope to make this adaptation a challenge for everyone involved, not least of which its lead performer who would need to almost sign his life away to the three films and two tv series’ franchise, a little like Daniel Radcliffe did in the Harry Potter films. The last round of reported developments stated that Javier Bardem, the marauding antagonist in the Coen’s No Country for Old Men, was still set to fill Deschain’s cowboy boots but now Javier Bardem is reportedly out and the adaptation is being pitched to Warner Bros. as a Russell Crowe vehicle.
It’s not a dead-cert as yet, Crowe is by no means locked into the role and the same problems remain about the long-term commitment but the possibility is definitely there with Crowe having a very strong relationship with Howard from their Cinderella Man and A Beautiful Mind days. Crowe is due to star in Warner Bros. upcoming Man of Steel, and also in Paramount’s biblical retelling of Noah and does seem to be getting back into the mainstream game and taking on the film roles he just wasn’t as recently as a few years ago.
In an era of remakes, reboots, re-imaginings and originality is certainly not king… let’s hope WB use some of their Harry Potter, The Dark Knight Rises and bound to be The Hobbit billions to try and make this Stephen King saga into a series that will dominate our screens for the next decade.