Ron Howard may walk from Dark Tower Project

June 18, 2011

in Crew, General News

Ron Howard

The latest news/rumor surrounding the Dark Tower movie adaptation is that Ron Howard is jumping ship and Universal may pull the plug altogether!

Currently, Universal is pushing a rewrite of the script – the previous plan was to have 3 Movies and a couple of TV seasons – but the Hollywood Reporter is telling us that Ron Howard may actually walk away from the project. Apparently, sources close to him say that Tom Hanks wants Howard to join him on the Scott Rudin Somali Pirate project, as they’ve worked together on five previous movies.

Universal is naturally denying this but considering that previous rumors turned out to be true, things are looking pretty grim for a Dark Tower movie appearing anytime soon.

To my mind it does seems a little strange that Howard would jump so easily, especially when we consider how enthusiastic he was;

“We worked on it for a year before we even met with [Stephen King]…I really can’t stop thinking about it. We’ve been meeting and talking and I’ve been reading and researching and just kind of living with it…and I feel challenged in the most exciting ways.”

Was he being completely sincere, or was he only interested in the money and reputation to be gained from this type of project?

Aimee June 18, 2011 at 11:07 am

I would be lying if I said I was surprised. I have been expecting the whole project to be trashed. There will be water if Ka wills it.

Maestro208 June 18, 2011 at 11:38 am

Was it the money, or sincerity? Both, I feel. It’s just not the right time, nor the right production company/crew for this epic tale. I agree with you, Aimee; here is ka in action right in front of us. But that’s not a bad thing, because now the concept of bringing the DT to the big screen(s) is out there in production circles, and, hopefully, the perfect match will come along and do this properly. The script and the casting of Roland are the two biggest keys to this whole thing, imo, and everything that needs to happen will happen in due course. If ka wills it.

All June 18, 2011 at 12:47 pm

It all makes sense now. Tom Hanks IS the agent of Discord.

nitsuj June 18, 2011 at 2:08 pm

HBO or Showtime needs to pick this up and do it right. 3 or 4 seasons. They can do it. Christ go watch Game of Thrones or the Tudors, those shows are amazing

Aimee June 18, 2011 at 4:13 pm

I honestly never thought that Ron Howard was the right choice for this project. I think we need someone else. I want someone who will take the time, and do it correctly. Honestly I think the idea of using a tv series to bridge the movies is stupid. I would rather have 7 full length movies.

Frank June 18, 2011 at 8:02 pm

Damm, Damm, Damm!

stonie104 June 19, 2011 at 12:23 am

@Aimee
I hate to say it but 7 full length movies is almost certainly never going to happen, the cost implications to that is astronomical, no studio would sign up for that unless they were micro budget films, and I dont think any of us want that.

Peter jackson had to fight tooth and nail to get 3 LOTR movies, the studio was heavily pushing 2 films to cover all the content, so 7 movies for a lesser known series is VERY unlikely.

In my opinion Howards format of 3 movies and 2 series was a good alternative, and that got turned down by the studio and asked to cut budget?!

I am dissapointed Howard may be considering walking away, but it does not surprise me, a good director will only make so many comprimises before walking.

Maestro208 June 19, 2011 at 12:24 am

Well, the Harry Potter franchise is taking 8 films (7 books). Not sure if The Dark Tower has such broad appeal as HP, since it’s more of a cult-classic sort without armies of kids who read the books voraciously, etc., but we can dream, right? New blood with a new vision and inspiration and TALENT behind the wheel would be great, especially if broader appeal can be achieved in order to keep it going through all 7 installments.

Maestro208 June 19, 2011 at 12:26 am

@stonie: HBO, anyone? That might actually do this epic saga justice.

enigma19 June 19, 2011 at 2:12 am

I agree, there will be water if God will it, but maybe this series is in danger of not being made just as the rose was in danger of destruction. However, all Tower Junkies share something very special with this indescribable tale that encompasses more than just a story, but an entire (almost) unfathomable universe. Maybe, what we have with the DARK TOWER is something that should be kept secret and safe, and not tainted by the grimey, whorish fingers of hollywood… Jake Chambers experienced this special moment in the vacant lot with the rose, screw letting glitz and glam (OZ anyone?) destroy anyone’s journey to the real Dark Tower.

stonie104 June 19, 2011 at 3:20 am

@Maestro208
I would welcome HBO to tackle it, but they would make it 7 TV series not movies, Like they are doing with Game Of Thrones.

The Harry Potter series, like you said has a FAR larger fan base then The Dark Tower hence why the 8 films got made, but even those were a risk for the studio, if the first movie had of barely broke even at theatres then they would have pulled the plug on the rest, and The Dark Tower has the potential to struggle in the box office, its a sad fact of hollywood, a great movie does not always mean great profits 🙁

gino June 19, 2011 at 9:13 am

Ron Howard… Universal… First I was full of hope and excitement and now everything seems to be ruined. But i think it will be the same as with the lord of the rings. Yet another big project that was first cancelled by a major movie company. Then New Line Cinema took over and earned all the huge success. With the dark tower, it will be the same! My most beloved book will be made into a movie, it is only a matter of time! We don’t need no ron howard or universal pictures!!!

Aimee June 19, 2011 at 11:25 am

@Stonie, I know it is never going to happen, but that’s they way I would prefer to see it done. @Enigma19, you may be on to something. Maybe this is Ka’s way of saying it should never be done. Only time will tell.

Pokes23 June 19, 2011 at 4:19 pm

Ka? Ka-ka 😉 Honestly just listening to Opie speak on the whole project at different times it never seemed to me like he was a “true” fan of the series to begin with. Maybe i’m wrong but he just never felt right to me. If these movies ever do get made I hope somebody that truly is in love with the books will be behind them because its probably the only shot they have at being any good.
Happy Fathers day DT freaks! Don’t forget Dads face today. Hile Father!

Craig June 19, 2011 at 6:05 pm

Has Ron Howard forgotten the face of his father? Is the Ka-Tet broken? Let us hope it is not true.

Action June 19, 2011 at 6:27 pm

It will happen when its meant to. Personally I hope Ron Howerd is not involved at all.

Kd June 19, 2011 at 9:55 pm

I think the whole project needs to be given over to the Coen brothers. The rest of hollywood has focused too much on superheros and are destroying good movie production. I, for one, am sick and tired of superheros and I dont think I am alone.

Lydia June 19, 2011 at 11:15 pm

@Stonie104 I disagree, I think multiple film series are becoming common enough. I am in no way saying I disagree with its being cost prohibitive, daunting & astronomically complicated to consider, only that I think with the proper determination, getting the first film done WELL, could kick-start an interest. Perhaps as with the HP series of films, different directors could helm each film.

Oh well. I’m really sorry to hear this, and I fear it is likely true. I just genuinely hope someone worthy, who won’t bastardize genius will take it up instead of Mr. Howard. I really have no preconception of who could do justice to film adaptations, but in my heart, I pray someone else will come along, and make this happen.

Maestro208 June 20, 2011 at 11:35 am

@Action: I agree. Well put.

@Pokes23: I think your point is quite important. When considering the LOTR trilogy, Peter, Fran, and Philippa were all in love with the books. Not surprisingly, one of the keys to their success in translating their love for these tales to the big screen came from them constantly revising and re-writing their scripts on a daily basis, in line with production as it occurred. That was pretty brilliant, as was the rise of the WETA Workshop (special effects), which came to be what it is now today as a result of making those LOTR movies. In my opinion, the Dark Tower saga also needs a truly passionate team behind the helm, and also a little luck in the budget department as it comes to life over a long production process.

Becky June 20, 2011 at 2:29 pm

Has anyone considered computer animation? Look at Avatar. Now just imagine DT. Roland would look exactly as he should without having to make sure the actor was tall enought, or had blue eyes, etc. Just a thought…..

Gunslinger9teen June 20, 2011 at 2:55 pm

@ ALL DT FREAKS…
WHAT THE HELL MAN? Never get your hopes up when Ka is involved. Well, never you mind, I’ll continue to re-read the stories that have brought me around the wheel of Ka so many times before. But like most of you have written….There will be water (movies and/or series) if Ka wills it. Still a lil’ bummed. Bloody wankers in the industry we call entertainment. Long days and pleasant nights DT Freaks.

brett June 20, 2011 at 3:12 pm

This is unbelievable! First Abrams walks away from a 19 dollar deal of a lifetime. Now happy days wants to take off too. Oh discordia will the tet corporation push the greatest story all the way through or do the bad guy win again. They have to make this before KING dies or it will be a huge injustice to his legacy.

stonie104 June 20, 2011 at 3:31 pm

@Lydia
Multiple film series in regard to trilogys are commen enough Lydia, but a 7 series of films are rare, The Dark Tower as a brand simply isn’t big enough to sell to the general public on reputation alone, so to solve the issue a studia can do several things, the most common 2 being 1. marketing….LOADS of marketing! or 2. fill the film with BIG names, and as I’m sure your aware either of those options are both VERY expensive and still hold risk, so a studio does the maths…. spend LOOOOOAAAADS on a film which is only 1 of 7 and hope to christ it does well so you can get the green light on the next 6, but run the risk of tanking in the box office and being left with an unfinished series (The last Airbender is a good example of this) or they can try and cut the budget of the series by condensing the content to less films thus reducing risk, or they can give up entirely.

Regardless of the options, I would be exceptionally surprised if any studio would consider a 7 film series, if Ron Howard pulls out I honestly think they will pitch to HBO or similar for a strictly TV series adaptation, and I dont see this as a bad thing, I am thorougly enjoying Game Of Thrones which is very faithfull to the books, if they can do this with the Dark Tower I say go for it!

Cuthbert June 20, 2011 at 3:49 pm

@All – Tom Hanks is agent of Discordia…
Was lukewarm to Howard, but his vision for the project is impressive. Makes no sense to walk after his hyperbolic commitment. I’ve been a fan since way back and love the idea of Bardem as Roland. He’s amazing

bangoskank19 June 20, 2011 at 4:42 pm

Give it to WB. They aren’t shy. Matrix. Harry Potter. Joel Silver And Christopher Nolan. Take the time do it right.

bangoskank19 June 20, 2011 at 4:43 pm

I mean you’ve seen the ron Howard commercials. Let your photograph inspire a ron Howard production. He’s already moving on. Unless we flood him with tower photos

Aloenam June 20, 2011 at 5:40 pm

Even if the green light was given for 7 films IMO it’s a bad idea and can’t give us the kind of depth necessary for this tale nor is it guaranteed to make the kind of money the greedy Hollywood studios are all too eager to make, and THAT is really what it’s all about. Until the money bridge is gapped there will be complications. This is a fact we must live and deal with.

I have felt from the start that HBO or Showtime was the best option for this series. Commercial free hour long episodes over several seasons is the best way to tell a story and still give it the kind of depth and character to viewer/reader relationship we would expect from a book. This should be a no brainer.

To me the second best option is the 3movies and 2TV series plan they have now. If Howard walks they should scrap this idea and the movie idea altogether and begin talks with a movie network as soon as possible.

The quality of storytelling and character development for this tale is paramount. If the PPL in charge of this project lose sight of that then as far as I’m concerned this series should stay on paper.

Aimee June 20, 2011 at 6:49 pm

@Bangoskank19, The first time I saw that commercial I called Howard a few choice names. Then I thought about it. I really don’t think he is the right person for this project. In my opinion, I hope he moves on, and someone who really cares picks it up. It will happen if Ka wills it. And yes Tom Hanks is an agent of Discordia. If Howard continued it we will most likely have seen another appearance by Hanks. I really don’t think any of us want that.

Dion June 20, 2011 at 11:59 pm

Ron Howard has forgotten the face of his father, but I have to say I am almost relieved if it’s true that he is dropping out! I don’t think he will do it justice especially with the casting rumors as of now.

Aimee June 21, 2011 at 6:18 pm

@Dion, I agree. I think it is Ka saying that Howard has forgotten the face of his father, and he is not fit for this project. I have never liked the idea of Howard working on this.

enigma19 June 23, 2011 at 8:35 pm

@All
I think everyone here is right, and has remembered the faces of their fathers. The only one who could do it the justice it deserves is King himself. His other books were turned into movies such as It, The Stand, etc…and he had a very large part of turning his stories into film. Its too bad he couldn’t produce and direct it himself, it would definately get done right then. WE CANNOT LET ANYONE WITH THE INITIALS R.F. MAKE THE FILM! If you’ve read the most of kings books there is a pattern with names of R.F.

The Walkin' Dude June 24, 2011 at 10:03 am

enigma19, you think King should do it himself? Did you actually watch It and The Stand? They were both very underwhelming. I liked the Stand, but it was pretty cheesy.

enigma19 June 24, 2011 at 7:11 pm

@ The Walkin Dude, the technology was pretty terrible….but, King has a way of unveiling the binding ties of Ka-tet in his work which were translated over into these films, along with others such as DreamCatcher. If there was a way to inject Ka-tet into a film that was more relevant technologically…if its done right the audience would experience KA, and KA would wrap fingers around its audience and send them todash into a reality that parallels our own….that is if they become addicted like most Tower Junkies

Lloyd Henried June 28, 2011 at 1:29 am

I am a big fan of the series but I don’t think even 3 movies can really do a decent job of telling the tale. Like most of SK work there is too much interior dialogue and background exposition to really depict in movie form. However these things are essential for all the main characters.

Take for instance the continual self reflection Eddie has regarding Henry. The whole story of their youth, Roland’s thought on the matter, the later references to thier relationship and how it changes as his journey with Roland continues. These subplots and rememberences are vital to developing the character in the mind of a reader but they would stray too far and take up too much time in a movie. The problem is so much of SK text is vital to the book in total that glaring omissions in the movies really rob the viewer of much of the story. Those minor parts that make up so much of the lasting memories we have of the various characters SK creates.

Lloyd Henried June 28, 2011 at 1:32 am

@Enigma, Stephen King also directed Maximum Overdrive. Besides introducing some great talent on screen who would later become very famous. Voice of bart simpson is in there too, that movie was more comedy and the soundtrack was an AC/DC album.

Carolyn December 28, 2011 at 12:09 pm

You people are a bunch of kooks…Its a story for crying out loud… and getting it made is all about making money. There is not enough good stories out there to fullfill the publics demand for a good movies. This will get made , it just a matter of finding the right company to pick up the project. That will happen when the time is ripe…just sit and wait. I am personally pleased.. Bardam is a horrible choice for Roland…

Jimmy August 1, 2012 at 10:21 pm

I am only a third of the way through ‘Wizard and Glass’ and I absolutely love this series. However, I agree with a TV series filling gaps between movies. Heck I would be okay with just a TV series. This story is so deep and their are so many intricate parts that, while they make for great story telling, I can’t imagine how certain parts would translate to the big screen. There are so many internal thoughts and emotions going on in this story that make it what it is. How do you convey that on the big screen? ‘Drawing of the Three’ would make an amazing film. The first half of ‘Wastelands’ would be incredibly difficult to show on a big screen due to the fact it is built on the internal battles in the minds of Roland and Jake. ‘Wizard and Glass’ would make an incredible season of TV on HBO because there isn’t enough to make people want to commit to a 2 or 3 hour film, but the story Roland tells of the past would be an incredible season. My vote (for as far as I have read)…Movie 1 ‘The Gunslinger’, Movie 2 ‘The Drawing of the Three’, TV Season 1 ‘The Wastelands’, Season 2 ‘Wizard and Glass’. I cannot wait to see where the story leads. King is by far my favorite author and this series deserves to be cared for and thought through. Let’s just think back to how many parts of this story and could not even be conveyed on a screen, big or little.

Harmony January 25, 2013 at 8:06 pm

I have no idea what they were thinking to attach a lame guy like Howard to such a tough guy type movie project in the first place. After several watch throughs of the series Firefly any idiot would agree the only writer/director for this project would be Joss Whedon. No one else has so clear shown a penchant for seamlessly mixing a scifi universe with an old west flavor. Get him involved in this project & i’ll even bet the studios would be more enthusiastic about throwing some money at it. So ditch Ron & get Joss on the line ASAP!!

brad March 14, 2013 at 10:06 am

I am glad universal has dropped it. after they spent all that money on battle ship. that was a shit ass movie.

raven June 15, 2013 at 2:33 am

I really hope it gets done, by someone who can do it justice. I dont know who did harry potter but they did a great job with the movies. With kings input i think it could be a great movie. I do however really hope they offrr norman reedus from walking dead the role of roland. They can age him with makeup for older roland and he is young enough to play younger roland. He is such a badass when it comes to playing a badass! Also the kid who plays carl in the walking dead would be perfect for jake. He is the right age,not a snotty brat kid star and already has the kid gunslinger act downpat. Ryan reynolds would be perfect for eddie. He is funny as hell but can also do serious kick ass roles too, like in blade trinity,at least i think thats the one he was in. Harder to decide who would be perfect for suzannah. Maybe maybe jada smith or halle barrey would be good. Or an unknown, that would be great. I think if viggo mortenson was offered a part (heard he might be offered the part of roland) i think he would be better as the man in black, ever see him play the devil? Or maybe ,crap, cant recall his name offhand, played gabriel in the prophecy. Yeah, those would be the perfect people. I should just cast and direct this thing. I would do it right lol. Hate when they change a bunch of stuff when making a movie from a book.

Mary June 27, 2013 at 8:50 pm

Reading ever ones comments on the ” Dark Tower ” gave me an idea they say the person that Directs and rights the film for the movies must like the series what if they have experience with these types of movies ? The person that came to my mind is Actor / Director / Producer Clint Eastwood ? He’s played a gunslinger [The good, the bad & the ugly], a cop in a horror film [Dirty Harry], Horror / Sci- Fi Film [Revenge of the Creature] . So to me he has the experience in acting and directing this awesome film the way us DT fans can be happy and proud of. My mom bought me the Gunslinger at the Book Rack as soon as it came out. Loved Steven King Books ever since.
As for Crowe any one can loose weight for a movie, I say A+ for the casting. As for Jake …. Get a boy younger than the character and age him with theatrical make up as he ages in the movie remove the make up gradually. Susannah’s character will be the hardest she is going to have to be a little on the insane side not everyone can pull that off. Now Eddie there are a 100 men that have played the role of a junky. Father Callahan well why not use the original from ” Salem’s Lot ” ? And some of the characters from Twilight would work great in this but like you said it has to stay in budget. I’ve heard enough to understand getting my wish is going to be impossible … but, I’ll say it any way. The story of all 7 of ” The Dark Tower ” Books should be considered with the names of Steven King and Clint Eastwood backing this movie series it way actually work …. or at least I feel it would. It would be nice if they would consider making 5 it would capture the important parts of the complete story line. As for Ron Howard he’s a wonderful Director just not when it comes to Horror films … Splash and Eat my dust have a different story line that ” The Dark Tower ” it needs to be in the hands of someone that has experience with this type of movie.

richard July 2, 2013 at 4:51 pm

I have an opinion that if ron howard could team up with Stephen king and also rob zombie I think whoever does the movie could make it a big hit. it would be good experience for rob zombie as a faily new director woudnt yaw think???