Reports from Hollywood indicate that Akiva Goldsman has presented his new script for the first Dark Tower
movie to Warner Bros. and that it is now time for the studio to fish or cut bait, either green light the most massive fantasy undertaking since the production of the Lord of the Rings
trilogy or follow Universal’s lead and consign the project to developmental hell (see "Universal Abandons 'The Dark Tower'
But this time there is a major change in the Dark Tower
pitch. Javier Bardem had been attached to the project to star as the series protagonist Roland Deschain for years, but now according to Deadline
, even though he has not formally signed on to the project, it is Russell Crowe who will be "the star that Warner Bros. will be evaluating as the studio decides whether to take the leap." Deadline reports that Warner Bros. decision on The Dark Tower
will likely come within two weeks.
After Universal pulled out of the project, director Ron Howard, producer Brian Grazer and Goldsman kept shopping The Dark Tower
(see "Roland's Not Dead Yet
") and early this spring Warner Bros. took an interest (see "Warner Bros. in Talks for Dark Tower Movie
"). Certainly Warners would appear to be the ideal conduit for a project that involves adapting Stephen King’s nine-volume series of fantasy novels into a trilogy of films with two TV series bridging the gaps between the movies. Warner’s sister company HBO, which has scored a huge success with the epic fantasy series Game of Thrones
, would be the ideal venue for the bridging TV series. The only problem is the current wave of austerity that is sweeping through Tinseltown, sparked by declining DVD revenues and flat-lining box office numbers. Can Warner Bros. summon the courage to go "all in" to develop a new (to the screen) property, or will the studio follow the current conservative tack in Hollywood that has studios searching their vaults for ever more mediocre films to remake or sequelize? We should know the answer very soon.