Now that The Dark Tower has fallen at Universal, Ron Howard is free to explore some of the other projects that he has in various stages of development. As a start, he’ll shoot the true-life Formula One racing movie Rush later this year, with Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl in the starring roles.

Now we can add another project to his development pile: Warner Bros is packaging an adaptation of Jon Krakauer‘s book Under the Banner of Heaven, with Dustin Lance Black (Milk, J. Edgar) writing for Ron Howard to direct.

Deadline scooped the story, noting that this will be a reunion of Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Dustin Lance Black, who worked together (as producers and writer) on Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar. And Dustin Lance Black wrote more than a dozen episodes for the Mormon HBO drama Big Love, which could make him a good fit for this story.

That’s because, as Deadline puts it, Under the Banner of Heaven follows, ” two brothers who murdered the wife and infant daughter of their younger brother. The killers claimed they were acting on orders from God, consistent with their interpretation of a fundamentalist interpretation that goes back to the formation of Mormonism. The brothers were members of a splinter group called the School of Prophets, which adhered to original tenets of the faith that included polygamy and a belief that true believers could speak directly with God. These were rooted as the faith grew to a mainstream appeal, but the brothers remain convinced they were obeying God’s command when they committed the heinous crime.”

So this is possibly good new ground for Ron Howard to cover — between this, Rush and the time spent on The Dark Tower, hopefully he’ll change up his approach a little bit. No more Dan Brown adaptations and/or films like The Dilemma, please.

The director also has the Max Landis-scripted film Amnesty in development, as well as a possible Spy Vs. Spy movie, based on the classic black and white strips from Mad Magazine.

Oh, and with respect to The Dark Tower, Stephen King said today that he’s sure Ron Howard will make it at another studio. For what that’s worth…

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