According to Deadline, The Dark Tower has officially been put “on hiatus” and its September start date has been scrapped. Budget concerns are the culprit, and it will remain on hold until they can figure out how to bring the costs down. Those who were toiling away in pre-production are told they might return.
Universal and Imagine still deny it’s going into turnaround. If it does, the next place they will take it will probably be Warner Bros, where Akiva Goldsmith has a home.
I’m sort of hoping they drag it out enough that the line-up changes. Ron Howard still seems wrong for it, Javier Bardem just really isn’t Roland Deschain … it may end up being for the best. Better a delay than the wrong take.
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Deep down, I think we all knew that cinematic completion was not in The Dark Tower’s ka.
According to Variety, Universal may dissuade Ron Howard from his adaptation quest. They’ve balked at the budget that three films and two television series would cost. They’re rethinking the whole thing, and rumor has it they will put The Dark Tower into turnaround. If that happens, Imagine Entertainment can shop it around. Another studio could take it over, or co-finance it.
Javier Bardem still hasn’t signed, despite being in talks for months now. They’re “close” to finishing his deal. That can’t be good. Howard is said to have been meeting with “other thespians” for the other roles, but there’s no whisper of who those might be.
Universal isn’t commenting, but sources do say they are moving ahead as if everything is normal, though they’re expected to hold some serious “Is this doable / How much? / That’s crazy talk” meetings.
I’m almost always wrong when I say “I bet this falls apart!”, so I won’t say it. But Universal has been playing their projects close to the chest — Exhibit A: At the Mountains of Madness — and I would not be surprised if this is put into turnaround and is promptly picked up again. Studios are hungry for franchises. Warner Bros will be wrapping up a pretty big one at the end of this summer. Maybe they will bite.