Since Warner Bros. announcement last year that Ron Howard would be attached and directing the first portion of the “multi-tiered” adaptation bringing one of Stephen King‘s most beloved series, The Dark Tower, to the big screen, we haven’t heard much. In fact, the silence has been almost deafening, as well as disturbing. We’ve all seen projects start out with a big dog and pony show, but then fade quietly until years later some other ambitious director picks it up off that dusty Hollywood warehouse shelf.
While making some publicity rounds for his upcoming racing movie Rush, Howard recently sat down with Empire and had a few things to say about The Dark Tower.
The Dark Tower is something that we’re still working on. We’ve all taken a vow of silence about the progress, the headway, what we think our timetable is, because I don’t think I realised how much media interest there was in the title and how much excitement there was.
It’s a fascinating, powerful possibility and even Stephen King acknowledges it’s a tricky adaptation, but to be honest, from a financing side, it’s not a straightforward, four-quadrant, sunny superhero story – it’s dark, it’s horror. That edge is what appeals to me, the complexities of those characters is what appeals to all of us. And I think Stephen King really respects that, with [regular screenwriting collaborator] Akiva Goldsman and myself, that that’s what we love about it, and that’s what we want to try to get to the screen.
So my answer is: it got delayed, it’s never gone away. We’re working on it, and Stephen is very patient with us, and Akiva’s just gone off and directed a movie [an adaptation of Mark Helprin’s novel, Winter’s Tale, starring Colin Farrell, Russell Crowe, Jessica Brown Findlay, Jennifer Connelly and Will Smith], I’m continuing to work, but the Dark Tower dreams – fever dreams, rather – are still there, but we’re not going to give it a timetable.
Hopefully The Dark Tower will be that itch in the back of Ron Howard’s head that he just can’t ignore. From his comments about not wanting to give a timetable, Howard either doesn’t feel that the time is right, or perhaps he has other projects taking priority at the moment.
We won’t really know for sure that the movie is truly in the works until we get some concrete casting and location shoot schedules. So far all we’ve gotten are rumors and hopeful Internet fantasies.
Do you think Ron Howard and company will follow through on The Dark Tower?