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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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