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Sci-Fi Film and Television Developments


The Dark Tower

3/2/16 - Author Stephen King said on his Twitter account that Idris Elba has been set to play the gunslinger Roland Deschain. He will square off against Matthew McConaughey, who’ll play the villainous Man in Black. Nikolaj Arcel is directing.  Producing are Weed Road’s Akiva Goldsman and Imagine Entertainment’s Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Erica Huggins. King is also a producer.  Source:


8/21/12 - Warner Bros. has turned down Stephen King’s The Dark Tower.  The project was previously declined by Universal due to budgetary issues.  King's Western-style fantasy series is set mostly in an alternate world heavy on magic and centers on a man who is part of a knightly order of gunslingers. Source: The Hollywood Reporter


10/25/11 - Stephen King's The Dark Tower has landed at HBO, according to The Hollywood Reporter.  Producer Brian Grazer told MTV on Tuesday that, after shedding $45 million from its budget, the project appears likely to be a go with premium cable network HBO.  "We're going to do The Dark Tower with HBO," Grazer said. "We'll do the TV with HBO, and we'll do the movie with … to be determined."  Grazer added that he's optimistic that the production can retain star Javier Bardem, who was attached to play lead Roland Dechain.


7/18/11 - Universal has officially closed The Dark Tower, its ambitious three-movie and TV series adaptation of Stephen King’s fantasy Western from Imagine Entertainment, writer Akiva Goldsman and director Ron Howard, according to The Hollywood Reporter.  Today was D-Day for Dark Tower because the studio had a July 15 deadline to commit to the movies or not. All the creatives have been told that the studio couldn't make the financials work.


5/13/11 – Stephen King’s Dark Tower is staying at Universal, according to The Hollywood Reporter.  The project did hit budgetary snags, but Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and Akiva Goldsman have regrouped to try to bring the budget down.  Insiders say the end result is that Goldsman is now rewriting the script to reflect a lower price point. No start date has been given although it will certainly not be the fall.  Dark Tower is to be a film trilogy with a TV component in between the movies. Howard has committed to direct the movie and the first episode of the show, with Goldsman writing all three movies.


5/6/11 - Universal, Imagine Entertainment and NBC’ project, Stephen King’s The Dark Tower has hit a major snag, according to The Hollywood Reporter.  Word leaked Thursday that Universal and its new owners at Comcast had serious budget issues with the massive project. Spearheaded by Imagine’s Ron Howard and Brian Grazer as well as writer-producer Akiva Goldsman, Dark Tower was to have been a film trilogy with a TV component in between the movies. Javier Bardem was in negotiations to star in the Howard-directed first movie and the first TV component, with options for the other two movies; in April, Mark Verheiden came aboard to co-write the TV component with Goldsman.  But multiple sources told THR Thursday that the project was in trouble and on the verge of being put in turnaround.  Imagine president Michael Rosenberg, however, vehemently denies that the project has been shelved.  "Dark Tower is not in turnaround," Rosenberg tells THR, adding "there are issues and on-going budget discussions with almost every film in development."  Two sources close to the project say that Comcast executives have heavily scrutinized the plan, mainly due to budgetary concerns. The sources also say that the final portion of the project has been found creatively lacking.  A final decision is said to be expected soon on whether to move forward, seek additional financing partners or cancel the project entirely. But cast and crew have been told to stop prepping the project.


9/8/10 - Stephen King's epic fantasy series The Dark Tower is being turned into a film and television franchise, according to The Hollywood Reporter.  The project is set up at Universal Studios, which is developing three films and a TV show based on the horrormeister's seven "Dark Tower" novels, short stories and comic books.  Ron Howard will direct both the first film and first season of the TV show, all of which will be written by Akiva Goldsman. Howard will additionally serve as a producer with business partner Brian Grazer.  The books chronicle a mysterious gunslinger named Roland as he travels across a desolate and vaguely post-apocalyptic landscape in his quest for a black tower. Portals along the way eventually allow contact with our own modern world.  The first film will be immediately followed by a TV series that will bridge the second film. After the second film, the TV series will show the adventures of The Gunslinger as a young man as a bridge to the third film and beyond.


4/30/10 - J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot production company no longer has the rights to Stephen King's The Dark Tower book series, according to The Hollywood Reporter.  Bad Robot has returned the rights to the best-selling author. Now Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and Akiva Goldsman are teaming up to tackle the fantasy Western.  The three are in discussions to adapt the material as a movie, to be written by Goldsman and directed by Howard.  Tower is not set up for production, nor has any option deal been made, but insiders say Universal, home to Imagine, would be the studio that will release the movie.


5/4/09 - J.J. Abrams and his producing partner, Damon Lindelof, told that they have been working on a film adaptation of Stephen King's classic novel series The Dark Tower.  "Damon Lindelof and I talked to Mr. King," Abrams told IGN. "We got the rights for Dark Tower as a film. Damon is obviously still on Lost, and we've been working on Star Trek together. As soon as Lost is done, hopefully we'll begin tackling that."  As Lost wraps up its penultimate season and gets ready for its sixth and final year, Lindelof told the Lostpedia that his entire creative energy is currently focused solely on the series.  "We're just so focused on finishing Lost that it's really hard to think about anything else," he said. "The last thing we want to think about is how to adapt a seven-book series of, you know, basically the writer who we admire the most and look up to most and has inspired our work the most and do anything with that. I think that it's such a daunting task. We have a pretty daunting task in front of us ourselves."  Previously, Lindelof told AMC that he envisions the series on the same scope as Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy, possibly even seven movies to match the book series' seven volumes.


9/4/08 - Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof mentions his plans for a film series based on Stephen King's The Dark Tower books.  “The Dark Tower is to me every bit as daunting an adaptation as the Lord of the Rings trilogy must have been for Peter Jackson, except we've got seven books we're looking at. And the idea of doing that at the same time Carlton and I are bringing Lost to a close is simply not viable. There are always Dark Tower conversations, but the figuring out of what this will look like as a movie has not begun. If The Dark Tower were in the right hands, I would love to see seven movies executed just right. But you have to get people to see the first one to get them to come and see the second one.”


12/31/06 - Stephen King confirmed his epic multi-volume book series The Dark Tower will be developed for the screen.  Stay tuned on this one.  -  Living Among You Since 2004