Universal Working to Bring THE DARK TOWER Budget Down, Pushes Start Date Back

by     Posted 3 years, 99 days ago

Maybe it really was just too good to be true. Last week, we reported that Universal was reconsidering their commitment to Ron Howard’s insanely ambitious adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series, which would span three feature films and two seasons of a TV show. Now THR reports that the project will remain at Universal, but Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman have regrouped and are attempting to bring what most certainly has to be a mammoth budget down to something more feasible.

The fall production start date has now been shelved, with no replacement date announced, but it’s rumored that they may be ready to go sometime early next year. However, what this means for star Javier Bardem’s involvement is unclear. His deal requires a great deal of his time be blocked out for the series, but pushing the start date back may interfere with other projects the actor has lined up. Howard will be directing at least the first film and first episode of the TV series. For now, we can be thankful that the project wasn’t shelved altogether. To catch up on all our coverage of The Dark Tower so far, click here.

Universal Considers Pulling Out of THE DARK TOWER

by     Posted 3 years, 107 days ago

Every time I had the opportunity to write about the developing adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series, I wrote with awe at the ambition.  Three movies and two seasons of television!  I still can’t believe the studio is actually pulling this together.  Well, you see, here’s the thing…

Variety hears Universal is rethinking the original plan.  After encountering budgetary complications, the studio executives are expected to meet soon to decide whether to put the project into turnaround, at which point Imagine Entertainment heads Ron Howard and Brian Grazer could shop it to another studio.  If this happens, Universal could still co-finance or partner with the new home studio.

Variety stresses that, as of this writing, Universal has no plans to halt the development process.  Akiva Goldsman will write the screenplay, with Howard committed to direct at least the first movie.  Javier Bardem is on board as Roland Deschain, and the filmmakers are casting the supporting roles around him.  At the very least, though, this news casts a shadow of doubt on the planned May 17, 2013 debut.  More, including a synopsis of the series, after the jump.

Mark Verheiden to Co-Write THE DARK TOWER TV Series With Akiva Goldsman

by     Posted 3 years, 130 days ago

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Universal Pictures and sister company NBC Universal Television Entertainment have massive plans to adapt The Dark Tower, the sprawling series of horror-fantasy novels by Stephen King.  Up first is a Dark Tower feature film, the first in a planned trilogy.  Ron Howard will direct, Javier Bardem will play Roland Deschain.  Then NBC will premiere a Dark Tower television series to bridge the gaps between films.  Deadline reports Mark Verheiden has signed on to co-write and executive produce the series with Akiva Goldsman (Fringe).

Prior reports suggest the first TV season serves as a prequel.  After the release of the second film, Bardem will take over the role for the second season.  Verheiden’s resume is steeped in genre fare: Smallville, Battlestar Galactica, Heroes, Caprica.  More recently, Verheiden was co-executive producer on the alien invasion series Falling Skies, which premieres June 19 on TNT.

Read a synopsis for the Dark Tower series after the break.

Javier Bardem Close to a Deal to Star in THE DARK TOWER

by     Posted 3 years, 136 days ago

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We are going to track every damn step of Javier Bardem’s road to portray Roland Deschain in Universal’s adaptation of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series.  Under considerationOffered the role.  Producer Brian Grazer even created a new stage: “locked in psychologically“  (whatever that means).  Tonight, Deadline reports Bardem is “close to sealing his deal.”  Director Ron Howard is confident in his commitment, and has initiated meetings with other actors to build up a supporting cast around Bardem.

Universal is launching both a feature film trilogy and two seasons of a television based on The Dark Tower mythology, which introduces several layers of complexity to the negotiation.  The contract signs Bardem for the first film and one season of television with options on the two movie sequels to score his highest salary to date.  Hit the jump for a synopsis of the Dark Tower series.

Javier Bardem ‘Psychologically Confirmed’ to Star in Ron Howard’s THE DARK TOWER

by     Posted 3 years, 172 days ago

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Back in January, it was reported that actor Javier Bardem had been offered the lead role in Ron Howard’s ambitious three film/TV series adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. While not much was heard after that, Howard’s producing partner Brian Grazer recently offered an update on Bardem’s involvement:

“Javier Bardem, that’s what we’re hoping. We’re in the process of trying to put that together. He’s locked in psychologically. He really wants to do it, so we’re absolutely rooting for him to do it.”

So it looks like Bardem’s keen to take the role on, and he’s currently in the negotiating phase. This could take a while, given that if he signs on it will likely be for three films and one “season” of the TV series. The adaptation is being spread out over three feature films, with two TV “seasons” bridging the gap between each film. In the interview with MTV, Grazer also revealed that the first story they’re exploring is The Gunslinger, which is the first book in King’s Dark Tower series. Hit the jump for more on The Dark Tower.

Javier Bardem Offered Lead in Ron Howard’s THE DARK TOWER

by     Posted 3 years, 206 days ago

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Well that was fast. Earlier today, we told you that Christian Bale was the current frontrunner to be cast as the lead in Ron Howard’s ambitious adaption of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. Now, it’s being reported that Javier Bardem has officially been offered the lead role of gunslinger Roland Deschain in the film.  The part has been one of the most hotly sought after in Hollywood at the moment, with the shortlist of actors being considered for the part growing every day. The book series will be adapted into three films by screenwriter Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind), with a two-season TV series bridging the gaps between each film. Hit the jump for the details on how all of this will work, including how one of the TV seasons might be a prequel.

Is Christian Bale the Frontrunner to Play Roland Deschain in Ron Howard’s THE DARK TOWER?

by     Posted 3 years, 206 days ago

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Almost a month ago, we reported that Javier Bardem and Viggo Mortensen were the leading candidates to take on the starring role of Roland Deschain in Ron Howard’s The Dark Tower adaptation.  Today, we’re updating the list of candidates to include recent Golden Globe-winner (and current Oscar-nominee) Christian Bale.  Reports are filing in that Bale has not only entered the casting equation but that he is currently director Ron Howard’s choice for the lead role.

For more on the role of Deschain as well as updates regarding possible candidates for female character Susannah Dean, hit the jump.

Universal Considers Javier Bardem and Viggo Mortensen for Roland Deschain in THE DARK TOWER

by     Posted 3 years, 233 days ago

By virtue of ambition, Universal’s undertaking to adapt Stephen King’s The Dark Tower novels ought to be fun to track through the development process.  Ron Howard is signed to direct the first film of a planned trilogy.  The intent is to fill the gap between each film with the season of  Dark Tower on television.

The Hollywood agencies are understandably doing everything they can to get their clients in a room with the producers of such a hot property.  The studio has reportedly narrowed down the list of actors to play Roland Deschain, the main character from the books.  At the moment Javier Bardem is the leading candidate; Viggo Mortensen is a “close second.”  More after the jump:

Universal Sets Release Dates for THE BOURNE LEGACY, OUIJA, THE DARK TOWER, and More

by     Posted 3 years, 295 days ago

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Universal Pictures has set release dates for some of its major upcoming films.  The studio has announced dates for Larry Crowne, Safe House, Contraband, The Bourne Legacy, Ouija, 47 Ronin, Snow White and the Huntsman, and The Dark Tower.  Hit the jump for the release dates for all of these films, other films that may share that weekend, and a brief refresher on each project.

Stephen King’s THE DARK TOWER to Become a Film Trilogy and TV Series; Ron Howard to Direct First Film

by     Posted 3 years, 346 days ago

Universal has announced plans to make a film trilogy and television series out of Stephen King’s epic Dark Tower book series with Ron Howard set to direct the first film.  An adaptation of The Dark Tower has long been in the works with J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindeloff attempting to tackle the project for a few years before giving up last year. A few months passed before we got news that Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and Akiva Goldsman had gotten the rights from King and were either planning a trilogy of films or a film that would be followed by a TV series.

Now, we have news of what exactly the plan is going to be.  Hit the jump for the full details along with the press release.

Bad Robot Returns THE DARK TOWER to Stephen King; Now in the Hands of Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and Akiva Goldsman

by     Posted 4 years, 113 days ago

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Back in November, we reported director J.J. Abrams had dropped out of directing Stephen King’s The Dark Tower as a feature film.  Originally, Bad Robot (his production company) landed the rights to the series from King and Abrams had planned on teaming up with Damon Lindeloff to tackle the property.  There was also some talk that Lindeloff and Carlton Cuse might try and tackle The Dark Tower as a TV series after Lost, but Lindeloff told USA Today, “After working six years on ‘Lost,’ the last thing I want to do is spend the next seven years adapting one of my favorite books of all time.”

Since Bad Robot decided they wouldn’t adapt the material, they gave the rights back to Stephen King. But with the popularity of the book series, everyone knew it would land in the hands of someone else, and thanks to reports on Deadline and THR (who both claimed exclusives), it’s Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and Akiva Goldsman. While I would love to tell you their plans for the series…according to the two reports, they either want to make a trilogy of movies or one movie followed by a TV show. Crazy, I know.  Hit the jump for more:

J.J. Abrams Leaves THE DARK TOWER

by     Posted 4 years, 282 days ago

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J.J. Abrams finally said no to a project.  Unfortunately, MTV Movies is reporting that project was an adaptation of Stephen King’s wildly popular The Dark Tower series that he and Damon Lindelof were previously attached to.  While Abrams cited his reluctance to delve into a new story immediately after finishing Lost, Lindelof mentioned the difficulty of adapting an immensely popular work.  “Having seen Zack [Snyder] go through what he went through on Watchmen in terms of saying where can I digress from the material, I just get headaches from changing anything,” he said.  Hear that fanboys and fangirls?  Your reputation for intense scrutiny has gotten so bad it’s scaring people away from good projects.  Keep it up and you can kiss that Wheel of Time adaptation goodbye.

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