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 »

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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 »

Mark Verheiden is a name that has been known in geek circles for years. I first ran across his stuff when he was scripting comics like the Aliens series for Dark Horse over twenty years ago. Since then he has become a steady scriptwriter for television, with many episodes of Battlestar Galacitca, Smallville and Heroes under his belt, among others. He’s a co-exec producer on the upcoming Falling Skies, and now he’s been tapped to work with Akiva Goldsman as co-writer and exec producer on The Dark Tower. Read More »

Update from Editor Peter Sciretta: Deadline is now reporting that Javier Bardem is in final discussions to play gunslinger Roland Deschain in The Dark Tower. According to the report, the deal is so close to done that “Howard has begun meeting with other actors to cast the roles around Bardem.” Since there aren’t any new details to add, we have Russ’ original story (published March 2nd 2011) after the jump.

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Javier Bardem Offered Lead in ‘The Dark Tower’

It was just earlier today that we heard Christian Bale might be on the wishlist for the role of Roland Deschain in Ron Howard and Akiva Goldsman‘s film and TV adaptation of Stephen King‘s series The Dark Tower. It seemed odd, given that Mr. Bale will soon have his hands full being Batman for a third and possibly final time. But the source was the same one that had pegged Javier Bardem and Viggo Mortensen as being serious contenders, and that info turned out to be on the money.

In fact, that info was very on the money as Deadline now reports that Javier Bardem has been offered the role. This is step one, and the site says that negotiations haven’t begun, but “there’s a high level of enthusiasm internally that they’ve got their cowboy.” Read More »

Christian Bale Now On ‘The Dark Tower’ Wishlist?

We still don’t know who Ron Howard, Akiva Goldsman and Brian Grazer will chose to lead the cast of their large-scale and very ambitious adaptation of Stephen King‘s equally large-scale and very ambitious novel series The Dark Tower. Javier Bardem and Viggo Mortensen have been said to top the wishlist, but now they may have company: Christian Bale is reportedly now a contender. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Ron Howard appeared on Thursday morning’s Howard Stern Show on Sirius Satellite Radio to promote his upcoming comedy The Dilemma. And during the appearance, Howard revealed a few tidbits about his big screen and small screen adaptation of Stephen King‘s The Dark Tower.

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It’s probably the slowest week of the year and one of the more difficult times when it comes to verifying thinly-reported info. Just two weeks ago the LA Times talked to Ron Howard on the subject of his upcoming adaptation of Stephen King‘s massive series The Dark Tower. The project is in the early stages, with Akiva Goldsman scripting, but casting supposition is already in full swing. At the time of that interview Ron Howard acknowledged that Viggo Mortensen, an oft-mentioned fan choice, is a reasonable name to discuss.

Now the New York Post has reported that Javier Bardem is the first choice for the central role of the gunslinger Roland, with Viggo Mortensen as a backup choice. 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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