The writing has been on the wall for a little while now, but here’s the final word: Universal doesn’t want to risk coin on three movies and two connecting TV arcs based on Stephen King‘s The Dark Tower. Imagine Entertainment wants a commitment for more than one film, which is all Universal was willing to sign off on. So the Universal chapter of this story is over. The studio has passed on the project, leaving Ron Howard, Akiva Goldsman and Brian Grazer holding a script, the possible lingering willingness of Javier Bardem to play the lead role, and some big hopes. Read More »


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On his latest film Cowboys and Aliens, director Jon Favreau has decided to take the EPK interviews into his own hands and record conversations with the cast and crew.  I love that Favreau is doing this, my only complaint is that I wish he would release the interview in long form, not broken up into highlight clips. A couple weeks back we posted Favreau’s sit-down interview with the film’s co-star Harrison Ford.  Today we bring you Favreau’s sitdown with producers Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer. Hit the jump to watch the video clips now.

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Whatever you think of the grand career sweep of the creative team, Imagine Entertainment and, in particular, Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and Akiva Goldsman are trying something pretty outrageous with their adaptation of Stephen King‘s novel series The Dark Tower. Set to span three films and two limited TV series, with an offshoot game or two to add additional flavor, there’s nothing quite like it on the drawing boards anywhere else.

Javier Bardem is provisionally cast as the Gunslinger, Roland Deschain, but Universal wanted a bit of a budget reduction, and the schedule was pushed back. We’re still waiting to see the studio flash the green light for The Dark Tower, but in the meantime Ron Howard and Brian Grazer clarify where the project stands. Read More »

Universal won’t pass on the massive Ron Howard and Akiva Goldsman adaptation of Stephen King‘s series The Dark Tower, but the studio is making some changes before it writes a check. We recently heard that the project, which is mean to come to life as three feature films and a couple of TV arcs, might be shelved at Universal and offered up to other studio homes. Universal doesn’t want to let it go — understandable, as there is nothing execs like less than seeing projects they pass over do well somewhere else — but is asking for a new look at the budget, and has pushed the start date for the first film back from this fall to some time next year. Will that mean The Dark Tower loses Javier Bardem as the lead? Read More »

UPDATE: Bad news. Deadline is now reporting that pre-production staff on The Dark Tower has been put on hiatus as the budget issues are worked out. Read more after the jump.

Just when things seemed too good to be true for fans of Stephen King‘s The Dark Tower, that just might be the case. Last year, Universal announced an ambitious plan to adapt the popular series of novels beginning with a film version directed by Ron Howard and followed by multiple theatrical sequels and television events covering the seven current books. The series tells the sprawling and epic tale of Roland Deschain, the last in a mythic order of men called The Gunslingers, who is on a quest through a magical western world to find the Dark Tower, where all answers will be revealed. Brian Grazer was set to produce, Akiva Goldsmith was writing the script and Oscar-winner Javier Bardem was all but set to play Deschain. Things were looking good.

Now Variety reports that Universal is beginning to have second thoughts on the epic production and, in the coming days, could decide to put it in turnaround. That could result in another studio taking over or the project dying a slow death. Read More »

Briefly: Young screenwriter Max Landis (being contemplative at left above) has steadily been making bigger and bigger deals. He’s got Chronicle in production at Fox and recently sold his action/comedy script Good Time Gang, called “a cross between The Bourne Identity and Jackass.” Now he’s teaming with producer Brian Grazer and attached director Ron Howard for a film called Amnesty.

We don’t have a plot recap at this point, but in the announcement of the deal Deadline relates that the script “blends Robert Ludlum and JRR Tolkien.” I have no idea what that would actually be on the page — the combo suggests any number of possibilities. Oddly, it also suggests the sort of genre-bending that is the core of Ron Howard’s current big project, The Dark Tower. Akiva Goldsman is writing the first feature installment of that, but I wonder if we’ll see Max Landis in the writing credits for the planned Dark Tower series somewhere down the line.

The plot is decidedly un-Disney. In the near future, with the Earth’s surface inhabitable, a small group of survivors pick one man to travel back in time to try and stop the event that caused the devastation. Once he arrives in the past, however, the man forgets about humanity and selfishly tries to save the love of his life. That’s the pitch Disney has just purchased called The Runner, which will be written by Dave Andron (Knight Rider, Justified) to potentially be directed by Marc Forster and produced by Brian Grazer. Read more after the jump. Read More »

Ron Howard Talks About ‘The Dark Tower’

In the past week, as Ron Howard starts to promote The Dilemma, I’ve seen a couple threadbare sets of quotes in which the filmmaker talks about his upcoming adaptation of Stephen King‘s sprawling fantasy/horror/’unified field theory of genre’ series The Dark Tower. I say ‘threadbare’ because he hasn’t opened up at all about how he, Brian Grazer and Akiva Goldsman actually plan to put the books on screen.

But now Ron Howard has opened up a little more — but only a little. Read More »

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