Howard: Dark Tower Movie Delayed

 | #Akiva Goldsman#Chris Hewitt#Empire Magazine#Release Date#Ron Howard

Welcome back, my friends to the show that never ends. We’re so glad you could attend! Come inside! Come inside!

And so the Dark Tower spectacle goeth on.

If you we’re hoping for some breaking news – headlines proclaiming that Ron Howard has started principal photography on the Dark Tower – well, perhaps you’d better go get back under the covers and take a long old snooze.

During the recent Rush premier in London, Empire Magazine’s Chris Hewitt caught up with Ron and inquired on the progress of the adaptation. A link to the audio can be found below but for your enjoyment, I’ve transcribed the part we’re interested in.

HOWARD: Dark Tower is something that we’re still working on and we’ve all sort of taken an agreed vow of silence about the progress – the headway, what we think our time table is – because I don’t think I realized, first of all how much media interest there was in the title, and how much excitement there was, and yet it’s a fascinating powerful possibility — even Stephen King acknowledges it’s a tricky adaptation and nobody’s been heartbroken.

But it’s also from a – to be honest – from a financing side. It’s not a straight forward four-quadrant sunny Super Hero story – it’s dark, it’s horror. It’s that edge what appeals to me and the complexity of those characters is what appeals to all of us, and I think Stephen King really respects – with Akiva Goldsman and myself – that that’s what we love about it and that’s what we want to try to get to the screen.

So the answer is, it’s got delayed in our minds, it’s never gone away, we’re working on it and he’s very patient with us. Akiva’s just gone off and directed a movie and I’m continuing to work, but the Dark Tower dreams, the fever dreams, are still with us.

We’re not going to give it a time table because it was always a bit over-reported in terms of when we thought the start date was and it was hugely disappointing when we didn’t meet that date…blah blah blah. I don’t think it’s a project that really benefits from being scrutinized in that way.

HEWITT: Okay, well that’s just one thing, but I’m sure your vow of silence will cover it. Stephen King himself appears in the Dark Tower. Have you thought about how you might tackle that?

HOWARD: Yes, and I will admit that Stephen King said, “I don’t have to be in this”. But that’s not to say that he won’t be!

Listen to the full Empire Magazine interview in which Ron talks about Rush, Dark Tower and Arrested Development over at SoundCloud — fast forward to the 46 minute mark.

23 responses

  1. And there you have it - gone (indefinitely), but certainly not forgotten. I’m glad Ron Howard at least addressed the financial hurdle, too. As always, this epic saga is primarily about the characters. Best place to start. Someday.

    “The fever dreams are still with us.” - RH

    LD & PN, folks.

    Maestro208 – September 18th, 2013
  2. That’s too bad. I guess the writings been on the wall so it really shouldn’t be a surprise. Thanks for the update.

    Aloenam – September 18th, 2013
  3. Hello Ka-Mates, As many of you know I have never been fond of the idea of Howard taking on this project, however beggars can’t be choosers. I am excited to hear that this project is not completely dead, however I wish someone would step up and take the initiative needed to get the proverbial ball rolling. There will be water if Ka wills it.


    Aimee – September 20th, 2013
  4. I would just like to say, what’s with Hollywood? We can make 5 scream movies, 8+ Friday the thirteenths, 4 Paranormal activites 5 saw movies, 7 Nightmare on Elm Streets and so many remakes, but for the greatest epic to ever come to the screen there’s “financial problems”? F U Hollywood, time for them to pull the heads from out of their arses….

    Richard – September 22nd,  2013
  5. @Richard, not to mention 8 American Pie movies and 5 Scary Movie movies (+ all the Epic/Date/blahblah movies). And to be honest, a lot more crap like those.

    And unfortunately they actually made 7 Saw movies.

    Financial problems isn’t the actual problem with this. I think it’s more about the series not being popular enough. I know lot’s of people who have read the books, and they love and adore them. Most of them consider it their favourite book-series. But honestly, the only reason they ever got to know the series was because I suggested they would read it.

    If we take a quick look at all the book to movie adaptions from the past 10, or so, years, most of them were enormously popular among teenagers/young adults right from the start. Harry Potter, Twilight, Percy Jackson and Hunger Games all became popular books upon their release. Hollywood aims to control the market by taking “popular” and making it even more popular. The only series I can think of at the moment that didn’t become MEGA popular upon it’s release, but instead lay in a slumber for more than a decade until it exploded and became something of a Mickey Mouse phenomena, is ofcourse Game of Thrones. Today, anywhere you go, people will know exactly what your’e reffering to when you say “winter is coming”. I think it’s pretty brave that HBO took the risk of doing GoT. The books are well written, but the complexity of the story makes it difficult to adapt into a screenplay. But they did it, and they did it well.

    Now, I’m not saying that HBO should take on the project of turning Dark Tower into a similar series, even though they would probably do it really well. In their case I think it probably would be something of a financial issue (they do have a lot going on at the moment). Instead I think another network should pick it up. And I have to say, the idea of Netflix doing this, sounded somewhat interesting.

    We’ll just have to wait and see. If I only was a millionaire I would take on the project myself, but alas, I am not.

    Long days & Pleasant nights people of the tower!

    Throcken – October 11th, 2013
  6. Oh come on now Mr. Howard, quit beating around the bush. Us Towers want a little bit of Happy days. I’m sure there are investors out there that would want to join the quest towards the Dark Tower. A 7 part series sounds perfect as there are 7 books.

    Also, in regards to Russel Crowe as Roland. Hahaha! He’s more of a gladiator than a gunslinger. You know who would make the perfect cast? Andrew Lincoln as Roland, Norman Reedus as Eddie, Chandler Riggs as Jake and Danai Gurira as Susannah. As for Oy, who knows? You’re creative! Now this is the perfect ka-tet.

    Long days and pleasant nights my fellow seekers!

    kevin w – October 12th, 2013
  7. As much as I am looking forward to the mini-series/movie, whatever, I know I’ll probably be disappointed. I have yet to see anyone make a Stephen King book into a decent movie. From what I’ve seen, most directors feel they know the story better than the writer.

    Janet – October 30th, 2013
  8. Hi, Janet. That’s why I think King must be involved in this, if it ever comes to fruition. (And also why I’m pretty wary of a Ron-Howard-led team.) Frank Darabont did a great job with Shawshank, and The Green Mile was pretty on-point, as well.

    LD & PN

    Maestro208 – October 31st,  2013
  9. Not a fan of Russell Crowe, just OK for me. Why not do this ala Batman or James Bond and go with a different Roland Deschain in each movie? JMO, if you’re going to go with one guy for all movies my guy would be Christian Bale, best actor on the planet.

    Maestro, I agree. The only good Stephen King movies had Stephen King involved with a say in production.

    Rico – November 19th, 2013
  10. I’m with all of you guys. I’m very disappointed to see the long and indefinite delays for this project. I agree that there is such utter garbage on the big screens there should be no issue in making a place for this series when it could become so great.

    But hasn’t that always been part of the problem? Doing the series justice? King won’t let just anyone make it, and the people who could do a good job with it are busy and intimidated by the scope of the DT.

    I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

    As for Roland, I think Jon Hamm would be perfect.

    R. Spencer – November 23rd,  2013
  11. How would the rest of you fans feel about an animated movie? I think they could make a great film with animation similar to Beowulf from a couple years ago. Then we’d have less issues about an aging Jake or with Crowe being too stocky.

    Claude – December 18th, 2013
  12. With animation & proper voice casting (Clint Eastwood for Roland anyone?) you could really do the series justice. In my experience with Anime, they are generally VERY well written stories with tremendous depth, character development & pretty much anything you would want in a story that the Dark Tower books have. You’d need about a thousand 30min episodes to tell the entire Dark Tower story but it could be done. That being said, someone is trying to make big bucks on this. If its going to be anything at all it will likely be a Movie/TV-series with real actors and the like. No matter what they decide I’m suckered in, shame on me, and will watch it no matter what.

    Aloenam – December 21st,  2013
  13. All of us taking the time to read and post comments are obviously big fans wanting only the best for this series. While I may not agree with casting suggestions, I understand we are all entitled to an opinion. That being said, as I have both read the books as well as listened to them on disc (outstanding audiobook narrator) I have already seen this epic adventure play out in my mind. Therefore, I would rather it not made at all versus being made poorly or on the cheap.

    Steve C – December 30th, 2013
  14. For Janet - Have you seen The Stand, The Mist, Stand by Me? Plus the 2 mentioned by Maestro208?

    Nate J. – January 17th, 2014
  15. kevin w, why do you question what’s obvious? this is the perfect cast: Andrew Lincoln as Roland, Norman Reedus as Eddie, Chandler Riggs as Jake and Danai Gurira as Susannah. I can’t imagine russell crowe or javier bardem as Roland :(

    v. winke – January 17th, 2014
  16. I agree Norman Reedus would be great as Eddie but Andrew Lincoln is to young and handsome to be Roland. Roland is craggy, grey and windblown. Ultimately I agree that it would be great as a 8-9 season Animated (M) 12/15 episode(hour long each) taken on by Cartoon Network(Adult Swim) SpikeTV Netflix or AMC

    Bravo – January 19th, 2014
  17. (continued) then interject the Roland short stories and even his background story (normally told in the middle if the story) as full movies once the hype has grown. I think it would play out better for the NEW audience that has to be accounted for when telling the story in a fresh medium

    Bravo – January 19th, 2014
  18. This is by far King’s greatest work, and I hope movie goers will eventually see the brilliance.., as all of us that have read it already experienced…

    As far as Roland, think Sam Elliott.

    Long days & Pleasant nights…!

    MAJ – February 26th, 2014
  19. Sam Elliott would be perfect. The craggy look, the voice, best choice so far as I’m concerned. I just want the movie or series made. I love Stephen Kings work, but this is the very Best, deserving of the very best! No short cuts please.

    Clara – March 11th, 2014
  20. I have been waiting a long time. But I’m willing to wait until they can get it right . I don’t care if it’s a year long TV series just get it right.

    Leonard auten – June 27th, 2014
  21. Whilst I disagree with turning this amazing story into a film (because most movies tend to cut out the important parts and also because the story itself is huge. Point in case: The Stand (uncut version). Nevertheless, I pray and pray that Russell Crowe is NOT Roland. He cant be! He doesn’t look like him, he doesn’t have Roland’s smile, Nothing. My suggestion would be Bradley Cooper. When I picture ‘Actor’ Roland I see Bradleys cold blue eyes, I see his ‘texan’ persona, his slim gait. I think he is a much closer fit than Crowe

    Jetz Maddox – July 6th, 2014
  22. Someone made a comment on Tower not popular with Teens and young adults that’s why theyre not interested but you half to throw that theory out because I guarantee most teens and young adults have never read Lord of The Rings Trilogy and look at that success. I believe Roland should have the look of Clint Eastwood in his young days, the tall lanky but strong look and the facial features. I agree maybe Andrew Lincoln, but hes not tall enough imo. How about Thomas Gibson of Criminal Minds, he has the right voice, facial features to pull off a good Roland but maybe to old.

    Kevin C – October 27th, 2014
  23. Hi out there,

    I’m sad about this difficult ongoing. My opinion is that somebody should at least be brave enough to get this thing started.

    Tolkiens LotR seemed to be impossible too, and this guy called Peter Jackson came along… sure you know how this ended. :)

    My favorite cast for Roland is Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

    He impressed me playing in SUPERNATURAL, as father of Sam and Dean Winchester. There are scenes in Season 1 and 2 of this TV series, which showed, that he could be the perfect gunslinger.

    He has that special combination of being tough, melancholy and just a man sometimes.

    Please, go on and don’t forget the face of your father. Long days and pleasant nights to you.

    Susie from Germany

    Susie – January 12th, 2015