HBO News Blog

Ron Howard mentions THE DARK TOWER in Interview

By Jef Dinsmore on Sep 21, 2013 to Dark Tower

RonHowardHere is a small tidbit about a project at the top of everyone’s wish list it seems – the adaptation of Steven King’s The Dark Tower. Director Ron Howard has had great interest in it since 2010. His ambitious concept, as initially stated, was to have three theatrical films bridged by seasons of a television series. HBO was the network of choice mentioned. Netflix has also put its name in the ring as an interested party.  

 The whole project has been in the dark but now Ron Howard has made a statement regarding it. He spoke about the project with Empire Magazine, a SF & F media outlet out of the UK, via a podcast. Here are some key comments.

“The Dark Tower is something that we’re still working on. We’ve all taken a vow of silence about the progress, the headway, what we think our timetable is, because I don’t think I realized how much media interest there was in the title and how much excitement there was.”

“It’s a fascinating, powerful possibility and even Stephen King acknowledges it’s a tricky adaptation, but to be honest it is not a straightforward…superhero story – it’s dark, it’s horror. That edge is what appeals to me, the complexities of those characters is what appeals to all of us. And I think Stephen King really respects that, with [screenwriter] Akiva Goldsman and myself, that that’s what we love about it, and that’s what we want to try to get to the screen.”

And finally Ron Howard saysDARKTOWER

“So my answer is: it got delayed, it’s never gone away. We’re working on it, and Stephen is very patient with us, and Akiva’s just gone off and directed a movie, I’m continuing to work but the Dark Tower dreams – fever dreams, rather – are still there, but we’re not going to give it a timetable.”

Not only is Goldsman apparently busy but so is Howard as his latest movie Rush opens and he prepares for Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon tale Inferno. So THE DARK TOWER is nowhere in sight but it is not forgotten by Ron Howard or its eager fans… and so we wait.

  • Charles Spells

    Timothy Olyphant would be the best actor hands down for the part of Roland. No comparisons when I first saw Timothy in Deadwood , Roland was the first character to come to mind

  • gunslinger9

    I know there haven’t been any posts about this for a while, but I am really interested to find out what comes of this. I am reading the comics while patiently awaiting the premier of either a tv series or movie series. I am in love.

    • Jef Dinsmore

      yes, “The Dark Tower” project on any level has been very dark indeed. I do not expect to ever see it on HBO.

  • Milord Cutter

    I pictured a variety of actors for the stoic, world-weary Roland when I read the books, most commonly Scott Glen. There are plenty of possibilities: Vigo Mortensen, Lance Henricksen, or even Clint Eastwood if he is still ambulatory and lucid (I hear he talks to chairs, these days.)

  • hwb

    anson mount of hell on wheels if not locked to amc

  • hwb

    come on ron if not hbo at least netflix look at house of cards etc..

  • Thecoconutkid

    Richard Roxburgh anyone?

  • DrSav

    Guy Pearce must be considered. He has all the features required of Roland.
    Gaunt, weathered, stoic, big blue eyes, could have been pretty once, but is harsh after years of walking about.

  • Colin Hayward

    Roland is supposed to be older, and gaunt, and worn. I think Mortensen would be a good choice, as would Christian Bale. But honestly, Bardem is a great actor and make-up artists are quite good these days, so I don’t really know if the look of the actor really matters.

    • JMart

      Mortensen is actually who I used as a base to visualize Roland, so I also think he would be a great fit. And I did love him in Hidalgo.

      • rory

        +1 for Viggo (he was my template for Roland too)

  • Christi Narmaki


  • Christi Narmaki

    oh and how about Daniel Day-Lewis as Roland…come on….or he’ll drink your milkshake!!

  • Guest

    and why not Daniel Day-Lewis as Roland??

  • Christi Narmaki

    GAME OF THRONES DID IT!!! You can do it too RON Howard!!! Please, oh please, oh please!!! Pass on the movies, just do it as a series you’ll have to change some stuff and you’ll have to shorten it, but look at what HBO has done with songs of fire and ice!! FREAKING AMAZING!!! We are dying for DARK TOWER!!! Come on HBO, lets get on this!!!!

  • Nick

    Eh, this wasn’t my favorite fantasy tale. Give me a series based on Brandon Sanderson’s “The Way of Kings” and I’ll be one happy person.

    • The nameless stranger

      you are the only person in the world that thinks that, im glad for what natural selection will do to you. haha

  • amd

    I genuinely hope this is never made as they will, almost definitely, make an absolute horse’s arse of it. However, if they do insist on ruining beloved books, Lucas Bryant would make a good Roland. Some links which show this:

    The Javier guy was always bizarre to look at, he’s one of those giant faced people, and is now downright freakish looking. Casting him would be a horrible, horrible mistake.

  • Tony Pickens

    Timothy Olyphant would be the perfect Roland Deschain he has proven it in roles such as Deadwood and Justified. I really hope they consider him for this role.

    • Sav

      worst call ever

      • Human

        Olyphant is a good choice but he has a contract with another network for Justified, so…
        I believe Bardem would fit the bill pretty well. Especially his voice.

    • Charles Spells

      Absolutely Timothy is the number one choice and ideal actor to play Roland and you hit the nail on the head with him proving himself in two great series like Justified and Deadwood

  • John Mayer

    The best actor for Roland Deschain is for far “Viggo Mortenssen”, he is tall, blonde, blue ayes, a hard face, its excactly how Stephen King described it and as a plus, he have experience dealing with main characters like in Lord of the Rings

    • reader


    • Jaroslav Záruba

      Tall? Nope. He is 5’11 / 180cm, kinda avg height.

  • Luis

    Im very excited about “The Dark Tower” on HBO as a TV Serie, but please Javier Bardem is not a good choice for Roland Deschain. I think Daniel Craig is a much better option

  • Fred Bastiat

    Fan of the books and think a series with a specific run, ala Battlestar Galactica is the right direction. After Game of Thrones, I’m trusting HBO.

  • Sav

    Can someone tell Ron that Javier Bardem has had ridiculous plastic surgery and looks like an Asian now? He can no longer play Roland. Very important this message gets through. Thanks.

    • JMart

      Why? Did someone name Bardem as a possible or something?

  • Bryan C Bartels

    Okay…I’m a big fan. I do hate when good novels are trashed and hyphenated by movies. That being said…I know most everything has fallen thru except for Ron Howard and his preferred script writer who Mr. King seems comfortable with as long as he is included. I totally disagree with the backward OCD folks that don’t want visual presentation done. Mr. King now has a hell of a lot of clout now…he won’t let any novel be butchered…let alone a life’s work like the Dark Tower series…and he has enough money that he won’t sell out. He has his legacy to think of foremost. So the geeks and fan-boys can be dismissed.

    I think if they could do a 3 movie deal with 2 limited HBO series…it would be outstanding! Think about it…unless they do 4 movies all together…similar to LotR….if execs aren’t happy with profits from first…saga cancelled. If made into series by paid cable (and it does NEED to be paid cable…Mr. King’s work should never be censored)…and after 2 seasons, profits are not right…saga ended. I think it is brilliant to tie 3 movies together with 2 limited run paid cable series. I don’t know if it is possible now that 2 studios have passed…but that could be because of creative staff conflict…we don’t know.

    Now on to leading man…Mr. King always had a Clint Eastwood type fella in mind…and it is evident when you read the books. I’m gonna throw out a few names. Some are NOT gonna be popular. But all fellas listed have the acting chops and proper screen presence:

    Viggo Mortensen…he’ll be 56 next year. He’s been mentioned alot…and deserves to be mentioned. He can play cold calculating but have honor.

    Jeffrey Dean Morgan: he’ll be 48. He has the prescence AND is NOT a big star. I can see him maiming his gunslinger trainer…but yet still have warmth enough to interact with Oy as gunslinger did in certain chapters. Plus he is NOT a strain on budget.

    Ian McShane: he’s the oldest of my suggestion..he’ll be 72 next year…but he already maintains his appearance to look low 60’s. And he kicked ass in HBO series Deadwood. And he can play a good guy in fantasy as a mentor…look at “The Seeker” movie.

    Gerard Butler will be 45 next year. Forget all the forgetable romantic comedies he’s done…just center on the movie: 300! He could get it done.

    Lastly…and probably least popular…but the man can act…and it could be a come back for him…Mel Gibson will be 58 next year. He may be an ass…but he can act: “We Were Soldiers” ; “The Patriot” ; “Payback” ; and of course “Braveheart”. And anybody that hasn’t seen Gallipoli…can see he CAN act.

    I do agree Russel Crowe is wrong for the part.
    ‘Nuff said….

  • pil

    I know. Id give my bofe mi legz te c dis palvar reccount mi ka-mates story an de beam o de bare an tutle, an o ka the wheel we travel.

    Any way ya my odetta comming out. Look if they stay true and do half as well as trueblood with visuals we should be good.

    Screen fades out of hbo fuzz to blinding white. Black. Shimmering brightness in in middle. Black. Pan down heat ripples distort dessert. Grumble voice recounts1 st 2 pages of book. We see small back figure in distance. Pull out of rolands head to reveal used fire pit. Black. Comming on to shack……….

    • jj

      what the fuck?

      • hwb

        he’s talking in roland’s tongue

  • DannyStrange

    Well, i’m happy he’s still didn’t gave up about it..and in my opinion Ron is a great choice for directing this amazing book. Its really makes me sad that big company’s like HBO dropped the project and i think he should make at least one movie and after its success i’m 100 percent sure those company’s would take this project back to their hands.

  • Nahojism

    Oh and want to add… I think TDT is perfect for HBO. I got the same feeling about it as when I heard GoT was being considered. HBO was going to make either GoT or some other show (I forget what it was, anyone remember?) and I kind of already knew GoT was going to be big if they managed to make the right decision about it.

    • Doug

      I believe it was Rome, the other show your referring to.

  • Nahojism

    TDT needs a huge budget if its going to be good. Unless the money is there I don’t think it will be worth making it. My guess why the process is going slowly is just that, budget concerns and its funding.

  • Barca

    oh man, if i ever get my hands on some serious cheddar, who do i have to give it to to get this on screen

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