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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”.

Aaron Paul wants to be in Dark Tower

A few days back Aimee, who’s always lurking in our comments section, posted a link to news that Emmy winner Aaron Paul dreams of taking on the role of Eddie Dean (reformed junkie turned gunslinger) in the adaptation of Stephen Kings, The Dark Tower.

Aaron, well known for his parts in Breaking Bad and HBO’s Big Love, responded “Trust me. HUGE dream of mine” to a fans tweet, “if theres a Dark Tower movie you gotta promise me you’ll play eddie dean.” If you reckon Aaron would be perfect for the part of Eddie then you’re not alone as even Damon Lindelof thinks he “…would be the best Eddie ever.”

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Dark Tower Movie is Not Dead

A few days back we heard a rumor that Ron Howard may walk from the Dark Tower project but in a recent interview, he says nothing of the sort.

The interview is mostly about Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s 25 year partnership as Imagine Entertainment, but about half-way in there’s a small conversation about the movies and where things stand. In short, production still looks to be going ahead (in March) and with Howard at the helm.

Ron Howard still retains his earlier enthusiasm for Stephen King’s DT universe and justifies his involvement saying, “if you’re not out there taking some risks, if you’re just coasting along with your wins, then you’re not really trying.”

But it’s these risks, and that Howard was trying a “bold attempt to fast track” the start date (due to weather concerns – whatever that means), that forced Universal to be cautious and want to tighten up on the budget. Howard wouldn’t provide any hard numbers on what cuts he was asked for but did say, “Without putting a number on it, the cuts aren’t that deep or that radical.”

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.