HBO News Blog

This Just In…THE DARK TOWER Collapses!?

By Jef Dinsmore on Aug 21, 2012 to Dark Tower

UPDATE:  Deadline is reporting that “Media Rights Capital is in serious talks to take on The Dark Tower after Warner Bros declined to make what potentially amounts to three feature films and two limited run TV series.”  This means there is still hope for The Dark Tower on HBO!  Keep your guns crossed and pray to whatever gods you hold dear because this thing ain’t over yet.  We’ll report here with more as we get it.

Warner Bros., the production house that includes HBO, has dropped the development plans for THE DARK TOWER project. The concept, a seven book series created by horror/fantasy writer Stephen King, was first optioned by Universal/NBC with Javier Bardem in the lead as the Gunslinger. That deal died and then Warner Bros. optioned the work.

Director Ron Howard had big plans for the THE DARK TOWER story. Mr. Howard and production partner Brian Grazer of Imagine Entertainment had award winner Akiva Goldsman writing the screenplay. Together these three with Stephen King were going to man a multi cinematic venture. They had big dreams of producing a trilogy of films and a miniseries. That miniseries was expected to air on HBO with Russell Crowe as the character Roland Deschain.

Those plans all fell by the wayside as Warner Bros. announces that it is dropping the project. In a day and age when motion picture studios are having a tough go of it big projects like this work are a great commitment and burden on any one of them. Warner Bros. saw a major expenditure up front for the epic King piece and, like Universal Studios, could not take the risk and the expense and so the project dies.

Imagine Entertainment, however, still has the property and it is theirs to shop around. According to Deadline Hollywood Media Rights Capital (MRC) seems interested in taking on the challenging project. It is an independent studio who has generated product for a number of different outlets. It is the studio behind ‘House of Cards” for Netflix and the Seth MacFarlane movie ‘Ted.” MRC was also the studio behind THE LIIFE AND TIMES OF TIM which aired on HBO for two seasons so maybe, there is a remote chance the story could still make it to the pay channel.

I actually think that if Howard & Grazer would take a step back and look at the realization that big epic concepts are becoming harder and harder to materialize that they would down-scale this deal. As nice as it would be, do we have to have a trilogy of movies and TV series to tell this tale? Yes, the King fans would go ape shit but it would be an overkill. Imagine if GAME OF THRONES were a series of movies and a TV series at the same time? The expense would be staggering. If Imagine Entertainment would stick to one format or another the project could be farther along in development by now. THE DARK TOWER could have worked well for HBO. It is a shame that the chances of that happening just got slimmer.

What do you think HBOWatch followers? Is it a sad missed opportunity? Will it ever get made at all? We would love to hear from you.

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62 Comments on "This Just In…THE DARK TOWER Collapses!?"

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It needs to be done! HBO series is a perfect format

My opinion: Just go with a series, not movies (like Game of Thrones). There is too much content to tell in movie format without the movies becoming tediously long (ex. The Lord of the Rings), and then having to drop some things. This is the perfect context for a multi-season series. And ditch the idea of Russell Crowe. The gunslinger seems more Clint Eastwood, so somebody who fits that profile would be better suited to the role.

I love GOT and would love to see the dark tower series come to life. I began reading the series when I was just in middle school and have enjoyed visiting with jake and Roland over the years. Would really wish to see them come to HBO!!!!

It’s a wonderful series, but don’t do it unless you’re going to do it right. Without the approval of your high-standards literary fan base to get it going, I think a lot of viewers would find it too weird to commit to. Game of Thrones at least has the medieval Lord of the Rings type of feel that people can relate to, while the first book of Dark Tower, “The Gunslinger,” is trippy as s*** and risks driving away the popular crowd. Do. It. Right.

A series, as in Game of Thrones, would be the best approach. There is just to much material for a few movies, and detail would be glossed over, just like the tragedies of movies mad from Many Stephen King books

Hugh Jackman would be the closest to Clint ;)

Ben Foster or Aaron Paul for Eddie
Angela Bassett I agree
NOTE*** this could be as big as LOTR-do you really want to be known as the company who let it go???

Just sayin…kinda perfect no?

If anyone could do this epic series justice it could ONLY be HBO – seriously, you guys make the best shows on so many levels and if anyone else got a hold of it it would just end up another made for TV movie :( I know ALL of us fans gets goose bumps at the thought of HBO doing this show – and there are an incredible number of us out there!!! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!!!!! Do this show PLEASE!! PS Clint Eastwood is Roland – I’m sure that’s who King thought of when he made Roland, however, seeing that… Read more »

I agree

This would be the best news of my entire life! have 3 tattoos for the book and would love to see the magic as a HBO series!
Please recosider dropping it?

Viggo as the Gunslinger! Just sayin.

Anson Mount or Viggo Mortensen for the part of Roland.

I concur with Shannon:
An HBO series would be perfect to tell the gunslinger’s story. I think that the movie outlet would be too risky. Weekly shows on HBO catch on like wildfire and I believe that The Dark Tower series will be just as popular as Game of Thrones. Simply said, HBO should produce this as a show. Also, Javier Bardem would not be a good choice to play Roland. Maybe Flag? Russell Crowe is THE WORST choice. Nick Stahl or Ziggy from The Wire or the like should be Eddie.

An HBO series would be perfect to tell the gunslingers story. I think that the movie outlet would be too risky. Weekly shows on HBO catch on like wildfire and I believe that The Dark Tower series will be just as popular as Game of Thrones. Simply said, HBO should produce this as a show. Also, Javier Bardem would not be a good choice to play Roland. Russell Crowe is a better choice between the two. Regardless, someone Clint Eastwood”esque” will be the best choice.

I never could get a full picture of the Gunslinger in my head, but Javier Bardem is a perfect fit for the role. Whoever does produce it, I hope Ron Howard gets to direct it. Angela Bassett would’ve been great for the woman in the wheelchair.

I think that HBO could do this, and do it well. I have been Reading A Song Of Fire And Ice and watching the series, A Game Of Thrones, on HBO, and they have done a spectacular job with this. I can only imagine what they would do with The Dark Tower series.

Stay away from this series!! No one can do it justice and it should remain a book. I dont understand why noone else seems to think this but a movie/series would be absolute garbage.

Only HBO can do these books justice. They have done great with game of thrones. I think a series (not a mini series) could only be the right way to do it well. Keep trying HBO even if people don’t know the books they will love the series.

To sad to express my disappointment. Now, Showtime will get it. Me being a loyal JOB subscriber, I’ll never get to see this magnificent saga.

Love to see this get made as I still think that The Dark Tower is King’s masterpiece but also realize that a lot of folks…have never heard of it, much less read it. I have read it (all 7 books) 3 times now and think it is magnificent on any standards….

Just finished reading all the books again for the fourth time (I’ve read the first four books close to a dozen times, my favorites being the 2nd and third, though they’re all great!!) as much as I’d love to see Roland on the big screen, I think these books are better off being made by hbo, they would give the time to really delve into this story, a trilogy of movies would, in my opinion, not be sufficient to tell the tale properly. I really hope hbo green lights this project, I’ve been a huge fan of mr king since… Read more »

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