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Ron Howard discusses adapting Stephen King's Dark Tower

12.18.2010

Filmmaker Ron Howard has a pretty big job ahead of him, adapting Stephen King's DARK TOWER books to film (and TV). How does he plan to tackle this massive challenge?

Well, Howard started early. "We worked on it for a year before we even met with [King]," Howard tells the LA Times. "It was all about putting something together that was good enough and getting such an understanding of the material that Stephen King would say, ‘Yes, that’s the way into this story'."

The vast "Dark Tower" tale (which really defies synopsis) spans seven fat books (with an eighth in the works), a short story and a Marvel Comics series, and follows knightly gunslinger Roland as he travels a crumbling magical realm seeking the Man in Black and the structure of the title.

Universal is already looking at a release date May 17, 2013, but that's just for the first movie -- Howard also plans to direct the first season of a TV series to follow it (and that would be followed by a second movie, second TV season and third movie). Which, as he says, is "different than anything I’ve ever done and in really interesting ways… With ‘Da Vinci [Code]’ the mandate was different. That was about getting the story and the action and focusing on acting. With this, there’s this entire world and all of these references and there are the books and the graphic novels and just talking to Stephen and it’s all this ongoing conversation with the material and it’s really exciting. In all of it, he leaves a lot open to interpretation and so it gives a great deal of latitude."

JJ Abrams, along with his "Lost" comrades Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, had once planned to adapt the books into either a TV/cable series or a movie trilogy. But while they moved on, Howard makes a curious inadvertent comparison to their mystical island-based tale: "We love Roland the Gunslinger but we also like coming back to these worlds and these places. On one hand it is grounded and relatable but on the other hand it’s scary and strange and mind-blowing. There’s this dream quality to it and the mystery in that is what it’s all about – being compelled forward without all the answers."

Howard, who's working on the project with writer-producer Akiva Goldsman and manga-haired Imagine partner Brian Grazer, isn't anywhere close to even thinking about casting, yet does acknowledge that "on ‘The Dark Tower’ fansites they’re all about Viggo [Mortensen]."

Check out the whole LA Times article HERE.

Extra Tidbit: Would a major actor ever be willing to commit that much time to one character? Or conversely, would audiences accept different actors portraying the same characters on the TV show and the movies? And... will this ever actually all really get made?
Source: LA Times

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1:35PM on 12/20/2010
This just feels doomed to fail or, at best, disappoint the fans. I can't imagine any big-name actors committing to it. The mixing of moives and tv episodes just blows my mind. Seems like one of the worst decisions ever made right now . . .
This just feels doomed to fail or, at best, disappoint the fans. I can't imagine any big-name actors committing to it. The mixing of moives and tv episodes just blows my mind. Seems like one of the worst decisions ever made right now . . .
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12:01PM on 12/20/2010

JH for Roland

I agree with Marko Darko with regards to everything else being open for debate. Jim is a good choice too. And even Viggo as well. But what do you guys think of Josh Holloway of 'LOST' fame? Could be good IMO.
I agree with Marko Darko with regards to everything else being open for debate. Jim is a good choice too. And even Viggo as well. But what do you guys think of Josh Holloway of 'LOST' fame? Could be good IMO.
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10:43AM on 12/20/2010

I say...

Viggo...stellar actor...he could pull it off. one of the scott boys to take the helm and just work with King when adapting the script.
Viggo...stellar actor...he could pull it off. one of the scott boys to take the helm and just work with King when adapting the script.
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-3
5:50AM on 12/19/2010

WHY AKIVA GOLDSMAN?!?!?!

I hate that man. Anyway. This will never get made, and if it does it will stagger and crumble. If I HAD TO cast Roland. I'm thinking Jim Caviezel or Carl Urban. But its gonna be awful, til they wrastle it from howard and goldsman. Why not tap Frank Darabont or Ridley Scott?
I hate that man. Anyway. This will never get made, and if it does it will stagger and crumble. If I HAD TO cast Roland. I'm thinking Jim Caviezel or Carl Urban. But its gonna be awful, til they wrastle it from howard and goldsman. Why not tap Frank Darabont or Ridley Scott?
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1:03AM on 12/19/2010

JIM CAVIEZEL is Roland

Everything else is open for debate.
Everything else is open for debate.
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11:22AM on 12/20/2010
I agree with Marko Darko with regards to everything else being open for debate. Jim is a good choice too. But what do you guys think of Josh Holloway of 'LOST' fame? Could be good IMO.
I agree with Marko Darko with regards to everything else being open for debate. Jim is a good choice too. But what do you guys think of Josh Holloway of 'LOST' fame? Could be good IMO.
9:41PM on 12/18/2010
John Carpenter needs to direct this. Not Opie Cunningham.
John Carpenter needs to direct this. Not Opie Cunningham.
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+1
8:42PM on 12/18/2010

meh

Yeah Ron Howard is a terrible choice for this. It'll be more like "the slightly discoloured, but generally still pearly white tower". I don't see Howard anywhere near how dark these novels are...my bet is that this falls through before ever seeing the light of day.
Yeah Ron Howard is a terrible choice for this. It'll be more like "the slightly discoloured, but generally still pearly white tower". I don't see Howard anywhere near how dark these novels are...my bet is that this falls through before ever seeing the light of day.
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+2
8:07PM on 12/18/2010

Ambitious

I admire their ambition, but I think they should either stick to a movie (or movies) or a TV series, not both. It just sounds like it will be a logistical nightmare.

Anyway, I always thought, if adapted, Dark Tower should be an animated series (suited for HBO or, hell, maybe for Adult Swim).

Also, Ron Howard is not the man for this. This would never happen, but I always thought the Coen brothers would an awesome choice for an adaptation. Their understanding of westerns mixed with their
I admire their ambition, but I think they should either stick to a movie (or movies) or a TV series, not both. It just sounds like it will be a logistical nightmare.

Anyway, I always thought, if adapted, Dark Tower should be an animated series (suited for HBO or, hell, maybe for Adult Swim).

Also, Ron Howard is not the man for this. This would never happen, but I always thought the Coen brothers would an awesome choice for an adaptation. Their understanding of westerns mixed with their ear for dialects and accents (the way people talk in Mid-World needs to come off naturally) makes them perfect in my mind. Plus, they'd be working with fantasy which they haven't done yet.
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2:28PM on 12/18/2010
never liked howard for this, but the idea of adapting it is sort of ridiculous anyway, at least how they're going about it. i imagine the first film will bomb (relatively speaking) and that will put the kibosh on any further TV or film ideas.
never liked howard for this, but the idea of adapting it is sort of ridiculous anyway, at least how they're going about it. i imagine the first film will bomb (relatively speaking) and that will put the kibosh on any further TV or film ideas.
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-3
12:33PM on 12/18/2010

Ron

Howard is a shitty choice. He will ruin the Dark Tower. It will one dimension, without any emotion. I love Hugo, but what the fuck. Roland de Giled is supposed to be a guy from another dimension, we're not supposed to know his face ! Shitty choice.
Howard is a shitty choice. He will ruin the Dark Tower. It will one dimension, without any emotion. I love Hugo, but what the fuck. Roland de Giled is supposed to be a guy from another dimension, we're not supposed to know his face ! Shitty choice.
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4:57AM on 12/18/2010

Still think Howard's a shitty choice

He has absolutely no sense of dramatic "edge", and will keep the series safe and sterilized for the lower denominator of audience appeal. It will look nice, and be shit in every other way.
He has absolutely no sense of dramatic "edge", and will keep the series safe and sterilized for the lower denominator of audience appeal. It will look nice, and be shit in every other way.
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4:36AM on 12/18/2010
I loved the first 2 books and read the first one when it had first come out while I was in Navy boot camp. I kind of fell out of it until the comic series came out. The whole body-jumping story was cool and I always thought it would look cool on film. I can see Viggo, but from the look of some of the paintings in the first book, someone clearly had Lou Diamond Phillips in mind!
I loved the first 2 books and read the first one when it had first come out while I was in Navy boot camp. I kind of fell out of it until the comic series came out. The whole body-jumping story was cool and I always thought it would look cool on film. I can see Viggo, but from the look of some of the paintings in the first book, someone clearly had Lou Diamond Phillips in mind!
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1:42AM on 12/18/2010

Casting thoughts

Extra Tidbit: I had the same thought. I doubt a big name actor would want to dedicate themselves to a television series, with the 3 movies. My gues is, they will either find a B movie star, with enough name to get it greenlit, but they do not have a full enough plate to where they couldnt spent 8 years playing the character. Or, they find no name actors. Either way, its one hell of an undertaking. I hope them all the best in making it happen. Kind is a genius, only a fraction of his adaptations
Extra Tidbit: I had the same thought. I doubt a big name actor would want to dedicate themselves to a television series, with the 3 movies. My gues is, they will either find a B movie star, with enough name to get it greenlit, but they do not have a full enough plate to where they couldnt spent 8 years playing the character. Or, they find no name actors. Either way, its one hell of an undertaking. I hope them all the best in making it happen. Kind is a genius, only a fraction of his adaptations have been worthy of hos writing. I have faith that Opie will do the material justice.
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