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.

  • ADK

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

  • RAS3

    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.

  • Vickie Roy Boyce

    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!!!!

  • Lila

    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.

  • Kevin

    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

  • Amanda

    Hugh Jackman would be the closest to Clint ;)

    • Amanda

      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???

  • Amanda

    Just sayin…kinda perfect no?

  • Amanda

    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 he’s a little too mature now (no offense.Clint) someone just like him would be perfect :D

    • Vickie Roy Boyce

      I agree

  • Desiree Moran

    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?

  • steve

    Viggo as the Gunslinger! Just sayin.

  • Joe Treadwell

    Anson Mount or Viggo Mortensen for the part of Roland.

  • Tower Fan

    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.

  • Shannon

    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.

  • Just One Opinion

    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.

  • John Zaffino

    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.

  • John Wills

    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.

  • Trina L

    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.

  • Ernesto Castillo

    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.

  • Barbara A. Yates

    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….

  • Jenks

    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 I read the dead zone back in elementary school and always buy his books on the first day they’re released! Many of SK’s books have been made into good movies, but this story would be amazing and I hope it gets made, one way or another, I’ll be the first in line to see it or have my pvr set weeks in advance!! I’m sure whoever they pick for Roland would be good, yes, even Russell Crowe ( if he were to lose alot if weight!) Aaron Paul would be amazing as Eddie….anyway, I never comment on anything, but the thought of seeing this great story on the big or small screen really excites me!!!

  • mariah

    russel CROW

  • Sav

    The Dark Tower as a HBO Series is not only a goldmine for the company, but also an opportunity to go down into history as creating the greatest TV series known to man. Ever.
    Damn fools if HBO don’t follow this one. Damn fools.

    • Trina L


  • HBO must have, no other will do.

    • John Wills

      It would be that it never gets made. Period.

  • travellinjak

    Just doin my bid for god,country, and the beams, when I ask someone to pl ease pull up their skirt and pick this money up off the floor. Its bigger than the Matrix and noone sees. Unbelievable!

  • IHeartMovies

    I WANT THIS BOOK SERIES TO HIT THE SCREEN DAM%$T!! It’d be nice to see someone look towards Salvatore books as well, I mean if they can remake “Dread”, “I Spit on Your Grave”, and “Evil Dead” why not Dark Tower, or the Dark Elf series, take a look at the fan base, how could they not make some studio money? All these remakes are making me sick.

    • Desiree Moran

      I agree completely!!
      They redid Carrie too btw

  • Squeezer

    We want HBO coz you just make the best tv shows. 7 movies would never be enough for this tale. Have respect for the mighty Dark Tower. 7 Seasons of 20 episodes is a minimum ….

  • ElMon

    Daniel Day Lewis as Roland. Looks, acting chops, method acting…

  • YEAH!!!!! I have read these so long ago, and could not get enough of the. Waited very impatiently for the next books to roll out. This is going to be spectacular if HBO is making it!!!!! AWESOME!


    I’m still hoping for an HBO series of this great story and I think Daniel Craig from Cowboys and Aliens would be an awesome Roland !!!

  • Hannah

    I’ve been re-reading the whole serie and except for the first book it is written in a way that would make any tv adaptation so easy.. It is more than gold laying on the ground.. a gold mine maybe ! If done properly this could be the most epic TV series ever, the story is so much more visual than any GoT or LOTR..

    • I’ve only read the first book. Are the others much different? How so? Because I liked the first one but wasn’t sure crazy about it. Coming from a LOTR, Harry Potter, GoT, Star Wars, Star Trek fan. Just didn’t hit the fantasy notes I wanted.

      Its more like.. time travel and post apocalypse.

      What are the other books like?

      • I just happened to be “gifted” the first two books of The Dark Tower… I was like, “Ok, thanks, lady!” (I’d never read ANY Stephen King… I just don’t like horror so much). Anyway, one day I had no books to read and thought, “Well, hell! Why not?” So I read the “Gunslinger,” I really really hated it, actually… 5 more of the 7 books were already out at the time, so I just wanted to see where in the hell SK would go after the ending of the “Gunslinger.” So, yeah, I read the second book… That’s when I became a Dark Tower “junkie”. The thing about the series is “what it becomes along the way.” It’s fantasy, it’s sci-fi, it’s western, it’s horror, it’s romance, it’s adventure… really, it’s EVERY GENRE combined! I laughed out loud, I cried like a baby, and I had to stop reading a few times because it was just too much! I’ve read the entire series three times now, and I still believe it is the best story ever told…

      • Hannah

        Well when Stephen King wrote the first book he was 19.. and it shows. The story is slow paced and you can feel the young man wanting really bad to be a writer in the way it’s delivered.. I don’t really know how to express it but there’s something almost arrogant in the writing.. Like young SK was thinking this was going to be the best book ever but it just needed a few more adverbs..

        But just read the second book. It blew my mind twice already :) (and makes you feel SK did somehow write the best book ever after all)

      • Hannah

        It is true though that it’s more like time travel and post apocalypse.. But in a good way !
        I know this is going to sound like profanity but it’s better than LOTR and Harry Potter combined once you reach the second book..

      • David Windsor

        Honestly Jacob, the first book is bad. And this is coming from someone whose favorite series of books is The Dark Tower.

        You’re right, the first book does seem like a post-apocalyptic time travel book. That’s because the entire novel takes place in a desolate wasteland. The incredibly rich scenery of the Dark Tower doesn’t appear until after the first book.

        I think that, if SK were to rewrite the series, he would make the second book (which, I find the best of the series) a bit longer and include the major points of the first book.

        The series really, really picks up during the second book. Prior to the second book, you hadn’t yet met the others of the Three (Eddie and Susan), and you really hadn’t met Jake either. The second book is where their “quest” really begins.

        I know this thread is probably long dead, but if you ever come back here, do yourself a favor and read the rest of the series.

      • John Wills

        It picks up like you wouldnt believe. This series does not need to be a movie or show EVER!

  • I shudder at the idea of anyone pawning off the role of Roland to an incapable, self obsessed douche bag like Crowe. I would take almost anyone, an unknown failing the favorites: Stephen Moyer, Andrew Lincoln, Anson Mount, Viggo Mortensen, Daniel Day Lewis. I would even take Madonna, if there was no-one else. But the Man of Steel will never see my money, because they chose Crowe. I despise Russel Crowe on every level, and no one in the movie business is ever going to have a chance at my money until they begin to realize that.

    Say NO to Crowe!

    • Barbara A. Yates

      So childish. I think Crowe is a great actor, as a human being, you are correct, he sucks. But, I guess people just have trouble separating the two…..LOL

    • John Wills

      Say no to the whole thing as a movie or series.. but yes Russell Crowe is a horrible actor.

  • I would LOVE it if HBO were to do the Dark Tower. As many have said, Stephen Moyer is the perfect Roland. I also like Andrew Lincoln, Anson Mount, Viggo Mortensen, Daniel Day Lewis, Timothy Olyphant, in fact I would put up with just about anyone, just so long as it isn’t tainted forever by Crowe. There is no worse person imaginable. Just Say NO to Crowe. Don’t let him anywhere near the project.

    • tallymom

      Dude, did he sleep with your wife…..or husband?

  • I don’t want Javier Bardem as Roland. Just don’t like him as an actor is all. I hope they go with ANYBODY else.

  • roland

    My lord it’s only the best series ever written. What moron wouldn’t want to pick this thing up and run like crazy with it, laughing all the way to the band. Oh wait I forgot, the studios are run by adolescent, temper tantrum idiots who can’t a winner right in front of their faces. Yes, we the viewers have nothing but contempt for you.

  • Michelle

    Anything by Stephen King is worth making a movie or a series. He is brilliant – what the heck is wrong with people these days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Hanna

    Please HBO, just make a Dark Tower serie ! I’ve been waiting so long for this and after seeing GoT I just know you are the only ones who can make it happen !

  • lmktacwa

    Russel Crowe! YEAH BABY!

  • Ka like the wind

    Has anyone else heard that aaro paul of breaking bad wants to play eddie dean? He would be an inspired coice, and with bb ending soon it would be good timing. As for javier bardem, I think he could be great. I always had roland with aslight accent in my head, his would be decent. Tarij p. Henson for susannah, jake could be anyone for all I care. There are so many talented kids out there take your pick. Just get it done GoT is awesome and the books are still coming .DT has been in the collective conciousness for 30+ years, do it before even javier is as old as eastwood. (Though that might dispell any doubts about him).time is aface on the water. And there will bo water if Ka wills it.

  • Matthew Coates-Gray

    They should either do one or the other. For one, they could do only movies; however, in my opinion it would have to be about five movies to tell the story adequately enough. Second, they could do a t.v. series; but in my opinion, it would take five seasons maybe even seven to tell the tale. I’ve been a King fan for twenty or twenty five years, and I do hope this gets done soon. One of the greatest stories ever told.

  • Sini

    I want this project to be good…the movies, the tv show or both of them, I dont care!
    We are talking about the masterpiece of The King!

    • I think if HBO or whoever passes up this series they’re going to look back in 5 years and say “we lost 100 Million dollars that day…”

  • Jef

    As I have stated in the piece I don’t know why they need so grandiose a plan. Why are they taking such a hugebite and wanting to make three movies and two TV series?

    Do one or the other, incredibly well, and the fans would be happy. Of course, we here prefer the TV option and a series for HBO, but we’d take the movies instead if they were well executed.

    We will have to wait this out.

  • k

    The only way this is ever gonna work is if HBO make it. It would have to be done the way GoT is made 1/2 seasons per book otherwise its just going to be horrible!! I really hope HBO have future involvement with this, I so want to see it brought to our screens!! but only if its done properly!!

    • k

      Have just read ^^ Russell Crow as Roland!!!!???!!! OMG NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Please don’t do that!

      • Yeah we all hope HBO does it, man. Stephen King was quoted as saying that DT was “gold laying on the ground” for some movie director to pick up. I believe it. Why are movie directos so short sighted? How many Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and Batmans will it take for them to understand that GOOD FANTASY WORKS! So freaking frustrating that these 70 year old dbags turn down these gold mine projects. Sucks for us and them.

        • k (kelly)

          This is K again :^) Stephen is so right! This would be amazing if it was done properly! There is serious money to be made for any TV/Film company who are willing to put the time and work into it! But in a way I can see where they are coming from, looking back at the bad bad adaptations that have been done in the past. I put off watching Game of Thrones for a whole year because after reading the books I just couldn’t see it working but HBO proved me so wrong. What they have done with Georges books is totally amazing and I know they can do the same for Dark Tower! As you said it totally sucks for us as Dark Tower fans that this isn’t happening any time soon. Come on HBO give us Dark Tower!!!!

      • mae

        i agree those who do the casting should read the story first. Russel Crow i love him but he is not Roland.

        • Barbara A. Yates

          I didn’t see Tom Cruse as Lestat either, but it worked. I will trust the producers and directors on this as I am only a viewer and dare not try to do their job! Crowe would work just fine, albeit I think Bardem was the best choice yet.

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