Author and celebrated horror-master Stephen King is certainly making a comeback both in film and television. With solid numbers on shows like Under the Dome (based on one of his latest novels) and the upcoming remake of the 1976 horror classic Carrie, now starring the extremely talented Chlöe Grace Moretz in the titular role and taking the reigns from Sissy Spacek, the horror legend certainly has some gargantuan paychecks headed his way.
When an adaption of King‘s series of books titled, The Dark Tower, was first announced in 2007, director J.J. Abrams was originally attached to direct but soon backed out. In 2010 Universal made an official announcement that the project was a go, however, like Mr. Abrams, the studio soon dropped out citing disagreements with producer Ron Howard and marketability issues. Then there was talk of a series on basic cable, then premium cable broadcaster HBO, and so on, and so on, and so on.
While Mr. Howard was making the rounds for the promotion of his enticing new film Rush, he got a chance to talk a little about The Dark Tower:
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.
So there it is…
Delayed, but not gone. Would this qualify as movie limbo?
The producer and director goes on to talk about adapting The Dark Tower‘s epic proportions into a series of movies:
It’s a fascinating, powerful possibility and even Stephen King acknowledges it’s a tricky adaptation, but to be honest, from a financing side, it’s not a straightforward, four-quadrant, sunny 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 Akiva Goldsman and myself, that’s what we love about it, and that’s what we want to try to get to the screen.
If and when The Dark Tower gets made, I’m positive it’ll be a blockbuster. With (currently) eight novels to work off of, that’s eight potential feature films that can be adapted and produced. Let’s make a list here, of all feature film series with over three adaptions.
- The Lord of the Rings + The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: $2.92 billion box office for the trilogy, plus over $1 billion for the first installment of The Hobbit alone.
- The Twilight Saga: Over $3 billion box office.
- Marvel Films: Going back to the year 1944 with their very first film adaptation of Captain America (that’s right, let that sink in that we’ve been watching the same shit for almost 70 years) have earned over $400 billion since then.
- Harry Potter: Over $7 billion box office.
I think you get the point…
The Dark Tower series has real potential, and I’m not just saying that. It’s so unique in it’s own respect, and we could use a little ‘uniqueness’ at the theaters. For those who don’t know, The Dark Tower series follows a lone gunslinger in another dimension that crosses frequently with our own. This is King‘s coup-de-grace, his self-proclaimed masterpiece. What makes this work fascinating though is how remnants of his other stories, e.g. It, The Stand, and yes…even Stand by Me, are all integrated into The Dark Tower, something we’ve rarely seen in any other works.
We’ll keep you posted with any new information, but based on Ron Howard‘s words, don’t expect anything soon.
What do you think about The Dark Tower adaptation? Have you read the book? Give us your thoughts in the comments below.