Monday, August 20, 2012

The Dark Tower Trilogy Is Dead as WB Passes

It looks like Ron Howard and Brian Grazer last gasp to save The Dark Tower failed. Variety is reporting that Warner Bros has decided to pass on the movie trilogy. No reason has been given. Stephen King commented on the rejection saying "The Dark Tower, to me, and I’m not unbiased because I’m the writer on this thing, but to me it looks like gold on the ground waiting to be picked up." More than likely the costs (my guess is $500 million+ range) and little confidence that The Dark Tower has mass market appeal was the reason behind the decision.

The decision really isn't surprising as the studios rarely want to commit that kind of capital without the deck being stacked in their favor of getting the money back. While The Lord of the Rings and (later) the Hobbit all sold as a trilogy from day one, they are also the only two examples of that ever happening. All other film trilogies were after the fact, only when the first film proved to be successful. Those involved might have had a trilogy in mind but having all three contractually guaranteed to be made just doesn't happen outside of the Tolkien films. The Lord of the Rings almost wasn't made except that New Line's Bob Shaye saw something then that all the other studios didn't (who based on the now billions of dollar franchise). The only reason The Dark Tower had a reach chance of getting green lit was because studios are just as terrified of missing the next Lord of the Rings scale money maker as they are paying for it.

Friday, August 3, 2012

WB Dark Tower Deadline, Russell Crowe As Roland

It has been months since we heard anything on the attempt to turn Stephen King's The Dark Tower series into a movie trilogy and two season TV series. Comcast decided the cost and risk was to much for them and passed on it. Warner Bros said they might be depending on what a new more cost effective draft script could be written by Akiva Goldsman. Meanwhile, the lead role of Roland Deschain was Javier Bardem's to have. All this was more six plus months ago.

According to Deadline, the new script has been completed and WB has given itself a two week deadline to make a decision on whether they want to climb The Dark Tower or pass. It also seems that Bardem is no longer in the running with Dark Tower producers Ron Howard and Brian Grazer turning to Russell Crowe for the role, who they worked with on A Beautiful Mind. No deals have been made with any actors but Crowe's proven box office record will be much more attractive to WB executives then Bardem will be.