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First NBC Universal turned down Ron Howard’s ambitious movie/TV project “The Dark Tower” and now it looks like the same project has been turned down by Warner Bros. and HBO.

Media Rights Capital, which had a hand in funding "Babel," "Deception,"  the 2007 "Sleuth" remake and "30 Minutes Or Less,"  is now in "serious talks" to finance the franchise, according to Deadline Hollywood.

Warners apparently didn’t like the latest script from Akiva Goldsman (“Batman Forever,” “Batman & Robin,” “Lost in Space,” “A Beautiful Mind," "I Robot," "I Am Legend," "The Da Vinci Code," "Angels and Demons”) enough to spend the small fortune to finance the adaptation

The plan has long been for Stephen King’s epic multi-novel tale to be adapted into three Howard-directed movies and two Howard-directed miniseries.

Javier Bardem was attached to play gunslinger Roland Deschain while the project was being considered for Universal and NBC.  Russell Crowe, who worked with Howard and Goldsman on "A Beautiful Mind" and "Cinderella Man," was rumored to replace Bardem in the role if the Warner/HBO version went forward.

Find Deadline’s story on the matter here.


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Readers Talkback
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  • Aug. 20, 2012, 8:53 p.m. CST

    too bad

    by Rupee88

    Sounded like it would have been fun or at the very least, interesting

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 8:59 p.m. CST

    When Universal AND WB don't feel good about it, I don't know

    by Terrence

    Usually Fox is the one known for turning down stuff, but Opie might be shooting a little too high on this one. I don't doubt he can film the movie faithfully, but it's not gonna be an easy task.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 8:59 p.m. CST

    Disappointing bit hardly surprising

    by LetTheWookieWin

    Hollywood no likey ambitious projects. "More Twilight please!"

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 8:59 p.m. CST

    I'm ok with it.

    by Aloy

    I didn't like Howard as director or his choice of the Gunslinger (Crowe). Hopefully this is just a process of honing the project to fine point like (arguably) The Hobbit. HBO that's the way to go!

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 9 p.m. CST

    we need a Kickstarter page, STAT

    by snaredrum

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 9 p.m. CST

    Akiva Goldsman's script must suck

    by BillEmic

    Considering his credits, that's not a big surprise. (Yeah, we know "A Beautiful Mind" wasn't bad)

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 9 p.m. CST

    This is not unexpected news.

    by tomandshell

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 9:01 p.m. CST


    by Weresmurf77

    Fuck off the movie idea already... scrap that bullshit. HBO is where its at 1 season per damn book ffs. It's easily laid out! Even if they did a short 1st season (6 eps) because the Gunslinger was a damn short book (novella)?

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 9:05 p.m. CST

    WB, and all major studios, are officially insane

    by JerryAurora

    WB has the entire DC catalog and continues to fumble everything outside of Batman. It just never ceases to amaze me. Every studio passed on LOTR until a pre-WB New Line stepped up. Every studio passed on Hunger Games till Lionsgate stepped up. Every studio passed on Twilight until Summit stepped up. My only hope for a major studio to step up on the Dark Tower is Disney, and let Marvel produce it. But I bet they pass on it too.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 9:07 p.m. CST

    Fuck King and his overrated shit

    by TheGangBangTheory

    I'm glad I don't have a life where I have time to sit and read tens of thousands of pages of his tripe. Good for studios for passing on this.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 9:13 p.m. CST

    Ratings would have plummetted after the episode where Roland loses his fingers

    by Hardboiled Wonderland

    Gunslinger falls asleep on the beach and wakes up to find talking giant crabs have bitten his fingers off. Yeah, that's ratings gold right there!

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 9:15 p.m. CST

    I love the series but I'm glad to see the movie passed over.

    by DrClarke

    They should do it big or not do it at all, and it looks as if the chances of being able to do it big are getting slimmer and slimmer. I would like to see a contest held by King himself where several independent filmmakers can submit their own film versions of select parts of the series. This way, even though we aren't getting the whole series, we could get the true vision from real fans and we would have something visual to enjoy from one of the best fictional worlds ever created.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 9:17 p.m. CST


    by Chairman_Kaga

    Talking crabs? They don't talk numbnuts, they just make sounds that were spelled out phonetically.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 9:17 p.m. CST

    Get another Master and Commander made

    by MagicJesus

    whilst this is being sorted out...That's his definite high water mark as an actor, other than the animated show with Tugsy...

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 9:23 p.m. CST

    Akiva has been getting shat on ever since Batman & Robin

    by Kyle DeMattio

    That god awful movie will follow him to the day he dies, like what Gigli did to the guy who directed Beverly Hills Cop.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 9:23 p.m. CST

    Some things should stay on the page.

    by sundancekeed

    The Dark Tower series is one of those things. The main reason that King usually doesn't translate well to the screen is so much of the story takes place in the character's minds. DT was a little more visual than some of his books but it's still way too much detail to do justice to on film. Same problem I had with the LOTR movies. They left out more than they put on the screen.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 9:29 p.m. CST


    by melchior42

    That is a wretched script track record. How does he get any work at all?

  • I certainly hope it happens one day, but today ain't the day, and tomorrow's not looking' so good either. Keep Howard, and especially Goldsman, the fuck away from this.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 9:38 p.m. CST

    It's probably for the best.

    by Christian Sylvain

    The Dark Tower series is a very hard set of stories to adapt into a big screen franchise. It's not impossible, mind you, but I don't think it could've worked out as just 3 movies and a T.V. show to tie it all together.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 9:39 p.m. CST

    Turn it into a 13 episode season drama for AMC, HBO, etc.

    by Andy

    Movies bore me now due to the lack of character development, I prefer the tv dramas and the time they have to tell a story.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 9:49 p.m. CST


    by j_difool

    they didn't like it, cuz it aint no good !

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 9:52 p.m. CST

    Any news involving an Opie Cunningham...

    by KonkBob

    Production getting axed is good news.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 9:55 p.m. CST

    Akiva Goldsman

    by Gislef_crow

    And yet he continues to do fine on Fringe.

  • As well as a list of other movies I'd put up as candidates for some of the worst screenplays of the last decade and a half? Beautiful Mind aside, I suppose. Let's all just quietly celebrate that a Dark Tower script by Akiva Goldsman is not going to shit all over this series.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 10:01 p.m. CST

    da fuck???

    by jsfithaca

    the person who scripted i am legend also scripted two of the worst movies ever? the fuck is going on?

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 10:11 p.m. CST

    Dad-a-chum? Dum-a-chum? Ded-a-chek? Did-a-chick?

    by Hardboiled Wonderland

    Sounds like talking to me. Numbnuts. Stephen King books can be awesome, and full of Jar Jar Binks moments at the same time.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 10:13 p.m. CST

    j_difool -- nice Jodorowsky/The Incal name!!!

    by Hardboiled Wonderland

    Now The Incal is something that should be adapted to the big screen. don't know how I feel about it now that Moebius is no longer with us though.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 10:14 p.m. CST

    And they weren't crabs, they were lobstrosities.

    by veebeeyes

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 10:16 p.m. CST

    Anally retentive Darktower fanbois

    by Hardboiled Wonderland

    Crabs, lobstrosities... same fucking thing.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 10:27 p.m. CST

    6 episodes for the FIRST Book are you effing HIGH?

    by mcgillj

    Seriously? I mean.. the FIRST book.. is TWO episodes.. TOPS!!! I think they could do the ENTIRE run in about 3 seasons worth of shows.. The first season would clearly be the first TWO books.. I think you could probably do those in 5 episodes.. you might even do 7 episodes.. leaving a CLIFFHANGER ending for the midbreak of "The Wastelands". Season 2 could cover The Wastelands and Wizard and Glass (which could easily shoot with a second crew as the MAIN cast is only needed for the wrap around.. at the same time with the younger Roland, I'd go ahead and shoot stuff for "Wind Through the Keyhole" as well.. I enjoyed the hell out of the story.. although is much less about the DT mythology. So.. 3-4 episodes of season 2 could wrap up Wastelands.. Wizard and Glass would be MAYBE 3-4 episodes.. finish up season 2 another 3-4 episodes committed to Wolves of the Calla. The third and FINAL season which you can split into two halves would cover Song of Susannah and The Dark Tower. Later on with mininal additonal filming you could throw in "Wind Through the Keyhole.. " as much as I LOVED the story.. I think it could easily be covered in 2-3 episodes tops.. and would fit better as King intends as part of the journey between Wizards and Glass and Wolves of the Calla. I would love to see a BIG screen entry.. but it just can't and won't work.. and it won't work with this silly back and forth. HBO has proven it can do epic scale stories on the home screen.. and aside from Wastelands which is huge.. I don't see much of a problem with them handling this series as well.. So c'mon HBO.. man up and commit to 3 seasons of the series.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 10:27 p.m. CST

    Oh thank freaking God.

    by MrEkoLetMeLive

    Ron Howard is an okay director, but his sensibilities are all wrong for this type of material. And I'd have to wonder how they would handle the later part of the series where all of King's works really start to become more and more of a part of the story. Okay, sure it's one thing in "Wizard and Glass" when Roland and his ka-tet are walking through the world of "the Stand." You can write around Captain Tripps, I suppose, even though Marten Broadcloak, Walter O'Dim, and Randall Flagg are all the same guy. You don't NEED to mention that part, but then Father Callahan from "Salem's Lot" shows up, and of course as the story nears its conclusion the walls come down even more. That's what's so awesome about the Dark Tower. That's why King fans love it. That's what makes it a satisfying literary experience, in a tradition that goes back to the likes of Lovecraft and Poe. To take that overlapping out of the story defeats the purpose OF the story.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 10:29 p.m. CST

    Crabs have scorpion tails now?

    by MrEkoLetMeLive

    dad-a-chick, did-a-chum?

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 10:29 p.m. CST

    I loved the books

    by eldeejo

    But I don't want a watered down Howard version with Russell fucking Crowe. So wrong. I hope this is in limbo for however long it takes to finish Game of Thrones, and then HBO realise its perfect to fill the gap of the fantasy quota and do it one season per book. Its the only way to go. Although the biggest problem is Jake. The whole story takes place over a relatively short time span, and he can't age. Maybe in 8-10 years they can CG him well enough that its perfect? Hmm.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 10:40 p.m. CST

    hardboiled wonderland

    by Chairman_Kaga

    It sounds like talking to you because you're a fucking moron. Meow and Woof sound like "talking" too?

  • Forgot how absolutely badass the Gunslinger is. Only King could come up with something so fucking brilliant. Arthurian knights that carry huge guns in an alternate universe/post-apocalyptic western setting...I don't know, I just love the idea so much. My girlfriend and I even named our Maine Coon 'Roland' I know it's been said before, but HBO would be so fucking perfect.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 10:42 p.m. CST

    mcgillj, you're insane

    by Tim

    I think you're forgetting how much shit is in the first two books with flashbacks etc, and you're definitely forgetting how much is in the Wastelands. Roland/Davis vs Cort could take up the bulk of an episode on it's own

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 10:44 p.m. CST

    mcgillj is correct

    by Chairman_Kaga

    The first book could not possibly justify a season worth of TV even a short HBO/AMC type season.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 10:47 p.m. CST

    Awww, what's the matter chairman_kaga, got a bad case of the crabs?

    by Hardboiled Wonderland

    Try talking to your pubic hair. Did-a-chick.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 10:47 p.m. CST

    The Dark Tower Books...

    by Cory849

    ... are just a little too cute. I've never understood the urge to make them into movies. They're really expensive but really not that accessible. Audiences would spend an awful lot of time going "what the fuuuuck?" It's a good way to bankrupt a studio, frankly.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 10:48 p.m. CST

    Be sure to listen to

    by Chairman_Kaga

    your neighbor's dog when it suggests killing yourself.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 10:49 p.m. CST

    Told you this was never going to happen

    by Jt

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 11:09 p.m. CST

    Is that a Struzan image?

    by Royston Lodge

    It sure looks Struzan-esque.

  • Call me crazy but I picture the Dark Tower something like Apocalypse now mixed with Dracula + Spaghetti western. That's the tone this movie needs and it needs to hit all those beats. Ron Howard is too sentimental and dry for this project. Howard can't do epic. Howard can't show the passage of time like Coppola can. Howard has no stylistic seal. Eastwood is too old now and he is Roland. I admire Ron Howard for pushing it this far but I don't think he's the right guy.

  • If you did try to make a big screen movie out of it, you would have a very small audience. Most movie viewers, would not go watch something as far out as The Dark Tower series. It would bankrupt a studio if they attempted this.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 11:43 p.m. CST

    Warner Bros probably has a grudge against Goldsman

    by Steve Lamarre

    and rightly so. And thank you to Javier Bardem for dropping out of this. Hopefully Howard and Goldsman give up on King's material. Someday when the time is right HBO or AMC can make a series.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 12:41 a.m. CST

    Most movie viewers, would not go watch something as far out as....

    by DirtyDingusMegee

    Preacher by Garth Ennis. Thank the Saint of Killers that hasn't happened yet. I pray it never happens. Not as an HBO series, nothing. Its time has passed. Let it be. The Dark Tower, while not as out there as Preacher, still shouldn't be made into cheeseburgers for the masses. It just doesn't fuckin' work. Its why everyone bitches about movies anyway-----you can't make a smart movie that appeals to everyone because not everyone is smart or can appreciate something that makes them think so fuck it.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 1:11 a.m. CST

    The script must suck if...

    by J

    They're turning down Ron Howard. I mean, the guy is like box-office gold. Rarely misses.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 1:25 a.m. CST

    King is the most self-indulgent writer in human history

    by Raptor Jesus

    This is the best news we could have gotten on this.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 2:13 a.m. CST

    Akiva Goldsman: worst writer ever!

    by Lourdes Galan

    Should win Razzies for every movie he's been involved

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 2:26 a.m. CST

    There's a reason this keeps happening...

    by thomasjarvis

    ...and that reason is Frank Darabount. King famously turned down Darabount's offer to tackle the Tower series years ago, likely because he didn't want the potential outcome to damage their friendship, should the adaptations not have turned out to his liking. With someone like Ron Howard at the helm, King can just shrug and say to himself "ah well, thats Hollywood for ya.". Not so with Darabount, whom he considers a friend and collegue. But 'The Dark Tower' series is meant to to be Darabount's destiny. This is why the project keeps stalling. The powers-that-be are attempting to force something that isn't meant to be. Untill Darabount and Robin Furth are brought onto the project, it should continue to be a no-go. Akiva can stay on, but he will have to allow the script to be revised and rewritten under the supervision of Darabount and Furth, alongside whomever additional writers they so choose to bring on board the project(s). Howard can stay on board in an executive producer capacity, and perhaps even direct a handfull of installments, but only under the condition that he is just one part of a creative team also including Darabount, Furth, and King in whatever agreed upon capacities. Marvel Studios should also be involved, as the name recognition alone would add a great amount of clout to the project, and the graphic novel prequels should be the first installments to be filmed. That's the way to sell this thing, tie it all into the highly successfull Marvel comic books. Marvel in conjunction with HBO or Showtime, with a creative team that includes Darabount and Furth. Starting with adaptations of the prequel comics that will lead into the actual adaptations of King's novels. Its the only way to go for this to truly work.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 2:26 a.m. CST

    @weresmurf77 has it right - HBO Series is enough

    by old_man_and_the_sea

    Don't fuck it up with movies. And give it to writers who can deliver something worthwhile (and not someone whose track record it a collection of floating turds).

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 2:30 a.m. CST

    meant Frank "Darabont"...

    by thomasjarvis

    Forgot how to spell that fucker's name, damn it...

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 2:31 a.m. CST

    Given this guy Akiva's resume...

    by cockdiesel

    ...we should probably be grateful. Yeesh!

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 2:50 a.m. CST

    Let's Not Forget "The Talisman"

    by THX1968

    All this complicated, awesome shit is tied together. I'd rather that it not be done at all, than done totally incorrectly. For the record, Akiva Goldsman is not the worst screenwriter ever. In fact, he is probably one of the best, if not the best, in nailing a job that he is hired to nail, by a studio or producer, or whoever.

  • It could basically be "Watchmen" all over again. The screen adaptation may not be bad, but that doesn't take away from the fact that they are told in thier medium for a big REASON.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 3:57 a.m. CST

    Like the "Watchmen"...

    by Darkness

    another complex novel; "Dark Tower" will find it's way into multiplexes soon enough. Just give it to Frank Darabont - he has a deft hand with all things King.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 4:37 a.m. CST

    Thank God

    by aceldama

    The world of Roland Deschain is sacred. Keep your fucking hands away from it, Hollywood.

  • ALL SHITE. This guy is a the DEFINITION of the talentless hack.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 4:57 a.m. CST

    Akiva Goldsman......

    by rben

    Hey, Herc you forgot to include Fringe which Akiva has written/produced for, and the only thing he's done that i remotely care about that and think will stand the test of time. (his movies? not so much.) Other than Fringe, keep the guy away from anything fantasy or SF based. And they are!

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 5:01 a.m. CST

    TV AND Cinema sucks anyway

    by Nobody26

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 5:16 a.m. CST


    by Kobolos

    I completely agree. When Frank was excused from Walking Dead it was like Ka in action.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 5:36 a.m. CST

    Good. Let it die.

    by Hipshot

    I never want to see Suzannah Dean onscreen. Ugh. King and his bizarre attitude toward black people makes me wince. He's a terrific guy, and a fabulous writer, but what he does balances on a razor line. Watching what Kubrick or Darabount did with his characters suggest to me that it just doesn't translate.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 5:54 a.m. CST

    I have never understood the love for these books.

    by boogel

    The reason you can't translate this stuff to the big screen is because the source material is just weak. It was obvious two novels into the series that SK didn't have an arc laid out. It just kept going. It's like he started it on a whim and never bothered to do any kind of plot. It's just and odd series.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 6:48 a.m. CST

    If you can screw up I Am Legend

    by southwick

    ..then no one should let you within 20 miles of Dark Tower. The story has enough trouble on its own without a terrible writer working on the script. To be honest, I would rather this fails until HBO gets a good script and takes on the project. I can't see it succeeding any other way.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 7:20 a.m. CST

    Read the first book...

    by thalvar

    didn't like it at all. Found it boring. No problem with me with these news.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 7:58 a.m. CST

    Didn't like the script?

    by smallfry

    What did they expect when they gave the job to Akiva Goldsman? Look at the list - everything he has ever written has been fucking shite. I do not understand why this man keeps getting writing gigs.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 8:05 a.m. CST

    Animate it.

    by maxin n relaxin

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 8:10 a.m. CST

    Live action is a little too ambitious

    by maxin n relaxin

    I also never understood why people are clamoring for this to be live action. Its not mass appeal. Doing this franchise the way the people want it to be done, is not possible at this point in time. Itll for sure lose money. I say animate it, give it a hard R rating. And watch as the word of mouth spreads about how good this animated show is. which would then get more people interested in the dark tower, which is when you could possibly do a live action reboot like 10 years from now. Its a long con, but as of right now the world isnt that excited for a dark tower big budget franchise.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 8:16 a.m. CST

    Yes, do an ANIMATED version of The Dark Tower

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    I realize that the only animated movies made these days are G/PG-rated kiddie movies with farts and pop-culture jokes, but animation is the only medium that would do King's novels justice. Plus, you wouldn't have to worry about Jake aging...just hire a professional voice actor with a "young" voice (like how Nancy Cartwright has been playing 10-year-old Bart Simpson for 25 years).

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 8:36 a.m. CST

    Give it to Jim Mickle & Nick Damici

    by jimmythesaint

    Give it to the makers of a little low-budget gem called STAKE LAND that came out last year - Mickle and Damici proved they could do an elegiac, ass-kicking post-apocalyptic tale on a shoestring on that film (the Mister/Mister dynamic even echoes Roland and Jake). Give them a big budget for an HBO series and you've got fried gold on your hands.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 8:46 a.m. CST

    I would have turned down Akiva Goldsman's script TOO...

    by DukieMichaelNamondRandy

    ...once I saw "Batman & Robin" when I was 14 I KNEW what a bad screenwriter was. And Goldsman, despite involvement in some good flicks, has ALWAYS struck me as a bad screenwriter. Not that scripts don't go through massive amounts of processing (if you've ever read the Ben Garant & Thomas Lennon book on the subject), but the man with GOLD in his name seems to have scripts that turn to SHIT.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 9:24 a.m. CST


    by Fulmoontat

    The genius behind such gems as “Batman Forever,” “Batman & Robin,” “Lost in Space,” "I Robot," & "I Am Legend," whose idea was that? No wonder this thing can't get off the ground... No one seems to really be putting much thought into the scale of the project, and all that it will entail... It's almost like they want it to fail. They need to take the better part of a decade, locked in a room with any and all of King's novels and shorts that as much as touch the Dark Tower Universe... And they can't open the door until the white draft is finished. Write a roller coaster, start to finish, incorporating books one through seven (and maybe some shorts as well)... Anyone who attempts to take on the script having only read the Dark Tower Collection is still under-prepared to even attempt to tackle the story... The writer not only needs to be able to recreate the characters individually, but also as ka-tet (you know.. one from many / a team), and also the universes from which each character came, where they go... Dark Tower touches so many of King's novels that to go in without that knowledge is like playing a game of russian roulette with a double barrel shotgun. Ya know, failure guaranteed the first time around. Here's a list of required reading before anyone considers it... Dark Tower 1-7 (obviously) Salem's Lot IT The Stand Insomnia Hearts in Atlantis Little Sisters of Eluria Eyes of the Dragon There's more, but the aforementioned in my opinion are key reads to grasp the magnitude of the universe, and the true nature of some cross over characters... I've rambled on enough, i'm tired of sniffing my own farts... I don't want to come across as a smug fuck, but seriously... "batman and Robin"... "Lost in Space"... A script like this should be the collaborative efforts from the likes of Christopher Nolan, Sergio Leone, and David Lynch... Maybe... Just maybe, one day this will see the light of day. But studios care about the greenbacks, directors care about their vision, and DT fans, care about the story... the accuracy... I don't think anything will satisfy us.. We've watched Roland's worlds crumble in our own mind's eye... I don't think there's a film maker in the world who can top that.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 9:25 a.m. CST


    by Fulmoontat

    Couldn't have said it better.

  • The first movie will probably bomb so they should just wait for the box office receipts on that and then decide if they want to continue on TV or on Film. Plus, once people see how crazy it got towards the end, you have to be familiar with all of King's work, not to mention, who the Hell will play King himself. It's just to insane to be a movie. And I don't see any leading man that's really going to commit this much of his life to play a character in a franchise that may or may not be a hit. We are talking years here, probably not being in any other movies. Half a decade of your life. The really should just shelve this altogether, or go the ALL television route. This would be Box Office Poison...

  • They need to make The Gunslinger, gauge the interest, and then decide whether or not to proceed. They don't need an A-Lister for the lead. They will probably be better off with an unknown.

  • Those were terrible. Shame on all involved (Howard, Goldsman, et al). Not that Dan Brown's books are the height of literature but they were fun yarns that could have easily made fun movies. This obviously didn't happen with the Oscar winning team at the helm. Then to have the gall to try get the Dark Tower going? Screw them. So glad this fell apart.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 9:35 a.m. CST

    The problem is the film+miniseries idea.

    by Brian Hopper

    Start with a single (big) movie, with the possibility of two others, and skip the miniseries idea completely.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 9:40 a.m. CST

    Dark Tower lacks mass appeal?

    by Brian Hopper

    Gimme a break. If they did this BIG (movie not miniseries) it could be very popular. The Dark Tower is by no means King's best work, but it could translate beautifully to the big screen. Maybe the script really sucks, but the fundamental problem is the movie+miniseries idea. Attention, Ron Howard: pick a medium and run with it.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 9:53 a.m. CST

    If Crowe falls through....

    by Sorbo1980

    ...I'd go Olyphant on this.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 10:10 a.m. CST

    Not sure how to adapt the rest of it, but I would

    by Brian Hopper

    take the first three books and condense that into one big movie. Totally doable... you have to leave things out, but so what? King himself has a somewhat malleable approach to the Dark Tower with his various revisions, etc. Take all the remaining material and turn that into two other big movies. This stuff completely lends itself to a Lord of the Rings-style treatment, almost more than anything King has written. IMHO this would fail (in any treatment) if it's too religiously faithful to the books... there's plenty here for three big movies, but you have to trim.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 10:33 a.m. CST

    Ron Howard sucks.

    by magazoid

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 10:42 a.m. CST

    MRC better pick this movie up!

    by theFUZZ008

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 11:24 a.m. CST

    it's a script by Akiva Goldsman! That's the first red flag right there

    by shane peterson

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 11:29 a.m. CST

    7 books need 7 movies.

    by knowthyself

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 12:13 p.m. CST

    Why not animated?

    by RobRed1

    Seriously. 1/10th the cost and a bigger canvas to work with. And, while you're at it, remake all the other King books that cross over with DT as animated films as well. Especially Salem's Lot and The Stand. When you do stories like The Shining, you can highlight how the kid's and the groundskeepers psychic ability is linked to the old guy in Hearts in Atlantis and the Breakers in the DT world.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 12:43 p.m. CST

    If the lead was an emo kid type this would have been picked up

    by performingmonkey

    Probably when Howard was talking to WB about it they asked 'okay...can Robert Pattinson or Kristen Stewart star in this?' '...nope' 'right...what about that Hemsworth guy?' 'nah' 'is this a comic book series?' 'yeah it was adapted into one but it's not a widely known property' 'is this a remake of a 5-year-old movie?' 'again...nope' 'and you're asking us for money to make this.......why, exactly? Get out.' THAT is how the convo went down, for real, and every single one of us knows it.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 1 p.m. CST

    if you can do GAME OF THRONES

    by eROKv

    you can do dark tower. and HBO is doing the hell outta game of thrones.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 1:08 p.m. CST


    by 3D-Man

    I received a box set of the first three novels a long time ago. I read the first one and was bored to tears. Didn't bother with the second one until about three years later. But once I started reading that second one, I was hooked. The difference is like night and day. The quality does taper off in the latter novels (I'm looking at you, books 6 and 7) as the story goes off the rails a bit, but it is still an entertaining and worthwhile read.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 1:14 p.m. CST

    It's just not possible.

    by Ringwearer9

    This project will continue to fail as people try, and fail, to pull a coherent, filmable project out of the meandering, contradictory, time-wasting mess that is the Dark Tower series. Time and again, the hard sell of this as some sort of Lord of the Rings epic will run up against the reality, that reality being that it's a series of short stories that ended with the "Slow Mutants" chapter of the first book, and after that a cocaine and booze fueled fever dream through "The Waste Lands" and after that an apathetic attempt at a love story, and after that a bitter and time-wasting milking of the fanbase with books that King himself did not believe were worth writing, and knew that no one would be satisfied with. Anyone who tries to adapt these books, by actually READING them, will run into this problem. Only a genius, someone as good as King used to be, could sift through the train wreck of this series, pull out the valuable threads, and actually write a coherent story that people would want to watch. The chances of that happening are infinitesimally small. The only person capable of making the story work in the first place was Stephen King .. AND HE FAILED. Fulmoontat's post, avove, listed the books that one is supposed to read to "undersand" the Dark Tower universe fully. Unfortunately, King didn't link these books to the Dark Tower to flesh out the universe, but to cynically cross-market his books with the promise that they would flesh out the Dark Tower unverse. It was a marketing scam, not true storytelling. Even if a screenwriter did read all those books, it would add little to his or her understanding. Writing a Dark Tower movie requires jettisioning piles of nonsense, not "understanding" piles of bullshit that never coherently connected in the first place. "Insomnia" in particular, only became a "Dark Tower" novel when King got writer's block, and decided to fix it by going off in a wacky "Dark Tower" direction instead of trying to actually fix the story he was telling. Dark Tower will never be told, unless someone is brave enough to stop treating it like a profound bible, and just cutting it down. And then the fanatic Dark Tower junkies will pan it. There is no way it will ever be made or be successful.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 1:21 p.m. CST

    If you can do GAME OF THRONES ... ?????

    by Ringwearer9

    But ... they haven't done GAME OF THRONES yet. Because the author hasn't finished the series yet. And it looks like he never will.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 1:24 p.m. CST

    go then, there are other worlds than these

    by darkpassenger

    the book with blaine the train was really awesome

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 1:25 p.m. CST

    dylan mcdermott

    by darkpassenger

    i think he would be allright

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 1:30 p.m. CST

    Yes..put this on HBO and drop Howard immediately...

    by Darth Macchio

    I don't think Howard has the proper sensibilities to do this story right and yes, please...stop with the cinemas and take it to HBO. (I only read the first three, lost the thread with the 4th book - tried and just can't get past 'Blaine the Pain'). They're no one better than HBO at doing this currently...GoT is fantastic and absolutely the proper venue for the Dark Tower series. One book per season - 13's more than enough and would be a perfect fit. Shit, they could even flip to different directors and writers and the whole thing...and if it fails? They wouldn't have lost tens if not hundreds of millions from a failed movie (ala John Carter - great story poorly done and now we'll never see Burrough's work on-screen again in our lifetimes), they'd simply lose the pilot investment (they still do pilots even for HBO don't they?).

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 1:39 p.m. CST

    Well said, @ringwearer9. Someone has to be

    by Brian Hopper

    smart and gutsy enough to trim out all the crap and turn this into something, and thereby piss off all the excessively respectful fanboys. The one way I would differ is, I think there's enough cool stuff in The Dark Tower books to make up to three movies, as long as someone trims out a lot of the junk. My view of King is, his pulp sensibility is well-suited to movies if someone knows how to handle it right (a classic example is The Shawshank Redemption). But as soon as a filmmaker gets overly respectful (classic example: the far too faithful miniseries of The Stand) like they're adapting Shakespeare, then King's stuff doesn't work. I can totally see why filmmakers are drawn to the potential of The Dark Tower. A lot of it is inherently visual and cinematic. And the Deschain character, with the proper star in the role (I personally think Russell Crowe is not a bad choice), has SOOOO much potential. But you have to cut cut CUT. There's too much stuff in these books. That's why this approach of movies+miniseries is a mistake. You just know they're not trimming this down to its core elements. Big mistake.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 1:43 p.m. CST

    A comparison is The Stand.

    by Brian Hopper

    It's long been my favorite King novel, yet even I think it should be trimmed and changed so that it could be turned into one epic three-hour or so movie. Cast the exact right actors for Redman and Flagg, hire the right dp to get the epic look/feel, etc. and it could be a great movie. But this insistence on being rigidly faithful is pointless. Same applies for The Dark Tower. Fanboys who demand too much fidelity to source material are their own worst enemies.

  • I picked up a set of the first 4 books in a discount bookstore just last month. Had been interested in this series since I first saw the hardcover editions back in the 1980s, but have always balked at the size. But then last summer I burned through all 5000 pages of A Song of Fire And Ice in about 4 months, and decided maybe I could tackle the Dark Tower after all. I also enjoyed The Shining and Salem's Lot, the only other King books I've read. So I'm now about 100 pages into the 2nd book, Drawing of the Three, and you know what? I'm not liking it! I actually had to force myself through The Gunslinger. I feel nothing for these characters, what few there are, because they all feel like empty archetypes and siphons for ideas rather than real people with real feelings and real motivations. I've read a lot of fantasy over the years, and there's not much hear that strikes me as original. So, what do I do? I'm about to put the books down. Does it get better? Does it get A LOT better? Please help.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 1:44 p.m. CST

    The MRC deal looks likely...

    by dcut75

    I'm actually hoping this happens, if the movies stink I'll just go back and reread the books

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 2:12 p.m. CST

    @knuckleface The books aren't nearly as good as

    by Brian Hopper

    The Shining or Salem's Lot (not to mention my personal King faves The Stand and The Dead Zone), but they IMHO they get a little better after Drawing of the Three. Of the first three I enjoyed the third (Waste Lands) the most, although I'm sure there are people who would disagree. For me, it's got some of the best writing in the series. I mean, The Gunslinger sets the stage and is cool in a number of respects, but that book is a mess. Also kinda liked #5 (Wolves) although that is a bit of a minority opinion. #7 is very satisfying. It's a worthwhile conclusion. (By the way, Drawing of the Three gets better as it goes along. I think it's a better book than the first one.)

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 2:31 p.m. CST


    by Rob

    YES, YES 1,000 TIMES YES! GET RID OF ALL THE META. NO REFERENCES TO STEPHEN KING AT ALL. That's the 1st good step to make in any adaptation

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 2:40 p.m. CST

    Javier Bardem

    by 2soon2eat

    Bad choice for the lead.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 2:41 p.m. CST

    Ron Howard does not have any horror karma from the Horror Gods. Fact.

    by venvariants

    Ron Howard. Baby. You have to put some blood, sweat and tears into the horror genre if you expect the Horror Gods to allow you to move forward with one of their beloved stories. Produce a few horror films and get some horror writers and directors their starts...then you may proceed.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 3:07 p.m. CST

    Wow, that's quite the resume for Akiva Goldsman

    by Domi'sInnerChild

    I'm sure Damon Lindelof can come in and clean it up.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 3:34 p.m. CST

    DT jumped the shark when King wrote himself in...

    by Bill Clay

    I had a WTF moment when I first read the part where Stephen King made himself a character in the story. DT had suddenly devolved to the level of a comic book. By the last couple of books, with the Harry Potter references and the light sabers, it was obvious that King had run out of ideas and didn't know had to end the series.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 3:45 p.m. CST

    The fact that WB passed, which in sense is HBO...

    by Dobler

    Is a relief. I was always unsure if this project could be done well enough, and now I'm pretty sure it couldn't be. I believe this had more to do with the miniseries than with the motion picture. They'll put tons of crap adaptations on the big screen, but not a whole lot of crap on HBO. If it's not good enough for HBO, then it's not good enough for me.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 4:39 p.m. CST

    Darabont is the only one who can do this justice

    by Erik Radvon

    Frank Darabont is the only man I trust with bringing Stephen King tales to the big screen. Darabont would rock that shit out of a Dark Tower movie. I hope this latest fail makes Ron Howard and Akiva Shitballs drop their effort and clears the table for a new approach. How many studios have to reject this thing until they call it quits? Darabont has shown that he can do wonders in both the 2-hour format and one-hour TV (Walking Dead season 1). He's also a master at adapting King. What the fuck else do you want?

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 4:40 p.m. CST

    Thomas Jane IS the Gunslinger

    by Erik Radvon

    Born to play the role.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 4:45 p.m. CST


    by robert0

    You read my mind. I just watched "The Mist" over the weekend and seeing Thomas Jane "painting" that poster for TDT was an epiphany. Thomas Jane MUST be Roland, if this thing ever happens.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 4:55 p.m. CST

    It really needs to just be a television series. Screw this movie business.

    by Detective_Fingerling

    If the series does well, they could always do a movie of the Hambry - young'slinger adventures instead of incorporating it into season 4. They could even do the Hambry story FIRST to test the waters and see if there is a crowd for this story long term. They could make the first half hour the story of the gunslinger training/defeating Cort/going to Hambry and end it with the burning (have the final scene be Roland looking into the Grapefruit and seeing shadows of key scenes that later happen in the Dark Tower series) before a fade to black. Pick up the story in season 1 of a television series with Roland going to Tull. The younger storyline could be a movie trilogy that is put out over the course of the tv show. The second movie could be the boys trying to get back to Gilead with the grapefruit with maybe the battle of Tull being the final movie in the trilogy - the final scene being him picking up the horn of Eld. It seems like Cinemax is trying to go legit lately and with HBO's influence could produce this series and put most of its original programming budget behind it (who the fuck would rather them make a new Strike Back season over a Dark Tower season?). Trying to break up the narrative between movie and tv is just asking for trouble if they're trying to go linear. I just want to see this somewhere. Not even really terribly concerned how I see it, just as long as Garris isn't involved.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 5:52 p.m. CST

    @royston lodge

    by schadenfreudian

    I don't know if anyone answered you, but, yeah, I'm pretty sure that's the painting that Struzan did for a scene at the beginning of The Mist

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 6:06 p.m. CST

    The Wind Through The Keyhole was decent.

    by frank

    My main problem with it was that the eponymous story within the other two stories did not read remotely like a story parents would tell their children. It just read like a Stephen King story. Still, it was not bad.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 7:12 p.m. CST


    by Henry Fool

    Just sayin'!

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 7:17 p.m. CST

    My dream cast...

    by Henry Fool

    Roland- Fassbender<br /> Eddie - Aaron Paul <br /> Susannah - Rutina Wesley <br /> Jim Carrey - Stephen King<br /> <br /> I don't know who I'd cast as Jake but it has to be someone with the same qualities that Haley Joel Osment exuded in "The Sixth Sense" or, perhaps, someone like that kid who played the younger brother on 'Malcom in the Middle'. Or the kid that played Shane on Weeds. They're all too old now but it needs to be a kid with that same type of charisma.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 8:13 p.m. CST


    by chronicallydepressedlemming

    Hell, throw them IT and The Stand as well. It's the only way these stories can keep their bulk and adult natures.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 9:07 p.m. CST


    by gotilk

    Oh well. Maybe they will re-do the Langoliers instead. heh... Bummer.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 10:16 p.m. CST

    Jim Carrey as Stephen King is a funny idea.

    by frank

    They look sort of alike, now that I think of it. I don’t see Fassbender as Roland at all. He should be at least fifty. Anime Dark Tower could be cool, as long as all the characters don’t have giant eyes.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 10:27 p.m. CST

    Anson Mount for Roland

    by Boiiinng

    Gunslinger = 1st season of Hell On Wheels.

  • Aug. 22, 2012, 1:07 a.m. CST

    Akiva Goldsman

    by KGersen

    Just reading this guy's list of writing credits: "Batman Forever,” “Batman & Robin,” “Lost in Space,” “A Beautiful Mind," "I Robot," "I Am Legend," "The Da Vinci Code," "Angels and Demons" - spot the decent film? I guess A Beautiful Mind is good enough. The rest, all shite, but they all made good profits I assume, so it's all good.

  • Aug. 22, 2012, 1:20 a.m. CST

    Salem's Lot

    by KGersen

    Now there is an awesome book looking for a really good remake. Could translate very well to screen. Come on Darabont, do this! And then all Twilight glittery vampires can go fuck themselves as Barlow and Straker come to town....

  • Aug. 22, 2012, 6:57 a.m. CST

    Even as a big King fan, the DT books didn't do much for me.

    by Orbots Commander

    And I think they're difficult as fuck to pull off as a movie adaptation. They're just very out there books. It's just as well, I guess. Not everything can, or should be, adapted for the big screen.

  • Aug. 22, 2012, 9:44 a.m. CST

    Silly Concept

    by Marc Cerasini

    This project has the stench of Cowboys and Aliens. Remember back to the 1970s. King couldn't even get a real publisher to back these books when he first wrote them, and had to go with Donald M Grant, a tiny New England publisher.

  • Aug. 22, 2012, 9:53 a.m. CST

    Seriously, no fringe fans?

    by Gregg Vossler

    Say what you want about all the shitty movies he's made.

  • Aug. 22, 2012, 11:36 a.m. CST

    From the writer of JONAH HEX!

    by Blarg Barfington

    Gee, I wonder why they didn't bite?

  • Aug. 22, 2012, 2:24 p.m. CST

    From the guy that wrote "Batman & Robin"....Curses!!!

    by Swordfleece

    Worst script ever!!

  • Aug. 23, 2012, 1:50 p.m. CST

    The script reportedly starts on Earth, at the end of Book 2

    by Starkiller1

    If that's true, then Goldsman messed this up just as badly as we thought he would. One of the strongest elements of this series is the opening line, "The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed". That line serves as both an easy invitation to Mid-World, because it could be lifted from several non-fantasy westerns that audiences are familiar with, and also as a layered cue of what to expect in terms of tone, scale, and the protagonist's stubborn, steadfast motivation. It resonates in the reader's mind until the very, very end. When they finally adapt this series, it should open with that line against a black background, similar to "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away". Opening at the end of Book 2 was likely Goldsman's attempt to show the audience something they could recognize, like Eddie Dean in New York, something that was accessible, and not so strange that they would dismiss the series from the start. What he forgets is that the opening of Book 1 perfectly balances the familiar with the strange, and it's that combination that is so intriguing from the outset. WB is one of the smarter studios, in my opinion, and HBO was responsible for making Sundays more exciting than Fridays for many cinephiles. I believe that they understood what I have explained above, and consequently passed on Goldsman's script. This was the right move. Howard and Goldsman have both done some quality work in the past, but neither of them have the sensibilities necessary to deliver The Dark Tower as it should be seen. I AM LEGEND was 170 pages, and Goldsman got it wrong. He was never going to gets thousands of pages of Stephen King right. And by the way, King is not infallible. Getting hit by that van seemed to remind him of his own mortality, and the rapid publication of books 5-7 resulted in an intermittently thrilling, but mostly disappointing conclusion to the incredible foundation he had built with the first 4 books. I'm saying that it is OK to make some deviations from the source material towards the end, but leave the beginning as it is. If you're worried about upsetting fans of the books, just put a horn in Roland's hand at the beginning. This will not only silence the complaints about the changes to the story, but adds a meta kick to the whole experience. I hope that HBO gives this another shot, maybe when Game of Thrones starts winding down. As many people have suggested above, an animated version is a viable option. It solves the Jake aging problem, and leaves the possibility open for a live action adaptation down the road.