Last week, it was reported that The Dark Tower was in serious trouble at Universal. Executives were said to be balking at its large budget, and the film was put on a vague hiatus until they could decide what to do. It was even speculated the project could go into turnaround, with Warner Bros being a definite possibility.
The hiatus now has a sell-by date. According to Deadline, production has officially been delayed until February 2012. Universal and Imagine Entertainment will work together to see if they can’t trim the costs down on the three film, two television series adaptation extravaganza. (Of all the things to dump a big budget on, you’d think “the name brand” would be the most obvious choice. On one level, I’m actually impressed that Universal isn’t tossing piles of money at it.)
But we’ll find out far sooner than February 2012 as to whether The Dark Tower is a go at all. They must green-light it by July, or the rights revert back to Stephen King and Imagine Entertainment.
I’m of a mixed opinion. I want to see The Dark Tower. I do. I think spreading a property around two mediums is a fantastic idea. But I still haven’t warmed to Javier Bardem as Roland Deschain, and am certainly skeptical of Ron Howard’s ability to adapt such a strange genre work. As much as I want to see it (maybe it’s a sick curiosity more than anything), in its current form, I think I’d like to see the property just slink back into the hands of King. Maybe then it will re-emerge as something we’re really excited about, not wary of.