Ron Howard On The Status Of THE DARK TOWER

Ron Howard On The Status Of THE DARK TOWER

Has Rush director Ron Howard given up on his ambitious multi-motion picture and tie-in television series plans for an adaptation of Stephen King's Dark Tower series? Howard himself answers the question.

Stephen King DArk Tower Ron Howard

The development on the adaptation of the Stephen King Dark Tower novel series has been long and tumultuous to say the least. Three years and counting, the project doesn't appear to be any further along in the development stage and there haven't been any updates in quite a bit. So does that mean Ron Howard has officially dropped the project? Not so! "The Dark Tower is something that we’re still working on," revealed the Rush director. He continued, "We’ve all taken a vow of silence about the progress, the headway, what we think our timetable is, because I don’t think I realized how much media interest there was in the title and how much excitement there was."

Howard also added, "[The Dark Tower’s] a fascinating, powerful possibility and even Stephen King acknowledges it’s a tricky adaptation, but to be honest, from a financing side, it’s not a straightforward, four-quadrant, sunny Superhero story – it’s dark, it’s horror. That edge is what appeals to me, the complexities of those characters is what appeals to all of us. And I think Stephen King really respects that, with [regular screenwriting collaborator] Akiva Goldsman and myself, that that’s what we love about it, and that’s what we want to try to get to the screen."

So what exactly is the status of the project at this very moment? Howard states, "So my answer is: it got delayed, it’s never gone away. We’re working on it, and Stephen is very patient with us, and Akiva’s just gone off and directed a movie [an adaptation of Mark Helprin’s novel, Winter’s Tale, starring Colin Farrell, Russell Crowe, Jessica Brown Findlay, Jennifer Connelly and Will Smith], I’m continuing to work, but the Dark Tower dreams – fever dreams, rather – are still there, but we’re not going to give it a timetable."

And will Stephen King himself appear in The Dark Tower film and/or television series as he does in the novel and has Howard thought about how to handle that leap from fiction to reality? "Yes. And I will admit Stephen has said, ‘I don’t have to be in this.’ But that’s not to say that he won’t be," revealed Howard.

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Back in 2009, J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof were attached to a planned adaptation that was set to begin once Lost ended. However, later that year the duo announced they were backing off the project for undisclosed reasons. In 2010, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer secured film rights and announced their ambitious plan with Universal Pictures for several films and a television show that would bridge the gap between each film. A release date was set for 2013. Later that year Javier Bardem, Christian Bale and Viggo Mortensen were announced as the frontrunners for the lead role of Roland Deschain, with Javier Bardem eventually winning out. Naomie Harris was also rumored for the role of Susannah Dean. But that was never confirmed. In 2011, Universal put the project on hold due to cost concerns. Later in 2011, the project landed at HBO but only the tv portion. Howard and Grazer were still searching for a home for the film component. In 2012, Warner Bros. expressed interest but with Russell Crowe in the lead, not Javier Bardem. But later in 2012, Warner Bros. dropped out just like Universal. However Media Rights Capital quickly stepped in and expressed strong interest in producing a film. Earlier in 2013, Netflix expressed interest in assuming the television portion of Howard and Grazer's plans and confirmed that more serious talks would occur once Arrested Development finished filming.
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