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The Dark Tower, Ron Howard's plan to bring to life the series of novels by Stephen King, has hit a major bump in the road. The project was being revved up at Universal as one of the most ambitious undertakings in recent memory: the series was to include three proposed films and (at least) two seasons of TV over a period of years. Oscar winner Javier Bardem had even been secured to play the lead role. Deadline reported recently that the project has been rejected by Universal, citing budgetary concerns.
No official reason has been released from either the studio or the filmmakers, but Deadline says that after reviewing the first film’s script and first round of scripts from season one of the TV series — penned by Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind) — the studio opted to only commit to the first film alone. Not surprisingly, the filmmakers could not accept that, not when you have a massive cast to build and commit to the series and a hell of a lot of sets/props to make.
The announcement, while a stunner, is not entirely a surprise. Universal had already pushed back production plans on the first film while the financials of the series were being hammered out. Howard was light on details (and confidence) on when the project would have a definite green light.
The most recent development on the rumor mill is that Warners Bros, currently in the middle of financing the two-part adaptation of The Hobbit, may be a potential home for the troubled project, considering “Harry Potter” is now over and Christopher Nolan’s “Batman” series will end next year. However, after investing $500 million in a failed Green Lantern debut, we shouldn't count those eggs just yet.