The future doesn’t look too bright for the big-screen adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. Warner Bros. has officially passed on the opportunity to bring the story of Roland Deschain to life. The studio is the second to walk away from the property, after Universal declined to move forward with the project last summer.
This is not the first roadblock the production has encountered. Over a period of years there have been starts, stops, and all manner of rumors and reports. Javier Bardem was long attached to play the lead role, a sort of Arthurian gunslinger who wanders the landscape that resembles the American West, looking for the Dark Tower, said to be at the center of all existence. But he recently he stepped away, though Russell Crowe was said to be interested in the role. Crowe previously worked with director Ron Howard and producer Brian Grazer on A Beautiful Mind, which won the Aussie actor an Oscar.
The Dark Tower is a massive, sprawling saga that involves novels, comics, and games. A variety of strategies have been discussed on how best to realize the story. Most recently the adaptation was envisioned as a trilogy of films, with two limited television series to augment the action. Akiva Goldsman and Mark Verheiden were set to handle the writing duties, and had delivered a draft.
Warner declined to comment on the decision, which leaves The Dark Tower in limbo. While there is still the chance that another studio could pick this up and move forward, that doesn’t seem likely. Is this the end for Roland Deschain, or will some knight in shining armor ride to the rescue?