Category Archives: General News

Move Along, Nothing to See Here

The interwebs has been a hive of activity over the last couple days as two new Dark Tower quotes surfaced. In all honesty, there’s really nothing here of any substance or anything that we don’t already know. Still, let’s take a look at what it’s all about.

A couple of days back at the Sundance Film Festival, Ain’t It Cool News met up with Aaron Paul and asked him about his interest with the Dark Tower;

I’ve had a ton of meetings on that. I just had a general sit down with Ron Howard, who is a huge fan of [Breaking Bad], which is such a crazy thing to even think that Ron Howard even knows who I am. They’re definitely planning on making it.

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Netflix, MRC & Silicon Valley Investors

When it comes to the Dark Tower movie adaptation, time has certainly become soft. It’s been nine months since we last heard any real news from Ron Howard (yikes!) and although we do have a couple of new nuggets of information, the bottom line is that we still don’t know when he will start filming.

Last August, right when we found out that Warner had jumped ship, we immediately heard rumors that MRC (the studio behind last summer’s comedy hit, Ted) we’re interested in making Howard’s adaptation. At the time it really was just a rumor, but last week, during the opening of this years Cannes festival, we’re told that, “Media Rights Capital is committed to make a single movie with Russell Crowe as the gunslinger Roland Deschain, with more movie’s coming if the first gets results“. Accordingly, “this isn’t set in stone“. Continue reading

Warner Bros jumps from Dark Tower

For the first time a Dark Tower deadline has been met! Warner Bros said they would will make their decision within two weeks and that’s what they’ve pretty much done; unfortunately, it’s bad news. Warner has decided to walk from the project, passing up a golden opportunity to make this Dark Tower franchise theirs.

In a quick interview with Deadline, Stephen King had this to say about Warner Bros’ decision,

“The Dark Tower, to me, and I’m not unbiased because I’m the writer on this thing, but to me it looks like gold on the ground waiting to be picked up.” — Stephen King

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Russell Crowe as the Gunslinger?

The rumor mill is churning again and this time the word is that Russell Crowe is in line to take over the role of gunslinger from Javier Bardem – this is going to cause right old ruckus among the fans. This new twist seems in part related to Warner Bros’ decision on whether or not they’ll continue their involvement with the Dark Tower movies.

From the perspective of Warner Bros however, I can see that this makes a lot of sense. Crowe is a much higher profile actor than Javier Bardem, and there’s no doubt that he has the chops and versatility to pull off a role like this. Over at Deadline, Mike believes that in the next couple of weeks the studio will be making the decision to stay or walk. If they’re keen to have him on board then the talks between Crowe, Ron Howard and producers Brian Grazer and Akiva Goldsman, will be key. Continue reading

Warner Bros to back Dark Tower movie

After several months lost in the wilderness we finally have another studio showing interest in adapting Stephen King’s post-apocalyptic Western; The Dark Tower. Mike Flemming is reporting that Warner Bros are in talks – in fact very close to closing a deal – with director Ron Howard and partners, to fund their adaptation of this epic fantasy.

If you remember, Universal Pictures originally took up the option to back Howard on this hugely ambitious project with Akiva Goldsman writing the script for a full movie trilogy, plus a couple of TV series. But, last spring Universal put the whole thing on hold asking Goldsman to drastically cut the budget until two months later, in July 2011, Universal walked away after deciding they still couldn’t handle the cost of making such a project.

That Warner has taken an interest in this shouldn’t be such a surprise when we recall that just a few months back Brian Grazer was interviewed by MTV News stating that the TV segment of the project would be taken up by critically acclaimed studio HBO (Game of Thrones, Band of Brothers). As HBO is a Warner Bros sister studio, this indeed bodes well for Dark Tower fans. Continue reading

Dark Tower – Yep, we’re still waiting

The year has turned over and we’re but a handfull of days into the new one. I’ve been snoozing here in my cozy little crib dreaming other-worldly dreams and in general, taking things pretty darn easy. That is, until I got the latest round of emails and comments asking, nay, demanding some news! I only wish I could have something to report for you, but life is not being particularly cooperative at the moment.

Still, as I’m awake now, we might as well take stock of where we are with the Dark Tower movie saga.

The last we heard, Universal had pulled out of the running and the movies were left high and dry. Ron Howard is currently traveling around Europe, researching material for his new F1 project, Rush – a film about the rivalry between Niki Lauda and James Hunt in the ’70s. He’ll start shooting in February, with a release planned for the end of the year.

Brian Grazer told MTV News that the TV series would be done by HBO, “We’re going to do ['The Dark Tower'] with HBO,” Grazer told us. “We’ll do the TV with HBO, and we’ll do the movie with…to be determined. We’ll do it right” but quite frankly, I’m not taking this seriously. Once a studio is onboard that decision could very well be changed. Continue reading

Universal Quits The Dark Tower

In yet another spin on the adventure that is our filmic journey to the Dark Tower, Universal has decided to throw in the towel on the movie trilogy/TV series. Yeah okay, no real surprise here.

A number of reports have come in over the last couple of days telling that financial constraints are the reason and that Universal were only prepared to go ahead with a one movie project. It’s also been pointed out that Universal is currently backing a couple of $200+ million projects (Battleship and 47 Ronin) so they obviously feel that they’re stretching their pockets a bit too much with the Dark Tower.

According to rogue reporter Mike Fleming, neither Ron Howard nor Universal wishes to come out and explain the whys, but no doubt the reasons will come to light in the coming days.

So where does this leave the project?

Up a creek with no paddle, some would say. However, I like to think of myself as a glass-half-full type of guy so I’m going with the hope that the previous Warner Bros speculation will come to fruition, and considering (as Fleming points out in his post)  WB are financing Peter Jackson’s two-part Lord of the Rings prequel, The Hobbit, they certainly seem open to backing epic tales.

One thing is for certain, it’s time to hunker down – we’re in for a long wait.

Ron Howard may walk from Dark Tower Project

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?

Universal puts Dark Tower production on hold

Just as production on the Dark Tower finally gets underway, all our hopes could once again be dashed. There’s a rumor doing the rounds that Universal Studios is about to drop the whole project due to budget concerns!

Although Universal and Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment are denying the rumor, Mike Fleming (Deadline) believes there’s truth behind it as all the pre-production staff have been told to stop work. Talk between all parties is ongoing but only time will tell if they’ll work out how to proceed. With all tools downed it’s hard to believe the September start will go ahead as planned, regardless of what happens next.

As we know, the Dark Tower is a very ambitious project, perhaps even more so than the Lord of the Ring trilogy. Production is set to be three feature length films, sandwiching two TV miniseries. Ron Howard is to be at the helm and Javier Bardem has been chosen to play the lead role of Roland Deschain.

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New Dark Tower Book due for 2012 Release

A few months back Stephen King announced he was embarking on a new Dark Tower novel, but that he’d probably only start writing in summer 2010. Well, it looks like he’s been a busy guy as an announcement was made on his official website yesterday that he’d now finished writing the book!

In a letter to fans, King writes that the story takes place between the time when Roland Deschain and his ka-tet leave the Emerald City (Wizard and Glass) and when we pick them up again on the outskirts of Calla Bryn Sturgis, at the beginning of Wolves of the Calla. This new story won’t add anything major to the story arc we already know, but will provide us with more depth and knowledge of past and present Mid-World.

I, like any ardent DT fan, am eager to hear more about the Gunslinger’s journey, especially anything related to his past life and the world he lives in – of course, all this extra detail won’t hurt Ron Howard’s filmic journey to the Dark Tower.

King’s original working title was The Wind through the Keyhole, and this has been retained for the final release. Dark Tower 4.5 is  due in 2012.

UPDATE: you can now pre-order the new book from Amazon.com.

Universal sets date for Dark Tower movie release

Universal Pictures has announced a number of movie release dates and tucked away among films such as Larry Crowne and Safe House they have set the release date of the first movie from the Dark Tower trilogy.  They expect DT to be in theaters on Friday, May 17, 2013.

For a typical movie I would say that’s a fairly safe date but for such a production as The Dark Tower–encompassing a trilogy of movies and a couple of seasons of TV series–I’d say this was a little optimistic. Let’s hope I’m proven wrong!

This Universal list comes from Deadline.com, although there is no confirmation on the accuracy of that information.

The Dark Tower Adaptation is Confirmed

That’s right, Universal Pictures and NBC Universal Television Entertainment have finally closed the deal with Ron Howard to tell the story of Stephen King’s, The Dark Tower, putting to rest all previous rumors. The adaptation is going to be filmed in a completely unique way by utilizing both feature length movies and a network TV series.

We’ve had many comments on other posts, with some people in favor of a TV series and some for the films. It seems everyone would have preferred 7 (or more) high budget films to tell Roland’s tale, but what Ron Howard said on this decision has made me think that perhaps this Film/TV approach would actually work better;

“…it’s driven by the material. I love both, and like what’s going on in TV. With this story, if you dedicated to one medium or another, there’s the horrible risk of cheating material….if you committed only to films, you’d deny the audience the intimacy and nuance of some of these characters and a lot of cool twists and turns that make for jaw-dropping, compelling television.”

If Howard manages to give us jaw-dropping and compelling television, then I’m all for him trying this new approach to get to the screen what many people agree to be Stephen King’s greatest work. Continue reading

Ron Howard: latest contender for Dark Tower adaptation

It was certainly disappointing when Lindelof announced he and Abrams were dropping out of the Dark Tower movie scene last November, so it is welcome news (if the rumor is to be believed) that director Ron Howard is stepping up to the challenge of adapting Stephen King’s epic to the big screen.

This latest development in the DT saga is being reported by the Heat Vision Blog, who tells us that Howard is teaming up with Brian Grazer and Akiva Goldsman to produce an initial Big Screen movie that would then lead on to a TV series. We could hazard a guess that if the television run became a huge successthen they’d wrap the whole thing up with another movie release.

We’ve had a lot of comments here on the DT Movie Blog that a TV series is the only way to do justice to the story. For any studio to attempt [potentially] seven big screen movies would be a phenomenal challenge, both logistically and financially, so this is certainly an interesting approach and one that could in the long run turn out to be the best option for an adaptation.

We’ve already had one director drop away from this project, so before we get too excited let’s wait for a more official statement.

Dark Tower Movie Speculation

A lack of news regarding the DT movie production has given time for some thoughts to ferment in my mind, which I figured would be fun to share with you here.

First though, the story so far.

Stephen King announces the filming rights to the Dark Tower have been bought by J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof. They both seemed excited, though a little apprehensive, and were looking ready to go full-steam into production once they’d finished with LOST and perhaps after one other film from Abrams. All of a sudden, Lindelof announces they were calling the whole thing off.

Does this sudden change of heart strike you as rather strange? It does me. Well, here are my thoughts… Continue reading