Stephen King’s magnum opus may never get made at this rate. If you haven’t read The Dark Tower, you’re kind of missing out. It’s by far the longest and most involved thing the modern master of horror has ever penned, and it offers keys to much of his personal mythology. Starting with The Gunslinger in 1982 and running through seven more novels, including this year’s The Wind Through The Keyhole, it follows knight Roland Deschain as he searches for the titular tower, which serves as a portal between multiple universes.
Rumors of a film adaptation of the series have been percolating for years, with J.J. Abrams attached as far back as 2007. Most recently, producer Brian Grazer picked up the rights and developed an ambitious plan for the books that would see three feature films combined with two seasons of a TV series designed to bridge the gaps in between. Ron Howard was attached to direct, with Javier Bardem starring. Needless to say, something like this had never been attempted before, so the next step was finding a studio willing to pony up the cash for it. Universal was originally the frontrunner, but they pulled out in July of last year and the project seemed to be finding a home at Warner Brothers.
Unfortunately, it now looks like Warner is out as well. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the studio has finally said a definite “no” to the project, which was recast with Russell Crowe in the lead. It seemed like a no-brainer to me, with strong Game Of Thrones potential (HBO, Warner’s TV arm, would probably have aired the TV component) but reports are that the budget was just too high. Stephen King hasn’t performed too well at the box office lately, with the last one going straight to DVD. So what’s next for The Dark Tower? There aren’t many studios in the business anymore with the resources to do the story like it deserves to be done. It might be time to just let the dream die.