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The Dark Tower might still be coming, but it will be smaller

May. 14, 2011by: Dave Davis

Last week, it looked like Blaine the Mono left the station for good when Universal cut the power on its ambitious adaptation of Stephen King's THE DARK TOWER books.

The studio may have put the brakes on pre-production, but that doesn't mean they're scrapping the epic project entirely.

The original intent was to begin this summer, aiming for a May 17, 2013 release date for the first film (to be followed by two sequels each bridged by TV miniseries). Now the start has been pushed back to February, while director Ron Howard and his producing partners face the formidable task of significantly decreasing the budget, despite the immense scale of the story and all it entails.

What those cuts will encompass is still in question -- the TV plan could be excised, they may try to make the movies back-to-back, or they could start with just one and see how it performs before making more.

That said, Universal is still in the sights of the Gunslinger's pistol -- they only have until July to officially greenlight the movie, or the rights go back to the author (and the filmmakers could then try again at another studio). Javier Bardem is still attached to star... for the time being.

The vast "Dark Tower" tale follows knightly gunslinger Roland and his companions traveling through a crumbling magical realm seeking the Man in Black and the structure of the title.

Extra Tidbit: Would you want to see the first part of the story and never get the rest of it?
Source: Deadline

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4:17PM on 05/14/2011
Please let the rights expire. This needs to either never be made or only made by someone who loves the story. I still kind of vote for never...
Please let the rights expire. This needs to either never be made or only made by someone who loves the story. I still kind of vote for never...
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10:25PM on 05/15/2011

Look at Game Of Thrones, dummies!

They should just do the same thing that was done with Game of Thrones: make it a premium cable TV series. That's where all the action's at, AND it's the proper storytelling format for a long-form tale like the Dark Tower.
They should just do the same thing that was done with Game of Thrones: make it a premium cable TV series. That's where all the action's at, AND it's the proper storytelling format for a long-form tale like the Dark Tower.
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+7
4:08PM on 05/14/2011
Good. It's a sign. Let it die; this shouldn't be a film/TV... anything. It's a magnificent series of books and should be left as such.
Good. It's a sign. Let it die; this shouldn't be a film/TV... anything. It's a magnificent series of books and should be left as such.
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12:51PM on 05/14/2011

Extra Tidbit

I agree completely. Things began to unravel rapidly during Wolves of the Calla. Why King thought it was a good idea to insert himself into the story as a plot device, I'll never know.
I agree completely. Things began to unravel rapidly during Wolves of the Calla. Why King thought it was a good idea to insert himself into the story as a plot device, I'll never know.
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9:35PM on 05/15/2011

food for thought

Anyone see Priest? Karl Urban in that hat and trench coat sure does look like Roland. Just sayin...If Bardem drops out, they should consider Urban.
Anyone see Priest? Karl Urban in that hat and trench coat sure does look like Roland. Just sayin...If Bardem drops out, they should consider Urban.
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4:15PM on 05/15/2011
I think they should start it as a series on HBO that covers Roland earning his guns and Mejis. Then if it's good enough they could start adapting the rest of it into movies. That's how I'd attempt to do it.
I think they should start it as a series on HBO that covers Roland earning his guns and Mejis. Then if it's good enough they could start adapting the rest of it into movies. That's how I'd attempt to do it.
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11:59AM on 05/15/2011

The Gunslinger

I love these books, and I am worried about what they will turn into as far as movies and television go... However; The Gunslinger could be a movie in it's own, and I would have no problem with that being the only film they made.

Let's just see The Gunslinger turned into a movie, the rest would be hard to do.
I love these books, and I am worried about what they will turn into as far as movies and television go... However; The Gunslinger could be a movie in it's own, and I would have no problem with that being the only film they made.

Let's just see The Gunslinger turned into a movie, the rest would be hard to do.
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12:54AM on 05/16/2011
I never thought this story could be told properly in movie format. As reading some previous comments I agree that it being told in a premium cable series. If done right it could be easily three years to get through all 7 books (or eight if King would ever get done with The Wind Through the Keyhole). I also would not mind this in a graphic cartoon. There are some things in the books that would just work better in animation. Either way I will watch anything that comes out for these books.
I never thought this story could be told properly in movie format. As reading some previous comments I agree that it being told in a premium cable series. If done right it could be easily three years to get through all 7 books (or eight if King would ever get done with The Wind Through the Keyhole). I also would not mind this in a graphic cartoon. There are some things in the books that would just work better in animation. Either way I will watch anything that comes out for these books.
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+2
1:28PM on 05/15/2011

Absolutely no

You must do this project in full,cut the budget the best you can especially on the television arc,don't give crappy CGI make this proper. I can see the skepticism on how much it will bring in but either go full bore or shelf it for a later date.
You must do this project in full,cut the budget the best you can especially on the television arc,don't give crappy CGI make this proper. I can see the skepticism on how much it will bring in but either go full bore or shelf it for a later date.
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12:56AM on 05/16/2011
The truth has been spoken!
The truth has been spoken!
12:05AM on 05/16/2011
Only read the first three books, and I remember them being extremely badass. Should read the rest of them before this movie comes out. Fortunately it looks like I have a lot of time anyway so I can get through the pile of books I still need to wade through.

Damn my impulsive online shopping.

@RonnySinatra
Only read the first three books, and I remember them being extremely badass. Should read the rest of them before this movie comes out. Fortunately it looks like I have a lot of time anyway so I can get through the pile of books I still need to wade through.

Damn my impulsive online shopping.

@RonnySinatra
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5:01AM on 05/15/2011

Im so happy

I'm very happy that these two people wont be able to destroy these books for me. Let the rights revert back to King and allow someone like Lindeloff and Cuse come back to it later.
I'm very happy that these two people wont be able to destroy these books for me. Let the rights revert back to King and allow someone like Lindeloff and Cuse come back to it later.
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8:01AM on 05/15/2011
Lindelof and Cuse would just make it a catch-phrase laden non-denominational purgatory... there's the ending for you. guess I needed a #Darltonspoiler
Lindelof and Cuse would just make it a catch-phrase laden non-denominational purgatory... there's the ending for you. guess I needed a #Darltonspoiler
+0
4:18PM on 05/17/2011

From an optimistic pov...

Concentrate on The Gungslinger movie first and treat it like a tent pole film. If it does well then the studio would be more optimistic about making the rest. If it doesn't work out then maybe the studio will let the rights expire.
Concentrate on The Gungslinger movie first and treat it like a tent pole film. If it does well then the studio would be more optimistic about making the rest. If it doesn't work out then maybe the studio will let the rights expire.
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11:33PM on 05/16/2011

dont fuck this up...

just make 7 epic films...that would be ambitious. and get rid of that sad looking motherfuckering director.
just make 7 epic films...that would be ambitious. and get rid of that sad looking motherfuckering director.
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4:10PM on 05/14/2011
It's a shame Ron Howard turned out to be such a punk in real life. Who would've ever thought that from Richie Cunningham? Can't say I respect him any more but did like some of his early directorial work. Him being an a-hole really effects if I want to see films he works on.
It's a shame Ron Howard turned out to be such a punk in real life. Who would've ever thought that from Richie Cunningham? Can't say I respect him any more but did like some of his early directorial work. Him being an a-hole really effects if I want to see films he works on.
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2:40PM on 05/16/2011
I'm not the dickhead that wants to ask you this question so I can contradict your answer...I seriously want to know what makes you say Ron Howard is an asshole? I'm genuinely curious.
I'm not the dickhead that wants to ask you this question so I can contradict your answer...I seriously want to know what makes you say Ron Howard is an asshole? I'm genuinely curious.
-14
12:25PM on 05/14/2011
I dunno how they're trying to adapt this now. I'm glad they're reducing the ridiculous size of the production.

I think the adaptation, if ever done, should be of just a one book, or actually even less. Take a piece of the story and make it stand on its own. I wouldn't mind seeing that. Parts of the story are wonderful action fantasy adventures on their own. They can still keep the essence of the characters and world in a smaller story.
I dunno how they're trying to adapt this now. I'm glad they're reducing the ridiculous size of the production.

I think the adaptation, if ever done, should be of just a one book, or actually even less. Take a piece of the story and make it stand on its own. I wouldn't mind seeing that. Parts of the story are wonderful action fantasy adventures on their own. They can still keep the essence of the characters and world in a smaller story.
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7:46PM on 05/14/2011
They already tried that with 'Hearts in Atlantis' and it was a disaster. I think they should just leave the books alone. Whatever film they make will be a failure.
They already tried that with 'Hearts in Atlantis' and it was a disaster. I think they should just leave the books alone. Whatever film they make will be a failure.
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