Has The Dark Tower finally fallen? Imagine Entertainment partners Ron Howard and Brian Grazer have been working up a very ambitious three-film and dual-TV series cycle of productions to adapt Stephen King‘s epic novel series. But last summer Universal decided not to finance the project, and Imagine took The Dark Tower to other studios. In March, Warner Bros. showed interest and for the past months screenwriter Akiva Goldsman has been doing script revisions to make it more budget-conscious.

Goldsman recently delivered his latest draft, and there was the possibility that Russell Crowe would play the lead character Roland “the Gunslinger” Deschain. But now Warners has passed as well, leaving the project with a very uncertain future. Read More »

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The last time we wrote about a possible film version of Erik Larson‘s book The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair That Changed America, Leonardo DiCaprio‘s company had just optioned the book and attached the actor to star. He hadn’t yet shot J. Edgar, which has already come and gone, and he wasn’t yet set for The Great Gatsby, which has wrapped principal photography.

Perhaps most crucially, he also hadn’t been signed to play the bad guy in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. DiCaprio hasn’t played a villain yet, so seeing him attached to The Devil in the White City was a big deal, because he was, and still is, set to play a serial killer that haunts the creation of the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. We haven’t heard much about the film version of the story in the past year, but Warner Bros. is still working to make it a reality, and has just hired Graham Moore to script. Read More »

Each December since 2004, studio executive Franklin Leonard has compiled the best unproduced screenplays of the year, as voted by hundreds of execs, agency guys, and high-level assistants. Titled The Black List, the compendium highlights both established screenwriters and up-and-comers, and has served as a launching pad in the past for projects like Juno, Lars and the Real Girl, and (500) Days of Summer. Last year’s list included Margin Call, Crazy, Stupid, Love, The Hunger Games, and Snow White and the Huntsman.

It should be noted that the headline is somewhat misleading — some of these screenplays have already been acquired and are already in development, though according to Leonard none will have entered principal photography by December 31, 2011. Also worth pointing out is that, as in previous years, there have been rumors that some of the participants have been accused of using the Black List to promote their own clients or friends. Finally, as Leonard reminds us each time, “The Black List is not a ‘best of’ list. It is, at best, a ‘most liked’ list.”

Regardless, we can always rely on the Black List to stir up conversation among both industry insiders and outside spectators alike, so without further ado, hit the jump for the complete 2011 list.

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Yesterday there was big news about David Yates and the development of a new Doctor Who film, which the director is overseeing with the BBC. That project is in the very early stages, with a writer yet to be hired. We’re not going to see that new version of Doctor Who for a couple years yet.

And Warner Bros., for which Yates made the last four Harry Potter films, is still trying to keep the director around. He was briefly set to make an adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand, before that project was taken over by Ben Affleck, and there are other WB films for which Yates name has been mentioned. Now Warners wants Yates to make The Imitation Game, a film about the mathematician Alan Turing, who was instrumental in WWII codebreaking efforts and, more famously, was a key mind in the development of computer science and artificial intelligence. He was also a persecuted homosexual who reportedly took his own life by eating an apple poisoned with cyanide.
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Leonardo DiCaprio‘s J. Edgar has yet to hit theaters, but the star may already be looking at his next biopic. Warner Bros. has picked up first-time screenwriter Graham Moore‘s spec script The Imitation Game, about the life and times of math genius Alan Turing, for a seven-figure sum today, outbidding several other indie companies.

Although no stars or directors are actually attached at this time, the company is said to have picked up the script because DiCaprio is eyeing the lead role. (WB also recently bought rights to the novel Satori as a possible DiCaprio film.) Ron Howard, whose last foray into truth-based dramas about brilliant but tortured mathematicians won him Best Picture and Best Director, is reportedly interested in directing. More details after the jump.

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