Stephen King has been waiting a long time for "The Dark Tower" series to find a place on screens. "The Gunslinger," the first book in the series, was published in 1982, and he's returned to that science fiction/fantasy/horror/western world for almost 4,000 pages. More than once, it has looked like Hollywood would tackle the enormous cross-genre project. More than once, the project has been killed.
That's what happened Tuesday at Warner Bros., which passed on "The Dark Tower." Deadline reports, "After getting an overhauled script from Oscar winning scribe Akiva Goldsman, the studio just balked on the project that Ron Howard wants to direct with Brian Grazer, Goldsman and King producing, and with their A Beautiful Mind star Russell Crowe being eyed to play the gunman Roland Deschain."
If this sounds like a rerun, it is. The project -- packaged as three feature films and two limited-run television series -- was killed by Universal last summer. In July 2011, Universal, operating under Comcast's new, frugal ownership, announced it would not produce "The Dark Tower." In that iteration, Javier Bardem was set to star; as in this one, Brian Grazer was producing, Goldsman was scripting, and Ron Howard was directing. Howard and Grazer had worked on the project for a year before approaching King -- and then the bestselling author came on board as a producer.