It was a little more than two weeks ago that we brought you the sobering news that Imagine’s adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series had a go/no-go deadline looming. That deadline has now come and gone and it looks as if Warner Bros. has passed. This comes as yet another setback to the project, which has seen its share of woes: being let go by Universal, several budgetary concerns and difficulty landing a lead. The latest iteration of the script from Akiva Goldsman had Russell Crowe showing an interest if the project were to be greenlit. Sadly, that did not happen at Warner Bros. But there may yet be hope for Roland Deschain and director/producer Ron Howard. Hit the jump for more.
[Update: Deadline reports that Media Rights Capital is in "serious talks" to finance the project, in part because MRC executive Modi Wiczyk is apparently a big fan of the books. The original story follows after the jump.]
Variety reports that, although Warner Bros. may have passed, Imagine Entertainment is free to shop the project around to other studios. Many believed that WB was the best shot at so ambitious a project (the nine-volume series would have encompassed three films and two TV series, the latter most likely being handled by HBO). This is an unfortunate turn of events for fans of the series and for fans of epic stories brought to the big screen. A project this ambitious carries a high risk with no guaranteed reward, an equation that no major studio (or business, for that matter) seems willing to chance these days.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with The Dark Tower storyline (I’d suggest reading the books, since it doesn’t look like this will be coming to big or small screens any time soon), here’s a synopsis of the first book (via Amazon):
The Gunslinger introduces Roland Deschain of Gilead, of In-World that was, as he pursues his enigmatic antagonist to the mountains that separate the desert from the Western Sea. Roland is a solitary figure, perhaps accursed, who with a strange singlemindedness traverses an exhausted, almost timeless landscape. The people he encounters are left behind, or worse—left dead. At a way station, however, he meets Jake, a boy from a particular time (1977) and a particular place (New York City), and soon the two are joined—khef, ka, and ka-tet. The mountains lie before them. So does the man in black and, somewhere far beyond…the Dark Tower.