A few weeks ago, the fate of "The Dark Tower" adaptation was up in the air. Warner Brothers was kicking around the idea of having Russell Crowe headline it, but first, the studio needed to decide if it wanted to go ahead with the project at all. That decision how now been made, and it's bad news for Stephen King fans, as it has passed on the idea altogether.
While the studio did not officially state its reasons, it's possible it balked at the hugely ambitious project, which is being pitched by producers Brian Glazer and Ron Howard as a sprawling, multi-media event. Not only would it encompass a trio of films, but also a couple of mini-series in order to deliver the breadth of King's seven part novel.
Such an investment and financial commitment would involve a huge risk for any studio, especially since it would likely carry an R-rating in order to remain faithful to the source material. Universal already passed on the project last year, which is how it ended up at Warner Brothers, who had been mulling the project over for months.
While this isn't a death blow to the project--Howard and Glazer can now shop it to other suitors--it is a bit of a stumbling block. The project is unlike anything ever conceived, and, even in this age where studios are looking to set up franchises, this seems like a huge risk.
A glimmer of hope has emerged in the form of Media Rights Capital, as Deadline is reporting that the production house has entered talks to finance the project in the wake of this news.
Not all is lost for King fans, however, as WB still has both "It" and "The Stand" in development. Cary Fukunaga is set to helm a two-part adaptation of the former, while Ben Affleck has been attached to the latter. Of course, the studio has also shown interest in having Affleck direct its Justice League film as well, so even "The Stand" might be on shaky ground.
Even if those two films do make it to theaters, though, it's a bit of a shame that they won't be able to intertwine with "The Dark Tower"; King's epic series features numerous references to his own universe, and it would have been a boon to see all of these projects in development under the same roof.