One of the biggest, most ambitious upcoming projects is Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s cross-platform adaptation of Stephen King’s epic novel series “The Dark Tower”. The plan is for the story – a genre-bending historical/fantasy/western/sci-fi epic journey involving a gunslinger and his quest to find The Dark Tower, said to be the axis of all universes – to be told over the course of three movies and two seasons on television. That’s right, a franchise on both the big and small screens featuring the same (potentially A-list) cast, that will be years in the making. The story will begin with an epic blockbuster film, continue on a 6-8 episode season as a TV series, then another film, presumably during summer hiatus, followed by season 2 of the show, and conclude with one last epic feature film. Howard is already committed to directing the first film and the first season of the series.
The ambitious undertaking is partly inspired by Peter Jackson’s revolutionary adaptation of “The Lord of the Rings”, with all three epic blockbuster scale features shooting back-to-back: “What Peter did was a feat, cinematic history,” Howard told Deadline in December. “The approach we’re taking also stands on its own, but it’s driven by the material. I love both, and like what’s going on in TV. With this story, if you dedicated to one medium or another, there’s the horrible risk of cheating material. The scope and scale call for a big screen budget. But if you committed only to films, you’d deny the audience the intimacy and nuance of some of these characters and a lot of cool twists and turns that make for jaw-dropping, compelling television. We’ve put some real time and deep thought into this, and a lot of conversations and analysis from a business standpoint, to get people to believe in this and take this leap with us. I hope audiences respond to it in a way that compels us to keep going after the first year or two of work. It’s fresh territory for me, as a filmmaker.”
The NY Post have sources who believe Javier Bardem is the lead contender for the role of Roland Deschain, with Viggo Mortensen – far and away the fan favorite, something Howard has acknowledged – in a close second. Other names that have been rumored include Daniel Craig, Hugh Jackman and Jon Hamm. British actress Naomie Harris is rumored to be considered for the female lead character of Susannah Dean. Other main characters to be cast include Roland’s faithful companions Jake Chambers, Eddie Dean and Oy, and nemeses the Man in Black and The Crimson King.
While those involved have abstained from commenting on anything specific regarding the project, producer Grazer seemed confident enough to confide to MTV’s cameras at the Golden Globes that an announcement regarding casting would be coming “within a week”. That’s this week, boys and girls. Is he serious or just trying to get a pesky reporter off his back? Watch the video below and judge for yourself, and I guess we’ll find out within the next 72 hours!