Though Universal recently cancelled the development of their corresponding movie and TV adaptations of Stephen King’s “The Dark Tower” book series due to budget issues, it appears the project is far from dead, as producer Brian Grazer has revealed that the TV portion, anyway, is in development at HBO.
“We’re going to do [‘The Dark Tower’] with HBO,” Grazer told MTV in an exclusive interview. “We’ll do the TV with HBO, and we’ll do the movie with… to be determined.”
The original plan at Universal had the studio slated to release a trilogy of “Dark Tower” films, with two seasons of an interstitial limited-run TV series to air between film installments. However, the enormous budget required for the extremely ambitious project proved too big a risk for the studio to commit.
Ron Howard was set to direct the film trilogy based off scripts by Akiva Goldsman, with Javier Bardem starring as the series’ central antihero, gunslinger Roland Deschain. “Battlestar Galactica” writer/producer Mark Verheiden was attached to co-write the TV portion with Goldsman. The plan was to shoot the first film and Season One of the TV series back-to-back to cut down on costs.
The “Dark Tower” series is made up of eight novels (the last of those, “The Wind Through the Keyhole”, is due for release in Spring 2012), one novella, several corresponding comic book offshoots, and even an online spin-off game. The first seven novels have sold over 30 million copies worldwide.
HBO certainly seems like the right fit for such a visionary series – certainly better than NBC, on which the TV portion would have run had Universal decided to move forward with the project. Hopefully Bardem remains on board as Deschain – he really seems made for the part.
What do you think of this development?