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The Gunslinger gets shot down, Universal decides not to adapt Stephen King's The Dark Tower

07.18.2011

It was one of Hollywood's most ambitious projects in recent memory: Universal and filmmaker Ron Howard adapting Stephen King's sprawling saga of THE DARK TOWER into three features, each bridged by a TV miniseries.

You'll note the past tense. That's because Universal has opted against the epic project, leaving Howard and manga-haired producing partner Brian Grazer seeking some alternate real estate to build their Dark Tower.

It's not really a shocking development -- last we heard, the studio was figuring out how to scale things back, potentially carving out the TV parts, making the movies (or everything) back-to-back, or starting with one to see how it performs. So the news of them giving the plug one good final tug was perhaps inevitable. (After all, that kind of big budget money could be spent on other valuable properties like a $200 million BATTLESHIP movie or something.)

That doesn't mean the Gunslinger is firing blanks, though -- Deadline says Warner Bros. is a potential home for Howard and company to bring the project (WB did just put up the towering stack of bucks for two HOBBIT movies).

The vast "Dark Tower" tale, spread across (so far) seven fat books, a short story and a Marvel Comics series, follows knightly Roland Deschain and his companions as they travel a crumbling magical realm seeking the Man in Black and the structure of the title.

Source: Deadline

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1:35AM on 07/20/2011

I'm glad the...

Format was scrapped, make 6 or 7 movies, 6 because the first book could be filmed with the second because it was really short. Make a series of movies...it could work that way...once they stick to the spirit of the source material...and cast healthy motherfuckers who have odds on living through out the production.
Format was scrapped, make 6 or 7 movies, 6 because the first book could be filmed with the second because it was really short. Make a series of movies...it could work that way...once they stick to the spirit of the source material...and cast healthy motherfuckers who have odds on living through out the production.
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5:12PM on 07/19/2011

This gets dumped

but BATTLESHIP is still greenlit. No wonder God's not answering the phone; he's laughing too hard.
but BATTLESHIP is still greenlit. No wonder God's not answering the phone; he's laughing too hard.
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4:20PM on 07/19/2011
At this point in his career, how is Ron Howard told that he isn't allowed to do something? Doesn't this man make amazing films with rabid followers, bankable stars and almost guaranteed returns? Bad move Universal. Hopefully WB picks this up and it turns into the adult Harry Potter or does LotR box-office.
At this point in his career, how is Ron Howard told that he isn't allowed to do something? Doesn't this man make amazing films with rabid followers, bankable stars and almost guaranteed returns? Bad move Universal. Hopefully WB picks this up and it turns into the adult Harry Potter or does LotR box-office.
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+10
1:01PM on 07/19/2011

..

No surprise here ! Universal is not what it used to be.
No surprise here ! Universal is not what it used to be.
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10:47AM on 07/19/2011
As much as I'd love to experience these fine books on the big screen...I'd rather someone focus on Dan Simmons's Hyperion series. Now THAT would be incredible.
As much as I'd love to experience these fine books on the big screen...I'd rather someone focus on Dan Simmons's Hyperion series. Now THAT would be incredible.
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+9
10:19AM on 07/19/2011
Disappointing, but understandable. No matter who is involved it will be a huge undertaking, but I would be interested in seeing what New Line could do with it.
Disappointing, but understandable. No matter who is involved it will be a huge undertaking, but I would be interested in seeing what New Line could do with it.
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+15
9:46AM on 07/19/2011
Universal. Where dreams die.
Universal. Where dreams die.
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9:33AM on 07/19/2011
Yes! Now move to HBO!
Yes! Now move to HBO!
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8:56AM on 07/19/2011
damn. well hopefully the WB will bring us a Dark Tower series of films that will do the series justice. Now with Potter gone, this could be a cash cow for them if done right.
damn. well hopefully the WB will bring us a Dark Tower series of films that will do the series justice. Now with Potter gone, this could be a cash cow for them if done right.
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+15
7:01AM on 07/19/2011
these are some of my favorite books of all time, but i am breathing a sigh of relief because this was never going to work. the only way i could see this working was if they made it into an hbo show like game of thrones. 7 seasons 13 eps each season thats what this would need to get adapted
these are some of my favorite books of all time, but i am breathing a sigh of relief because this was never going to work. the only way i could see this working was if they made it into an hbo show like game of thrones. 7 seasons 13 eps each season thats what this would need to get adapted
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+0
6:48AM on 07/19/2011

Wow, didn't see that one coming...

But in a way I'm glad. I still argue it's IMPOSSIBLE to transfer this story to screen...
But in a way I'm glad. I still argue it's IMPOSSIBLE to transfer this story to screen...
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5:58AM on 07/19/2011
Oh, what a pity! Such a threw of cold water on the fiery illusions of the makers of "The Grinch" and "Batman & Robin"...
Oh, what a pity! Such a threw of cold water on the fiery illusions of the makers of "The Grinch" and "Batman & Robin"...
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+8
5:29AM on 07/19/2011
Hell yeah! Mr. Howard, please step slowly away from the property...
Hell yeah! Mr. Howard, please step slowly away from the property...
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5:00AM on 07/19/2011
Best to leave it alone, folks.
Best to leave it alone, folks.
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2:02AM on 07/19/2011
Hell yes, I'd rather hollywood just leave it alone.
Hell yes, I'd rather hollywood just leave it alone.
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1:47AM on 07/19/2011
Yeaaa kinda saw this one coming. Sounded insane from the start, add a director who fans didn't exactly freak out over and Bardem passing and I'm surprised it's taken this long.

It does sound interesting though (haven't read the books). Would be down to see a difference incarnation of this.
Yeaaa kinda saw this one coming. Sounded insane from the start, add a director who fans didn't exactly freak out over and Bardem passing and I'm surprised it's taken this long.

It does sound interesting though (haven't read the books). Would be down to see a difference incarnation of this.
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1:42AM on 07/19/2011

WOOHOOO!!! Best news of the day!

So glad Ron Howard didn't have a chance to turn it into maudlin, shit-filled gag-inducing stupidity. Someone who knows how to make movies "darker" and more thematically intelligent should have been put to the project.
So glad Ron Howard didn't have a chance to turn it into maudlin, shit-filled gag-inducing stupidity. Someone who knows how to make movies "darker" and more thematically intelligent should have been put to the project.
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1:03AM on 07/19/2011
Best news of the day! Thank the Universe this never happened and can now join the Hollywood Development graveyard along with David O Russel's Uncharted, Arnold Scwarzeneger as Dr. Manhattan or that weird Itallian director's version of Lord of the Rings from the 70's where Frodo boned Galadriel. 20 years from now a true Dark Tower fan will helm the greatest 7 part film or 7 season HBO series that will blow our collective geek minds!
Best news of the day! Thank the Universe this never happened and can now join the Hollywood Development graveyard along with David O Russel's Uncharted, Arnold Scwarzeneger as Dr. Manhattan or that weird Itallian director's version of Lord of the Rings from the 70's where Frodo boned Galadriel. 20 years from now a true Dark Tower fan will helm the greatest 7 part film or 7 season HBO series that will blow our collective geek minds!
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11:30PM on 07/18/2011

Disappointing

they couldn't make it work, but it's probably for the best
they couldn't make it work, but it's probably for the best
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+15
11:24PM on 07/18/2011
Good, Ron Howard wasn't the right fit for this anyway
Good, Ron Howard wasn't the right fit for this anyway
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