Tag: the dark tower
Ron Howard’s ambitious multi-platform project to being Stephen King’s The Dark Tower to life – originally conceived as a trilogy of movies AND two TV series – is looking for studio backing again. After Universal balked on the project a year ago, Warner Bros stepped in – but now it seems even WB has passed on it, despite getting an updated script from Akiva Goldsman and buzz about Russell Crowe interested in a lead role.
But another funding source may be in the hunt, with Media Rights Capital interested. MRC recently funded the Seth MacFarlane hit comedy Ted, and also the upcoming Elysium starring Matt Damon and Jodi Foster and directed by Neill Blomkamp (District 9). So for now, the project lives on.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, director Ron Howard discussed his upcoming Formula One racing-based movie Rush, but also discussed a bit about the state of The Dark Tower: “We are continuing to work on the script to find ways to make the budget more manageable and still deliver the work in a way that the project deserves,” he said. “We were always racing and fast-tracking the project, so I always wince when I see something written about it and there’s a release date in there. These kinds of projects often take years to come together in the right ways. But I am in love with the material, and the minute it can come together in the right way, I am fully committed to it.”
Not sure how this goes along with the related TV series reportedly finding a network – hopefully we will get more clarity soon – but Howard certainly seems committed to bringing it to the screen.
The off-and-on The Dark Tower project, based on the Stephen King book series, may have found a home for the TV portion of the multi-media production, according to an interview that Brian Grazer gave to MTV News. Reportedly going through a budget-slimming process after Universal balked at the price tag for a “3 movie and 2 TV series” plan (Grazer says they’ve already cut $45 million), at least the TV portion may land at HBO. “We’re going to do [‘The Dark Tower’] with HBO,” according to Grazer. “We’ll do the TV with HBO, and we’ll do the movie with… to be determined. We’ll do it right.”
No confirmation has come from HBO yet, but given that HBO greenlighted the ambitious Game of Thrones to excellent results, perhaps they can see the benefits beyond the risks. Meanwhile, Deadline reports that there is no deal actually in place.
Cool projects never die, they just never get made…seems that director Ron Howard still has not given up hope on his The Dark Tower project, which Universal scrapped last month. According what producer Brian Grazer (Howard’s business partner in Imagine Entertainment) told the New York Post, Howard is shopping around for external financing, and they may plan to separate the TV series as separate deals, possibly distributing through alternative media such as Netflix. However, any production won’t begin until next year now, as Howard already has another project, the Formula One themed Rush, on his plate.
Universal had some cold feet regarding the massive The Dark Tower project, putting it on hold back in May, but producers Brian Grazer and Ron Howard still had hopes of working out a budget and schedule with the studio. Well, apparently Universal felt the cold creeping in and has now scrapped the project completely. Reportedly after reviewing the script from writer Akiva Goldsman for the first film and series, the studio balked and would only commit to the movie, but the producers really wanted to film the series in tandem with all the sets available.
Envisioned as a trilogy of movies as well as two limited TV series, the project certainly presented a big risk for the studio. Grazer and Howard are presumably free to shop the project around to another studio.
Deadline has an excellent interview with Brian Grazer and Ron Howard about their 25 year partnership with Imagine Entertainment. As part of that, they ask some questions about the ambitious project to turn Stephen King’s The Dark Tower into three movies and two TV series! And they also say why the reports of a budget cut won’t hurt so bad…first, they were hoping to fast track the production, but Universal balked so they are going with a “more traditional timetable”, which is why it was pushed back, but it still could get done faster than usual.
When asked about the budget Grazer responded, “I’m producing it with Akiva Goldsman, who wrote it to be sensitive to cost and is rewriting it to be more so. Without putting a number on it, the cuts aren’t that deep or that radical.”
So we haven’t heard the last of The Dark Tower.
That ambitious project of Ron Howard’s to turn Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series into a combinations of films and TV series might have been a bit too ambitious – at least for Universal, who is concerned about the budget. As a result, the staff working on it have been placed on hiatus while Howard’s Imagine Entertainment and writer/producer Akiva Goldsman discuss the budget with the studio.
Could Universal be getting a bit skittish at big budget risks? They did balk at the $150 million budget Guillermo del Toro’s At The Mountains of Madness – but del Toro wanted to release with an R-rating as well, perhaps limiting the audience. But how can you do a PG-13 Lovecraft story?!?
In what may be the most ambitious Hollywood plans ever, Universal Pictures and NBC Universal Television Entertainment are planning to make Stephen King’s massive The Dark Tower saga into a series of three movies – and a TV series as well. Ron Howard will direct the first film and the first season of the series, with Akiva Goldsman writing and Brian Grazer producing.
Why are they trying to tap both formats at the same time? Howard told Deadline, “With this story, if you dedicated to one medium or another, there’s the horrible risk of cheating material. The scope and scale call for a big screen budget. But if you committed only to films, you’d deny the audience the intimacy and nuance of some of these characters and a lot of cool twists and turns that make for jaw-dropping, compelling television.”