Briefly: The movie-and-TV adaptation of Stephen King‘s The Dark Tower that Ron Howard, Akiva Goldsman and Brian Grazer have been assembling has gone through a few revisions. At this point, it stands as a one-film deal financed by Media Rights Capital, with Russell Crowe starring as Roland the gunslinger. If that film does well, MRC could move forward on more movies.

But things have become a bit more complicated. Grazer now says that there’s a new financing offer on the table, which would allow the original plan of three movies and two limited TV series to be shot. Which deal will they take?

Grazer told Deadline that “a Silicon Valley investor” has come forward with a proposal to finance The Dark Tower as it was originally planned. If there are two funding possibilities out there, the situation probably also has factors we can’t guess. (For starters, MRC is well-established, while this new investor might not have much media experience.) So there’s no point to assuming that this will go one way or the other. Could MRC and the new investor work together? Regardless, for those who’ve hoped to see the bigger Dark Tower, there’s a glimmer of hope.



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Sometimes its easy to forget just how ubiquitous producer Brian Grazer is. Not only does he work hand in hand with Oscar-winning director Ron Howard on some of the biggest movies out there, he also shepherded a ton of well-known television shows. After some years off the air, two of his more famous shows, Arrested Development and 24, will soon be returning in new ways. Now a third might do the same.

In a new interview, Grazer confirmed he’s “absolutely moving forward” with the movie version of the NBC drama Friday Night Lights, and they might turn to crowd-funding, ala Veronica Mars, to prove the fans want the series to return. Read More »

The Godfather of Soul, James Brown, will soon have his life portrayed on the big screen. Oscar-winning producer Brian Grazer is teaming up with legendary rock star Mick Jagger to producer a still untitled film, directed by Tate Taylor (The Help) from a screenplay by Jez & John-Henry Butterworth (Fair Game). Grazer has been trying to get this movie done for the better part of a decade and, at one point before his passing, Brown was actively involved.

With financing in place, the producers will now look for distribution and – most importantly – an actor to play the lead. Read more after the jump. Read More »

Ron Howard is taking a break from his racing film Rush to follow Jay-Z as he creates a music festival. The rapper/producer is one of the minds behind the Made In America music festival, taking place September 1-2 in Philadelphia, PA and Howard, along with producing partner Brian Grazer, are filming the process for an upcoming documentary. Made in America features acts like Jay himself, Pearl Jam, Skrillex, The Hives, Drake, Jill Scott, D’Angelo and Afrojack but the film will be “born through Jay-Z’s perspective … how he puts the event together,” according to Grazer. Read more after the jump. Read More »

I’m crediting — or blaming — The Hunger Games for this one. Gary Ross’ film adaptation of the Suzanne Collins best-seller has undeniable reflections of George Orwell‘s nightmarish vision of totalitarian information control and thought suppression, and now, just hours before that film is released to the public, we have news of a new film version of his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, often simply called 1984. Read More »

Fittingly for Stephen King‘s long, winding novel series The Dark Tower, the road to the screen for the property has been a weird and bumpy one. Conceived by Ron Howard, Akiva Goldsman and Brian Grazer as a very ambitious adaptation that would involve three films and two connective television mini-series, the adaptation was originally housed at Universal, thanks to the company’s deal with Grazer and Howard’s Imagine Entertainment.

But Universal balked at the cost of the project, and so Imagine went shopping with The Dark Tower, which has had Javier Bardem attached to star as the Gunslinger, Roland Deschain.

Now it looks like Warner Bros., which has already been planning a multi-film adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand, is likely to pick up The Dark Tower. But will any of the project’s ambition change? Read More »

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Billy Crystal is the New Oscar Host [Updated]

In the wake of Ratnergate and the subsequent departure of Eddie Murphy as the host of next year’s Oscar ceremony and telecast, many questions have flown about who might step in to tell mild jokes and introduce musical numbers. The Muppets have a groundswell of support as possible hosts, but the logistics involved in making a Muppet-hosted Oscars work would seem to make that impossible. (That is, if the Academy was even really considering the option, which I doubt.)

Brian Grazer took over as telecast producer from the departed Brett Ratner, and a more than a few jokes were made about last-minute calls going out to Billy Crystal to host the Oscars once more. Now Deadline says that Crystal is in talks to host.

Updated: A tweet from Variety says that the Academy has confirmed Crystal as Oscar host. Read More »

Brian Grazer Replaces Brett Ratner as Oscars Producer

Earlier today, Eddie Murphy dropped out of his Oscar-hosting job after his Tower Heist director Brett Ratner resigned from his Oscar-producing gig. But if the Academy has things their way, Murphy may return yet. Producer Brian Grazer has been tapped to replace Ratner as the new Oscar producer, and apparently his first job will be to get Murphy back. More after the jump.

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‘The Dark Tower’ TV Series Will Air on HBO

Stephen King‘s fantasy Western series The Dark Tower has suffered numerous stops and starts in its slow road to the screen, but the adaptation seems to be inching ever closer to becoming a reality. Though Universal ultimately passed on Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, and Akiva Goldsman‘s ambitious plan to create a three-part film series and two connected TV seasons based on the books, Grazer sounded optimistic earlier this week when he revealed that he had trimmed $45-$50 million from the budget in an effort to get more companies interested. And today, he announced that while the film portion of the project has yet to find a home, the television part has just found one in HBO. More details after the jump.

Read More »