Movie News

Is Warner Bros and HBO about to pick up Ron Howard's adaptation of The Dark Tower?

Published at: March 12, 2012, 7:26 p.m. CST

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here, currently seated for a documentary about a serial killer at SXSW, but I saw this news come in and had to comment on it.

When Universal and Ron Howard parted ways on the Dark Tower adaptation I kind of breathed a sigh of relief to be honest. The concept of splitting storytelling duties between films and TV is a good idea, but I love this series so much and the thought of the man who wrote Batman and Robin adapting it terrifies me. And I think Javier Bardem is horribly miscast as Roland.

Howard and Co swore that leaving Universal wasn’t the end and now, according to Deadline, it seems that they weren’t kidding.

Warner Bros is apparently close to locking in a deal to handle the films, with HBO likely to take the TV portion of the story. That’s awesome, a much better home for the property, I think, but it’s still written by Goldsman and the first film will be directed by Ron Howard. It’s unknown if Bardem is going to still play the titular Gunslinger.

Howard has the passion, that much is evident, so call me cautiously optimistic. I really want to read Goldsman’s draft. Like badly. If that works on the page, then I’ll calm down.

How would you want it to break down? Me, I’d love to see the series handled like an R-rated Harry Potter on the big screen following Roland on the path of the beam with the TV section focused on all the adventures of Young Roland. I think that’d be pretty awesome.

I’m in the final 100 pages of Stephen King’s newest Dark Tower book, which takes place between books 4 and 5, and it’s pretty damn good. I’ll review that probably after SXSW.

So that’s the news. What do you think?

-Eric Vespe
”Quint”
quint@aintitcool.com
Follow Me On Twitter

Readers Talkback

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  • March 12, 2012, 7:28 p.m. CST

    Sounds great

    by Alex Cano

  • March 12, 2012, 7:29 p.m. CST

    There's a new Dark Tower book? What's it called?

    by Bobo_Vision

  • March 12, 2012, 7:30 p.m. CST

    Cool. HBO is the ideal home.

    by AlibyebyeEssmob

    I'm not against Bardem as Roland, either. A film and TV adaptation could help tighten up King's story, too. The final three novels are less than excellent. I enjoyed The Wolves of the Calla, but it could have been a third of the length.

  • March 12, 2012, 7:31 p.m. CST

    bobo_vision, it's called The Wind Through the Keyhole

    by AlibyebyeEssmob

  • March 12, 2012, 7:35 p.m. CST

    Newest book what???

    by bah

    Is this a comic trade, or actually a woefully undermarketed novel?

  • First of all, I have to believe that the never ending smattering of one liners and puns in Batman & Robin, this was a specific note from the studio, that, for reasons passing understanding, they wanted very much in there. Seriously, I just can't imagine he as a grown man would think of that and want to put it all in all on his own. That's not to say he's without blame, of course not. But they key thing is, we also have to remember he's got his name on some projects much higher in quality. Hell just even look at A TIME TO KILL, very close a timeframe as it was to B&R.

  • March 12, 2012, 7:37 p.m. CST

    Guy pearce for Roland. And Quint

    by Rob

    What are your ideas on who should play Roland? I know you mentioned it in an interview with Howard before.

  • March 12, 2012, 7:37 p.m. CST

    Mostly with you, Quint

    by Randy_of_AFTimes

    Howard has passion but worries me. Akiva Goldsman WORRIES me. HBO also them not to have to worry about content for viewers. But I'm OK with Javier Bardem. Between his roles, he's played a stony-faced killer as well as showing a charisma which extends to men and women. Maybe if we can pry him away from "Justified", we can have Timothy Olyphant recite the Gunslinger's Catechism in his Eastwood impression as in RANGO. And I still haven't forgiven you for reading the new DT book already. Ka like a wheel...

  • and as much as I do otherwise like Ron Howard as a filmmaker, for some reason I'm not thrilled with the idea of him being at the helm here. now having said that, I have to think it's muuuuuuuuuch better news that any TV element of this will be somewhere like HBO. Again, without me even having read any of the material, I still know already that network TV is something that should be nowhere fucking near this project.

  • March 12, 2012, 7:38 p.m. CST

    blah blah blah.... howzabout

    by Noddy93

    covering what Ron's doing now with 'Rush'. shit, you'd think Austin wasn't going to be hosting one of the greatest sporting events in the world this November.

  • March 12, 2012, 7:38 p.m. CST

    New Book question for Quint-

    by Kobolos

    Ever since seeing the Jae Lee art I've been struck, does Calvin & Hobbes make an appearance?

  • March 12, 2012, 7:41 p.m. CST

    The way it should've been done in the first

    by Robert Evans

  • March 12, 2012, 7:41 p.m. CST

    If I remember correctly from the old press release

    by majorax

    First movie is book 1. First TV season is book 2 (12 episodes). Second movie is Book 3. Second TV season is book 4 (24 episodes). It didn't say anything about the last three books. I guess they plan to skip the Wolves and make one or two giant movies for books 6&7.

  • March 12, 2012, 7:42 p.m. CST

    Place...

    by Robert Evans

    Big risks..big rewards. Universal doesn't have the ganas to pull this off then let stand aside and let the Big Boys do it

  • Different audiences. The crossover just isn't there. Besides that, with HBO having all this GAME OF THRONES momentum, you're right, they are the perfect home for this.

  • March 12, 2012, 7:49 p.m. CST

    *Produced by Doug Ellin

    by Pvt. Duke

    With Kevin Connolly as lil' Roland.

  • March 12, 2012, 7:50 p.m. CST

    Josh Holloway for Roland all the way

    by Denty420

    You know y'all can see him in the part. He's fucking perfect for it.

  • March 12, 2012, 7:50 p.m. CST

    Do it all on HBO like Game of Thrones

    by psychedelic

    The success of Game of Thrones shows that a long series of books can be adapted, uncensored, capture the spirit of the novels, and hold an audience's attention over a long period of time. Do it all on HBO and deep six splitting it into related movies.

  • March 12, 2012, 7:52 p.m. CST

    R-Rated Harry Potter is the ONLY way to go!

    by Chuck_Cobra

    Otherwise I'm not interested. The only major problem with that is JAKE and the time traveling. If they stick to the story the kid can't age over at least 3 movies! But I'm sure they could find a way around it. NOTHING about the creative team gives me an comfort or excitement though. They ALL fill me with dread. This property is too cool to screw up. You either do it properly or NOT AT ALL.

  • March 12, 2012, 7:54 p.m. CST

    No Bardem No Howard!

    by dead youngling

  • March 12, 2012, 8:02 p.m. CST

    themagicalhornofguntata

    by smackfu

    He's practically a kid. Roland is an older guy, weathered, grizzled, and an even mix of butt ugly and rugged handsome. IMO get a seasoned under-the-radar character actor who actually fits the physical description, like Robert Knoepper or Stephen McHattie. McHattie would be absolutely perfect.

  • March 12, 2012, 8:07 p.m. CST

    smackfu

    by Denty420

    Josh Holloway is forty-three this year. Hardly a kid, and I reckon he could do weathered, grizzled, butt-ugly and handsome-at-the-same-time, as well as stoic, enigmatic and laconic.

  • March 12, 2012, 8:10 p.m. CST

    Bardem works, but not Howard

    by psychedelic

    Bardem is an off-center choice but I see it working. He has the range to pull off all of Roland's dimensions both as an archetypical character and as a man with relatable human desires. Howard just doesn't have the gritty brooding quality of Roland's world. His movies have by and large been about people working optimistically as a team. Everyone in Roland's Ka-Tet knows they're fucked in the end. Perhaps Nicolas Winding Refn or Tom Tykwer would work. A foreigner would seem right. Polanski in his prime would have been a great choice.

  • March 12, 2012, 8:11 p.m. CST

    Tim Olyphant as Roland!!

    by hank_chinaski

  • March 12, 2012, 8:11 p.m. CST

    In your heart...

    by hank_chinaski

    You know its right...

  • March 12, 2012, 8:13 p.m. CST

    Viggo Mortenson as Roland

    by big_log

    Who I always pictured anyway.

  • March 12, 2012, 8:14 p.m. CST

    The problem with the Film/TV adaptation...

    by hank_chinaski

    I'm also a fan of just leaving HBO to do the entire series. With today's economy and ever decreasing numbers in total at the Box office, if the first movie flops, it guarentees that the story will never be finished. And for as much as I love this property I have a hard time seeing it as a HUGE box office powerhouse.

  • Akiva had his day. Bring in someone new to write it. The Dark Tower can translate but under the right conditions.

  • Wait, what!? What new Dark Tower book??

  • March 12, 2012, 8:17 p.m. CST

    Kurtzman and Orci

    by kwisatzhaderach

    have made Akiva Goldsman look like a genius.

  • March 12, 2012, 8:17 p.m. CST

    Possible American Directors

    by psychedelic

    Richard Kelly could work if he disciplined himself. It'd be cool to see Stuart Gordon have an actual budget for a change.

  • March 12, 2012, 8:30 p.m. CST

    New book - The Wind Through The Keyhole

    by willisdown

    Comes out next month and takes place after wizard & glass and before wolves of the calla. An artists and limited edition are out now and I have mine here, but I can't bring myself to open it. Forget about turning the pages with my grubby hands. It's pure torture. I stare at it on my bookshelf multiple times a day. Can't wait to read it. So sad the terrifying thought of a horrible adaptation has been resurrected. Shudder.

  • March 12, 2012, 8:34 p.m. CST

    WHY did JJ Abrams leave this project?

    by Chuck_Cobra

    WHY!?!

  • March 12, 2012, 8:35 p.m. CST

    Batman and Robin was 1998 Quint.

    by seasider

    You're gonna hold that over Goldsman 14 years later? The guy has done a dozen screenplays since 1998 then one of which won him an Oscar. You realize George Clooney was in that move too right? I guess I should be wary of any movie he's in now.

  • March 12, 2012, 8:36 p.m. CST

    Imagine a Fincher directed Dark Tower. Fuck.

    by Mattman

    Fincher plus Stephen King fantasy = Cum-stained theater seats

  • March 12, 2012, 8:38 p.m. CST

    Dump Bardem and just make it an HBO series...

    by biltbuckley

    ...even worse than Cruise as Lestat or 12 issues of Watchman jammed into a 2 1/2 hour movie.

  • March 12, 2012, 8:41 p.m. CST

    green gargantua

    by Logan_1973

    Yes, they likely will adapt GOT to a movie in a few years, but the difference is they were planning on splitting DARK TOWER in half (or quarters?), which forced TV folk to go to the theatre. This isn't like Firefly/Serenity or 24 where the TV series was established and then went to film for a finale.

  • March 12, 2012, 8:43 p.m. CST

    Wait... What?... New book??... Does it stink???

    by Billyeveryteen

    I mean does it stink like the last three books? Or is it Wiz&Glass awesome?

  • March 12, 2012, 8:55 p.m. CST

    New book's not out til next month, right?

    by Nice Marmot

    Somehow HBO gives me confidence, but I sure as hell don't want that part to be ONLY about young Roland. I wants it all . . .

  • March 12, 2012, 9 p.m. CST

    Wow. Can you believe it?

    by Nice Marmot

    Ever thought you'd see Game of Thrones, Dark Tower AND American Gods all adapted into HBO series?

  • March 12, 2012, 9:01 p.m. CST

    I don't know. Is they?

    by MattDomville

    (sigh)

  • If done right it needs to be R rated, and the whole 7 book story need I would think no less than 18 hours or so to tell.

  • March 12, 2012, 9:16 p.m. CST

    Even if it was called "A bag of money and blow Jobs"..

    by Dr_PepperSpray

    As long as it's got Akiva Goldsman's name on it, I'll stay far away.

  • I would like to read them but thats a lot of time i dont/cant waste.

  • March 12, 2012, 9:25 p.m. CST

    HBO is a WAY better home for this!

    by ravenink

    Forget the big screen stuff, just do it all on HBO so you can pace it right! Otherwise we'll have a bloated "Gunslinger" and an abridged "Wastelands", with the last 3 books all crammed into one movie (if I recall the original plan was movie for first book, TV season for second, Movie for third, TV season for fourth and movie for 5, 6 and 7... seems like a bad plan) - at least they don't have to tone down the content on HBO

  • March 12, 2012, 9:26 p.m. CST

    Hey, check out this Gene Wilder Willy Wonka remix

    by Bobo_Vision

    Sorry for going off topic but this is geekalicious. So where else to serve it up? <p> http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/82369470/

  • March 12, 2012, 9:30 p.m. CST

    It could be done in 5 seasons . . .

    by Nice Marmot

    Chop up EVERY bit involving Roland's youth and sprinkle them in as flashbacks. . . The bloated books 6 & 7 could be whittled down and, for all I care, you could leave out book 5 entirely . . .

  • March 12, 2012, 9:31 p.m. CST

    lowdevil

    by Nice Marmot

    Read books 2 and 3 and then you tell US . . .

  • March 12, 2012, 9:35 p.m. CST

    Just hurry up and get BOARDWALK EMPIRE season 3 ready HBO

    by GravyAkira

    and I will be a happy man. Still need to find time to watch Game of Thrones though.

  • March 12, 2012, 9:35 p.m. CST

    creepythinmans-revenge

    by Logan_1973

    8 books turned into one miniseries a piece... Figure at least 15 episodes x 8 = 120 episodes 120 episodes at at least $20 million a piece (to do it right) 120 x $20 =$240,000,000 Your summation is in the ballpark. The fucking advertising better make its worth, eh?

  • I like a lot of Kings work but after the first few books, the dark tower series just started circling the drain of kings mind, every idea that was about to get flushed because it wasnt good enough for a short story or full novel was crammed in there. Not to mention with Howard at the helm and Akiva writing I have little hope for this project. Though HBO is an excellent choice because we know the major networks would not have allowed the stories on the small screen to be anything like the ones in the books.

  • We need someone with a face that looks like a strip of beef jerky. Roland *might* have been handsome as a boy (the Wizard & Glass section of the story will almost certainly be sold as the Twilight/Titanic chapter to get chicks interested), but he's totally used up by the time Eddie, Susannah and Jake meet him.

  • March 12, 2012, 10:04 p.m. CST

    Those last three books are awful

    by Shakeshift

    Making one of the greatest and most awesome characters from SALEM'S LOT, Father Callahan, and forcibly making him into a gay Catholic priest was some of the sloppiest storytelling ever. Callahan was a devoted member of the church whose faith in God failed him at the apex of his war with Barlow and Straker and he was cast down and defiled. THAT was an awesome (if sad) finale' for him. Bringing him back twenty-five years later as a cock-loving priest of the Catholic church was sloppy writing and lazy-handed shit-tacular story-building by King. The man is the butt of a bad joke these days.

  • March 12, 2012, 10:06 p.m. CST

    Just hack out Wizard & Glass, and you're on the right track

    by gruntybear

    Wizard & Glass is probably the weakest and most over-praised volume of the entire series. And it's laughably awful. Hundreds of pages of telegraphing the ending to a boring cattle rustling story, and then *plotz* it's done. Plus, I honestly can't think of any way to plausibly put Stephen King into his own epic. It didn't work well on the page; there's no way in hell it will work on the screen.

  • March 12, 2012, 10:26 p.m. CST

    These needs to stay off the big screen

    by chronicallydepressedlemming

    And stick with the small one. It needs length and width to breath. It doesn't matter if they only do the first book as movie, it'll still hurt it. They'll chop it up somehow to fit producers/test audience ill-perceived needs. I'd prefer to see this as an anime series ideally. It's the only medium that doesn't mind that combination of violence and drawn-out plot.

  • March 12, 2012, 10:27 p.m. CST

    Jim Caviezel as Roland

    by 3D-Man

  • March 12, 2012, 10:31 p.m. CST

    I love the Dark Tower series, even though *SPOILERS

    by 3D-Man

    Harry Potter, Star Wars and Doctor Doom (yes, THAT Dr. Doom) are all woven, at least tangentially, into the story. And when Stephen King himself became a part of the story, it was almost a deal breaker, but I'm glad I stuck with it. Can't wait to read the new one.

  • March 12, 2012, 10:38 p.m. CST

    robo-canine dr. doom w/ a lightsabers

    by Jubba

    how will that work on tv or in a movie? there's no way they get the rights to show all the things used in these stories. and if stephen king is a character in this adaptation i dunno how that would work...play himself? a younger version? it was hard enough to read, let alone picture on the screen. the series as a whole, love it. the weirdness...too weird for mainstream. are they going to get the guy from the stand miniseries to play the walking dude, again? digitally young-ify him! i'm most excited about seeing Oy and the lobstrosities brought to life.

  • March 12, 2012, 10:39 p.m. CST

    3d man we were typing the same things at the same time!

    by Jubba

    weird!

  • March 12, 2012, 10:48 p.m. CST

    Solution: remove the meta

    by Rob

    Can still time travel, just excuse king from the story.

  • March 12, 2012, 10:51 p.m. CST

    roland

    by Dandelo_Bateman

    Clint Eastwood is Roland, no matter how old he is. The only possible substitute is Bryan Cranston.

  • Still very well written but that's a given, Martin is a talented writer. Problem is that the story itself has spun its wheels so long and so much its a foot deep and stuck in literary mud.

  • March 12, 2012, 11:18 p.m. CST

    this book series proved one of two things...

    by j_difool

    ...either King has not kicked his coke habit and it has completely degenerated his ability to write, or ...he has kicked his coke habit and has lost his muse. quite a few voices here in sync with my own. the later Dark Tower books are shit. 1, 2, 3, 5 worth a read if you've nothing better to do.

  • March 12, 2012, 11:21 p.m. CST

    Cast Hugh Laurie as Roland

    by filmtopia

  • March 12, 2012, 11:33 p.m. CST

    the hbo stuff should be good

    by crazybubba

    But Ron Howard is obviously the wrong director for these movies.

  • March 12, 2012, 11:52 p.m. CST

    Fuck HBO! Blatant subscriber grab!

    by Zardoz

    So if I pay for the movie in the theater I have to subscribe to HBO to watch the rest of it? Fuck that! HBO is the worst offender in the "Our antiquated business delivery model is outdated but we will continue to bury our heads in the sand" category. I will never pay $100/month (including basic cable bills for ESPN, basic cable) just to watch HBO. Now if they went ala carte and put their service on the internet to subscribe to, like say, their worst enemy, Netflix, well, I might consider subscribing to that. (Or if they made their shows available as season passes on itunes, like AMC, etc.) HBO has great shows and I pay for them, either by renting them or buying them. But I don't need pan&scan, year-old movies or the extra cost of cable TV. Welcome to the future, HBO!

  • March 13, 2012, 12:22 a.m. CST

    So who's directing the HBO portion

    by DougMcKenzie

    The old standbies Tony To and Graham Yost?

  • March 13, 2012, 12:24 a.m. CST

    Also like mentioned. Bardem all wrong

    by DougMcKenzie

    Guy Pearce, Aaron Eckhart, or Thomas Jane... all right.

  • March 13, 2012, 12:24 a.m. CST

    Jubba, it's Ka. Has to be.

    by 3D-Man

  • March 13, 2012, 12:28 a.m. CST

    Yeah, I don't get the Bardem casting at all

    by Mattman

    Great actor, but all wrong for Roland.

  • March 13, 2012, 12:29 a.m. CST

    dougmckenzie... Guy Pearce would be a great choice, actually

    by Mattman

    He just looks like he belongs in a western. Lanky and tall, can pull off the weathered look. Not to mention he's a fantastic, underused actor.

  • March 13, 2012, 12:40 a.m. CST

    So how about the timing for the non HBO folk?

    by Domi'sInnerChild

    Do they rush the Blu-Ray set out like three months before the 2nd movie? I know there's a million ways to get media to the public, but it just seems like the timing will be a little tight if you don't want to lose a big chunk of your audience that misses 12 hours of story. I remember enjoying the first book, but it wasn't something that would make me subscribe to HBO to watch the sequel.

  • March 13, 2012, 1:33 a.m. CST

    fuckinamateurman, brilliant idea (spoilers)

    by Mattman

    They wouldn't have to be totally faithful to the books, which is good because the last three need some serious changes in order to make the transition to live action (particularly the removal of Stephen King).

  • March 13, 2012, 1:38 a.m. CST

    King

    by Iahael

    The first novel I read as a kid was Salem's Lot, and I have read a lot of SK over the years, but, as the years went by, I appreciated less and less of his work. I think The Talisman was the last one that really interested me. But, I must admit, something about the Dark Tower series just left me cold. It seemed like his world building was never really there, that there was no bottom to it, just a lot of metaphors, symbolism, and iconography, not a consistent, living universe like what Herbert or Tolkien created. I could be wrong, but I truly believe that SK excelled at the small human touches in stories like Salem's Lot, Carrie, and the Shining, but not in some grand epic. T.'.

  • March 13, 2012, 1:43 a.m. CST

    fuckinamateurman, yeah

    by Mattman

    I personally love the ending... I was smiling when I first read it... but there would be a lot of shattered TVs if they kept it exactly as it is. Maybe the movies/shows can be the last iteration of Roland's journey?

  • March 13, 2012, 1:54 a.m. CST

    When you really think about it, what is hilarious is that

    by gotilk

    the film portions will be pg-13 in all probability, without ANY restrictions on HBO. Ahh.. progress.

  • March 13, 2012, 3:19 a.m. CST

    I guess John Carter has been forgotten about then?

    by Fortunesfool

  • March 13, 2012, 3:34 a.m. CST

    Totalreality - think you need to look up the word "derivative"...

    by irishraidersfan

    A lot of King's work (in general) can be accused of this, but the DT novels? Riiiight... If you mean the inclusion of other concepts (Dr Doom, snitches etc.), I took that to be the notion of the Tower tying all worlds together, real and literary. Did the prose suffer in the last three books? Absolutely, as he admittedly rushed to finish it having nearly been killed. However, I genuinely don't believe the story suffered.

  • March 13, 2012, 5:04 a.m. CST

    re: irishraidersfan

    by maelstrom_ZERO

    Gotta disagree with you on the whole "I genuinely don't believe the story suffered" statement. There are just so many issues with the last 3 books--story related as well--that it's pretty much impossible to read it without raging. The resolution of every single villain in DT7 is probably one of the major story issues that just did not make sense in way, shape or form. I will say that the very very end of DT7 (mostly the epilogue with the preceding few paragraphs) was very satisfying. But everything prior to that (but after Wizard and Glass) was just a mess.

  • March 13, 2012, 5:55 a.m. CST

    Did someone actually suggest T-Bag from Prison Break as Roland?!?!

    by Executor

    That's why movie studios don't give a flying fuck what you fanboys think.

  • March 13, 2012, 6:37 a.m. CST

    The last three books did in fact suck

    by Rob Jenson

    So did Wizards and Glass. The last good book in the series was Waste Land, and it was pretty goddamned awesome. Basically, he was on a roll there for a while and wrote the first 3 in one rush, then lost steam and had to force himself on, and it shows. He had to REALLY force himself after the accident, and that shows too. That said, I will eagerly await the new volume. If he was actually inspired to write this one and not doing it because he felt forced, maybe it will be good. Fingers crossed.

  • March 13, 2012, 6:40 a.m. CST

    Also, yeah, Javier Bardem is no Roland.

    by Rob Jenson

    He's great and all, but . . . no. I can't think of any name actors that would be a good Roland. Some say Guy Pierce, but he leaves me cold. Also, he's not intimidating. I think they need to find Roland from the unknowns -- it worked with Al in Deadwood. I mean, it REALLY worked.

  • March 13, 2012, 7:06 a.m. CST

    Always, always saw Lance Henriksen as Roland

    by 2for2true

    The voice, the weathered face, the strength...yeah, Clint Eastwood would have been great two years ago, but let's face it: he's simply too old. And if they drag this out any longer, Lance will be as well.

  • March 13, 2012, 7:36 a.m. CST

    Batman and Robin Vs George Clooney.

    by Dr_PepperSpray

    To be fair to George Clooney, he didn't actually read the script. What was Akiva's excuse? Also Clooney has apologized a thousand times over for it.

  • March 13, 2012, 7:37 a.m. CST

    Fuck the films.

    by cutest_of_borg

    HBO all the way. OH, and...JACKMAN IS ROLAND!!!

  • March 13, 2012, 8 a.m. CST

    HBO - yes. Javier as Roland - nope.

    by performingmonkey

    I'm extremely wary about this but WB and HBO sounds much better than the previous option. The first 3 books and Roland's past will work very well onscreen. I couldn't even care if they never finished the series because King seriously dropped the ball on his last 3.

  • When China finally catchs on the guy will be huge, one of the most creative and interesting writers I've encountered in years.

  • it's a mistake to make him make movies in any other type of genre whatsoever.

  • March 13, 2012, 8:09 a.m. CST

    So this is going to WB, eh?

    by djkris

    So, why not let their current favourite prodigal "son" produce and direct? "We are sorry Mr. Howard, but we're giving this to Mr. Nolan"...

  • March 13, 2012, 8:10 a.m. CST

    Logan, creepythinman

    by Battybrain

    Hate to burst your bubble, but there's two things wrong with your mutual theory: First, 120 x 20 million is 2.4 billion, capital B. Not 240 million. That's a lot of capital to invest. Second, Game of Thrones averages out to about $5 million per episode, give or take depending on up front design costs. That's a quarter of the price of your estimated budget. I've only read one of the Dark Tower books, but I really can't imagine any content that would drive the budget to 4x the cost of GoT. Not to mention, it'd never get greenlit at that price.

  • March 13, 2012, 8:35 a.m. CST

    There's one phrase from the Dark Tower books that always bothered me

    by Bobo_Vision

    And that is "Thankee, Sai". It sounds so ridiculous. There would be these really cool, solemn moments in the book, and then someone would say that phrase like a muppet and the coolness would be shattered, and they sounded like a group of nerds playing D and D.

  • March 13, 2012, 8:43 a.m. CST

    Ka is a wheel.

    by warp11

    For all the haters of the last three books, keep that in mind. King was channeling something deeper with these novels.

  • March 13, 2012, 8:48 a.m. CST

    The ending of the whole saga (SPOILERS)

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    Question for Dark Tower fans who hated the whole "Roland makes it to the top of the Tower, only to have to repeat his entire quest" ending...how would YOU end the saga to make it more satisfying from a filmic standpoint? Personally, I dug it (I re-read the entire series over the last two months, and it works better the second time around), but do you really think there'd be "riots" from audiences if they did that ending? The Matrix and Pirates Of The Caribbean trilogies ended on FAR less satisfying notes, and yet audiences didn't seem to care (well, at least with POTC 3).

  • March 13, 2012, 8:53 a.m. CST

    nasty in the pasty (SPOILER)

    by Rob Jenson

    Reading the books over the years I thought of many cool and satisfying ways the series might end. Basically, ANY end would have been more satisfying than what we got. King said it himself just before revealing the end -- it was a cop-out. He couldn't think of an ending, so . . .

  • March 13, 2012, 8:56 a.m. CST

    asimovlives

    by Rob Jenson

    I don't think Ron Howard is right for this either, and I hope to God we have a different writer/actor/filmmaker combo when the cameras finally roll, if they ever do, but I will say that Ron is capable of more than light fair -- Apollo 13 and A Beautiful Mind were really pretty good. Not Dark Tower good, mind, but good.

  • March 13, 2012, 9:01 a.m. CST

    Wind Through the Keyhole

    by Blu Gilliand

    Here's a synopsis of the new Dark Tower book: In The Wind Through the Keyhole, Stephen King returns to the rich landscape of Mid-World, the spectacular territory of the Dark Tower fantasy saga that stands as his most beguiling achievement. Roland Deschain and his ka-tet—Jake, Susannah, Eddie, and Oy, the billy-bumbler—encounter a ferocious storm just after crossing the River Whye on their way to the Outer Baronies. As they shelter from the howling gale, Roland tells his friends not just one strange story but two . . . and in so doing, casts new light on his own troubled past. In his early days as a gunslinger, in the guilt-ridden year following his mother’s death, Roland is sent by his father to investigate evidence of a murderous shape-shifter, a “skin-man” preying upon the population around Debaria. Roland takes charge of Bill Streeter, the brave but terrified boy who is the sole surviving witness to the beast’s most recent slaughter. Only a teenager himself, Roland calms the boy and prepares him for the following day’s trials by reciting a story from the Magic Tales of the Eld that his mother often read to him at bedtime. “A person’s never too old for stories,” Roland says to Bill. “Man and boy, girl and woman, never too old. We live for them.” And indeed, the tale that Roland unfolds, the legend of Tim Stoutheart, is a timeless treasure for all ages, a story that lives for us.

  • March 13, 2012, 9:06 a.m. CST

    the_hawaiian_stallion

    by Rob Jenson

    That would be amazing. China is a frustrating writer because he is so ridiculously pretentious and political (why does the third book need to be a socialist allegory?), but his world is wonderful and I would love to see it visualized. As a New Weird writer myself, that would be very cool, and it could open doorways for people like me. If China and Vandermeer could turn their energies toward entertainment and not experimental stuff, they could light the whole fantasy genre on fire.

  • That pretty much seems to be their modus operandi when taking on a big project, killing a bunch of other shows to make budget. Just ask Deadwood. And Rome. And Carnivale. And (etc.)...

  • yep

  • March 13, 2012, 9:08 a.m. CST

    Bardem..that is.

    by FleshMachine

    yep

  • March 13, 2012, 9:23 a.m. CST

    Just stop reading at book 5

    by Col. Tigh-Fighter

    I've never know a work of popular fiction get so bad as it went on. Only the Matrix sequels can get close to the level of crappness that the last books became. It started so well, then.......... They got so bad I have lost interest in the stories :(

  • March 13, 2012, 9:36 a.m. CST

    Kurt Russell, Viggo Mortensen, Daniel Craig, not Javier Bardem

    by JackSlater4

  • March 13, 2012, 9:37 a.m. CST

    If Viggo isn't Roland he should play Randall Flag in The Stand

    by JackSlater4

  • March 13, 2012, 9:37 a.m. CST

    James Franco IS Eddie Dean

    by JackSlater4

  • March 13, 2012, 9:44 a.m. CST

    I'm with you on Bardem. It shouldn't be him.

    by Jake Jarvi

  • March 13, 2012, 9:52 a.m. CST

    ANSON MOUNT is ROLAND!!

    by 3Demonic

    right?? right???

  • March 13, 2012, 10:02 a.m. CST

    There's only one man alive who can direct this...

    by BookhouseBoy

    Just one man who has the talent, technical know-how, the passion, the deep understanding of what makes these characters tick. Just one man who has proven time and time again that he is the only living director who truly "gets" Stephen King. I'm talkiing of course about the one....the only....*DrumRoll*......................................................................................MIKE GARRIS!!!!!!!!!

  • March 13, 2012, 10:12 a.m. CST

    No on Bardem/Howard

    by VoiceOfSaruman

    seems to be the consensus here, no? Not that anyone Warner/HBO is listening...though they should. Howard is a terrible choice for this material. It's like a bad dream. I don't dislike his films from what I've seen, but this material is not in his realm. It would be nice to see a young and brilliant and original voice for a director for this, closer to a young David Lynch (or even Peter Jackson) than Ron Howard. Bardem could work and defy expectations but it's not there for me as of yet. Viggo, Daniel Craig... those guys mentioned in this thread are better fits, though those particular two may already be too tied to other big franchises in the minds of the public.

  • March 13, 2012, 10:25 a.m. CST

    PLEASE ... change the ending ...

    by Judge Briggs

    Worst fucking ending to a series in a long time... and I am looking at BSG and Lost too. Such an awful ending ... and I know that after sitting through a television series and movies, the general audience would be SO FUCKING pissed if they keep King's original ending that was absolutely dreadful. ALSO! Can we FINALLY get an adaption of 'Swan Song?' That book is fucking brilliant! Why hasn't it been adapted?!

  • March 13, 2012, 10:52 a.m. CST

    Keep Howard's Horn of Eld idea, do the first 4 books,

    by skycrapper

    then completely divert into a different direction. Hell since it's being told in a different medium, use it. Have Roland come to New York and see Dark Tower movie poster at the bus station and Dark Tower books in the Barnes and Noble windows. Just change that ending please.

  • March 13, 2012, 11:04 a.m. CST

    JOSH HOLLOWAY for Roland

    by pumaman

    I hope ANYONE involved in the making of the film reads this. The man was born for this part.

  • March 13, 2012, 11:18 a.m. CST

    Inspired Roland casting

    by Wdrow

    All, HUGE, HUGE fan of the Dark Tower series and getting Roland right is a MUST! A young Clint Eastwood would be perfect for the role (Although Clint as Roland’s father. Hmmm…) I think the next logical choice would be Russell Crowe, but don’t think he would want to be in a series of films. Guy Pearse? Ever since Momento, he has been regulated to the “that guys looks familiar” role. I would go for more inspired casting and get Stephen Moyer (True Blood) as Roland. He already has sci-fi cred as Bill and make sense with the possible HBO connection. My 2 cents….

  • March 13, 2012, 11:26 a.m. CST

    Only one person can play Roland - Guy Pearce

    by MrEkoLetMeLive

    Yes, Roland is a hard as nails badass. This is true. But something everyone seems to forget when they talk about casting the Last Gunslinger is that he's also descended from royalty. Had the Good Man not come around, Roland would have been King of Gilead. Guy Pearce has the regal qualities the character needs, and anyone who's seen the awesome western "The Proposition" knows what a badass cowboy he can be. But what really has me worried about this is not the casting of Roland, or even that Mr. Wholesome himself, Opie Cunningham is directing. What worries me is that the hackiest hack to ever hack is writing the adaptation. Goldsman has long proved that when it comes to Nobel Prize winning loonies, he may have some chops, but when it comes to adapting any kind of genre material he FUCKING SUCKS! There are PLENTY of other writers out there who could knock this out of the park. Why go with the predictable name-recognition cache of one of the worst writers in Hollywood? Perhaps someone better will be brought in, ka willing.

  • March 13, 2012, 11:27 a.m. CST

    This could be a breakout role for James Purefoy

    by JackSlater4

  • March 13, 2012, 11:27 a.m. CST

    And Clint Eastwood has a son who is his spitting image, but too yount

    by JackSlater4

  • March 13, 2012, 11:39 a.m. CST

    Wait, what? Stephen King wrote a book with a crap ending. No way :/

    by Fortunesfool

  • March 13, 2012, 12:13 p.m. CST

    This should have been made years ago.....

    by Diana Prince

    ...... and Clint Eastwood should have been Roland. Timothy Olyphant would make a much better current Roland than Bardem.

  • March 13, 2012, 12:26 p.m. CST

    DO NOT WANT - but if it has to happen

    by Amy

    The only well-known actor out there that fits Roland perfectly is Michael Fassbender. Him or an unknown - I absolutely will not accept Bardem as Roland.

  • March 13, 2012, 12:38 p.m. CST

    @Bob 1000

    by some dude

    How much more entertaining can you get than the Scar? That was chock full of incredible landscapes, creatures and characters. Not to mention it has one of the most bad ass characters in recent history, uther doul who takes on an army by himself in one of the coolest fightscenes I've ever encountered

  • March 13, 2012, 12:50 p.m. CST

    the_hawaiian_stallion

    by Rob Jenson

    The Scar was, admittedly, awesome. The first half was a bit slow, and the main character . . . not as compelling as could possibly be desired . . . but the second half was incredible. Epic and gorgeous and strange in the best way. The best New Weird I've read yet (aside from my own, of course). Mielville is a terrific writer (if not always a terrific storyteller), and he has created an amazing world that truly deserves to be visualized. I would kill for an HBO series set there. Or one set in Jeff Vandermeer's Ambergris, for that matter. I'm afraid that the budget requirements would be too high for HBO, though, even higher than Game of Thrones. But I would love to be wrong. Bring it on, Hollywood!

  • March 13, 2012, 12:58 p.m. CST

    if it becomes and HBO series...

    by bryrb1277

    Please schedule it the same day as game of thrones!

  • March 13, 2012, 1:52 p.m. CST

    Roland

    by HongKongCavalier

    Jeffrey Dean Morgan could pull off Roland; but the money men are gonna want a "sure fire" draw insert ... Brad Pitt mark my words

  • March 13, 2012, 2:08 p.m. CST

    Just do a (60 episode) series. Forget about the damn movie.

    by dahveed1972

  • Great news though. Ive been clamoring for an HBO series for the last few years. The budget will be interesting. Maybe that's why they feel they need to do a theatrical movie, so they can justify what could be a record budget for a tv show.

  • March 13, 2012, 2:15 p.m. CST

    Yeah, I second the ignoring the later books part. (SPOILER)

    by Rob Jenson

    Wizards and Glass is a flashback that serves no real purpose. Wolves of the Calla is a remake of Seven Samurai that serves no real purpose except at the end. Song and Dark Tower are muddled mashes that spend more time in New York dealing with a nerd who won't sign a contract than actual cool things related to the quest, and when they finally get to the Tower, it's the worst showdown in the histroy of epic hero/villain showdowns. And then . . . rinse and repeat. Sigh.

  • And despite what will be a huge cast, it shouldnt be an ensemble show. We should experience most of the action from Roland's perspective.

  • Seriously! Check them out, they are also the basis for the best RPG series out there, yes better than Skyrim and all them, The Witcher series, where decisions are actually meaningful, interesting and important to the actual story of the game. But the books themselves are a much more focused story than the sprawling epic that is GoT, but holy shit are they incredibly, some of the best fantasy I've read in YEARS!

  • March 13, 2012, 2:43 p.m. CST

    MICK GARRIS GOTTA EAT

    by Darth Busey

  • March 13, 2012, 2:59 p.m. CST

    Reading books is ALWAYS good

    by shran

    Even a bad book.

  • March 13, 2012, 3:03 p.m. CST

    But screw the Dark Tower..I want the Talisman

    by shran

    When King appears in the Dark Tower it came off as very self serving. How awesome! Stephen King is God of his own story. What a bunch of wankery. I'll read the new Dark Tower book because I invested all that time reading the series. But for my money if you get Frank Darabont to do The Talisman I would be very interested in that. God pounds His nails! (As long as God isn't Stephen King.)

  • March 13, 2012, 3:05 p.m. CST

    And if you do The Talisman for King's sake....

    by shran

    ...don't do The Black House. That sucked.

  • March 13, 2012, 3:16 p.m. CST

    WB and HBO are HUGE improvements over NBC/Universal

    by Erik Radvon

    WB and HBO seem like the right studios for this property. I'm not 100% sold on Akiva writing it, but Ron Howard can turn in some surprises. The Missing kinda of tapped into some Dark Tower themes here and there, although not his best movie by any means. WB's masterful work producing the Harry Potter movies, and their overall strong track record over the past 10 years makes me feel good about this. I hope it happens. Bardem is a fantastic actor but I'm not sure he is right for Roland. Viggo sure as hell could do it, but does he really need to engage in another multi-film epic? He may be over that scene. If at the end of the day it ends up being Bardem, we could have ended up with a whole lot worse. He's a terrific actor. Maybe his Bond villain performance will win over more support for him.

  • March 13, 2012, 3:38 p.m. CST

    skycrapper deuce

    by flax

    =Keep Howard's Horn of Eld idea, do the first 4 books, then completely divert into a different direction. Hell since it's being told in a different medium, use it. Have Roland come to New York and see Dark Tower movie poster at the bus station and Dark Tower books in the Barnes and Noble windows. Just change that ending please.= Interesting idea. They could include a scene where Roland picks up the seventh book, looks at the ending, and essentially says "Fuck off, I'm not doing that." This would make it possible to acknowledge and incorparate the original ending into the story while simultaneously discarding it. Perhaps, in this iteration, Jake Chambers will shove Ron Howard out of the path of an oncoming van.

  • March 13, 2012, 3:41 p.m. CST

    Dark Tower= my least favorite S. King works.

    by Orbots Commander

    The first couple of books in the series were great, but the later ones devolved into a long, boring, mess. The effort is admirable, but the execution and pay off, much less so, and the final novel is forever marred by King injecting himself as a character into the narrative. Worst. Storytelling. Device. Ever.

  • March 13, 2012, 3:57 p.m. CST

    bob1000

    by flax

    =Reading the books over the years I thought of many cool and satisfying ways the series might end.= Well, like what? A few possibilities spring to my mind: Roland dies before reaching the Tower Roland reaches the Tower and talks to God Roland reaches the Tower and *becomes* God ...but I don't think any of these are particularly satisfying. The story is written in such a way that it's hard to imagine any ending that isn't devastating and/or confusingly metaphysical. I have read many complaints about King's (admittedly bad) ending, but no one seems to have any better ideas.

  • March 13, 2012, 4:24 p.m. CST

    bob1000

    by AsimovLives

    i have nothing but hatred, despise and disgust for A CRAP MIND. Fuck how i hate that fucking movie! Fuck that fucking shit!! And to think that Ronny Howard won best director oscar over the likes of David Lynch, Ridley Scott, Robert Altman and Peter Jackson (for FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING) just makes me sick to the stomach and fillms me with ideas of jihads.

  • March 13, 2012, 4:28 p.m. CST

    flax

    by shran

    Personally, I think that your "Interesting Idea" is the best possible ending you could hope for. it simultaneously acknowledges what King wrote and dismisses it entirely for something potentially better.

  • March 13, 2012, 4:29 p.m. CST

    Daniel Day Lewis as Roland...

    by QuietMan297

    ...he would OWN the role.

  • March 13, 2012, 4:37 p.m. CST

    Flax

    by some dude

    Its not really the readers job to come up with the ending unless its one of those choose your own adventure books. This doesnt negate the fact that King finished the series off in a very confusing, convoluted and all around disjointed finale, really not even a finale. Also yes I know that the story leads up to those events... but that doesnt mean its any better, it just means the story didnt lead anywhere that interesting or well crafted.

  • March 13, 2012, 4:58 p.m. CST

    asimovlives

    by Rob Jenson

    Well, at least we agree on Sky Captain. And I'm not saying he deserved best director for BM, I'm just saying he CAN do more than light family movies. Personally, I wish the first half of BM had kept going in that same vein to create a wonderful, pulpy paranoid thriller. When the twist came, I was disappointed. But in all it was a fine movie, if not what I was hoping for.

  • March 13, 2012, 5:03 p.m. CST

    The ending to the Dark Tower

    by Rob Jenson

    My vision: (I warn you, I ramble) I'd always envisioned Roland arriving at the Tower, having a great battle with ol' Crimmie in the first half of the last volume, gaining access to the Tower (possibly with the Crimson King running around inside it somewhere, providing tension), finding god or whatever is in the tower (or in his place, even better, some sort of spider-god that's spun poisonous webs in the chamber where the real god should be) and having a trippy, Twilight Zone second half, ultimately resolving the storyline in some bizarre and wonderful fashion that would have been informed by the last several volumes (which didn't happen because those volumes didn't amount to anything -- not a single thing that happend during them had anything -- ANYTHING -- to do with the ending)

  • March 13, 2012, 5:35 p.m. CST

    bob1000

    by AsimovLives

    Too bad almost everything that is in the movie never happened. You can find more accurate historical information about the American Civil War from watching Star Wars then you can find anything remotly coincident with the real life of John Nash Jr by watching A Beautiful Mind. As for APOLLO 13, the real talent and mind behind the movie was Tom Hanks, who, as a space nut, forced Ronny Howard to be the most accurate possible, because Howard was fine by making a Roger Ramjet movie out of the history of the Apollo 13 disaster. APOLLO 13 is good DESPITE Ronny Howard. Fucking Oppie!

  • Cast some kid as Jake. Then recast a new kid for each season. Just dye his hair and give him contact lenses. And Pikachu as Oy. And if Eastwood lived long enough, him as Father Callahan.

  • March 13, 2012, 5:55 p.m. CST

    bardem is a TOTAL fail. You all know this. howard is too.

    by THE_ONE_MAN_GANG

    you know this.

  • March 13, 2012, 5:55 p.m. CST

    Well, if Ron Howard is going forward...

    by Chest_Rockwell

    You KNOW Clint Howard will be cast as Oy.

  • March 13, 2012, 6:12 p.m. CST

    hahaha Either Oy or Gasher

    by tangcameo

  • March 13, 2012, 6:12 p.m. CST

    asimovlives

    by Rob Jenson

    Yeah, I have heard that the real Nash was very different from the movie Nash. I hadn't heard that about Apollo 13, though.

  • March 13, 2012, 6:21 p.m. CST

    Screw the Dark Tower. Bring on Dune!

    by DanielnocharismaCraig

    Yeah, I know it's been done before a couple of times, but both versions fell flat for various reasons. Is Quentin Tarantino a fan of Dune? I could see it doing justice in his hands. As long as it get's green lit on a pay channel like HBO or Starz, then i'm fine.

  • March 13, 2012, 7:25 p.m. CST

    TIMOTHY OLYPHANT!!!

    by JaredP

    he would totally own this role. after DEADWOOD and JUSTIFIED, you know he ccan play the cowboy hero, plus he's a terrific actor. or maybe russell crowe. he was good in 3: 10 TO YUMA

  • March 13, 2012, 7:40 p.m. CST

    Yep. Josh Holloway for sure.

    by Jaka

    Recently started my first re-watch of Lost since it ended. I already know I'm not going to make it, because everything that pissed me off before is pissing me off now just anticipating it. But Josh Holloway has impressed me again. He could be Roland with the right direction.

  • March 13, 2012, 8:05 p.m. CST

    Why would anyone want Ron Howard to direct this?

    by Paul Macadom

    He's got all the balls of a eunuch. His films play like especially bad TV Movie crap. Glossy, unadventurous, boringly shot balls. Every obvious note is hit upon, there's no momentum, no vision, no passion. Screw Ron Howard. Something on this scale needs someone with guts.

  • March 13, 2012, 8:35 p.m. CST

    Goddammit - I'm getting sick of reminding people about Michael Wincott!!!

    by 5_day_forecast

    Every f**kin' time this comes up, people. On the other hand... anyone else think Karl Urban basically WAS Roland when he played Black Hat in Priest? Plan B.

  • March 13, 2012, 8:38 p.m. CST

    I'll defend Ron Howard on one point: The Missing.

    by 5_day_forecast

    That was one seriously fucked up evil movie!

  • March 13, 2012, 8:46 p.m. CST

    I breathe The Dark Tower

    by Nomoredirtyanything

    I must be one of the few who adored every second I spent in that world(s). I wouldn't change a thing.

  • March 13, 2012, 9:34 p.m. CST

    HA! Clint Howard as Gasher

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    That's HILARIOUS and almost worth having Opie direct. Also Jasika Nicole is all wrong for Susannah. I can see her as meek Detta Walker, but I doubt she could do snarling Odetta. Zoe Saldanna is the only actress I can think of who could pull off both faces of Susannah (think of her feral Neyteri performance).

  • March 13, 2012, 10:06 p.m. CST

    Whoever said Hugh Laurie as Roland...

    by Mine

    That was an awesome suggestion. And whoever up there said that "Thankee, Sai," sounds absolutely ridiculous, you are also right. Seriously, I just...every time someone says that in the books, it brings me right out of them. It is just silly, and I can't see how anyone would be able to pull it off with a straight face.

  • March 13, 2012, 11:09 p.m. CST

    I could suspend the disbelief for Karl Urban, too.

    by Jaka

    Although he might be a bit too pretty.

  • March 13, 2012, 11:26 p.m. CST

    How do you fuckin noobs...

    by TruantOranje

    ...not know about the new DT book? You are NOT true King fans, much less DT fans. Christ, the Internet's only been around for 20 years.

  • March 14, 2012, 12:12 a.m. CST

    Daniel Day-Lewis is Roland

    by spire_walk

    He was very much like Roland in Last of the Mohicans, personality-wise. You need a guy who can look like he's 45 or 65. DDL has the carved from stone, tall and lanky look going on. He'd never fucking do it though. Viggo is a close second.

  • March 14, 2012, 10:16 a.m. CST

    Josh Holloway

    by pumaman

    How do we make this happen ? I'm serious. Guess I'll make a petition and send it out to his agent and also Ron Howard. Josh was awesome in the opening scene in the new Mission Impossible movie. Just made me think damn this dude has some big movies in him if he just got the lead roles !

  • March 14, 2012, 9:40 p.m. CST

    What everyone who hates Howard seems to be forgetting

    by Vespalad

    is that A) he is the only one with hollywood clout who is really serious about getting this made, and B) he will only be directing the first movie, and a producer on the rest of the series. That means we can get some of the directors we've been dreaming about a shot at this material. Like Darabont for Wastelands (or anything else DT he wants a crack at). Or JJ Abrams for Drawing. Etc. I just wish I knew how they plan on breaking this all up. Having the tv stuff only be the flashback stories makes sense; that eliminates W&G from needing a movie. Eliminate all of book 5; find a way to incorporate the Father Callahan character in a new way. Take the best parts of books 6 & 7 roll them together, then come up with a new ending. I like the idea of making the comics into cartoons. I think the ideas of True Bloods Stephen Moyer for Roland, and James Franco as Eddie are perfect.

  • I wonder what this tells us about Howard and Goldsman's plans? Do they intent to adapt the original comic-book arcs, like THE LONG ROAD HOME, TREACHERY, THE FALL OF GILEAD and THE BATTLE OF JERICHO HILL? Each one is about as long as the flashback that makes up the bulk of WIZARD & GLASS. Perhaps, if the flashback TV series is successful, they could use these arcs as the basis for another four series (plus a special episode based on The Sorcerer)? Or maybe I'm reading too deeply into this, and they just wanted to be able to use Jae Lee's artwork as a guide for the character and set design. Speaking of which, I wonder if they'll get him and/or Michael Whelan to work on the art direction, the way Peter Jackson recruited noted Tolkien artists John Howe and Alan Lee for LOTR?