The rumors surrounding the demise of Ron Howard’s The Dark Tower project appear to have been greatly exaggerated.
While promoting his latest film Rush on the Empire Podcast (via /Film), Howard revealed that, while the adaptation of Stephen King’s epic series of fantasy novels has experienced some bumps in the road, it remains a property that he still dreams of realizing as a live-action film and that he’s working with producing partner Brian Grazer and screenwriter Akiva Goldman to make that dream a reality.
“It got delayed, it’s never gone away,” Howard says. “We’re working on it, and [Stephen King] is very patient with us. And Akiva’s just gone off and directed a movie [a big-screen adaptation of Mark Helprin’s novel, Winter’s Tale, starring Colin Farrell and Russell Crowe]. 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.”
Howard also says that he will be remaining mum on The Dark Towers for now, as he did not realize the level of scrutiny and fan excitement such a project would incur.
It’s certainly not an easy sell. Despite his and Grazer’s clout in Hollywood, Howard says the novels’ sheer scope and dark tone make it a hard pill to swallow for investors.
“From a financing side, it’s not a straightforward, four-quadrant, sunny superhero story—it’s dark, it’s horror,” he explains. “That edge is what appeals to me, the complexities of those characters is what appeals to all of us.”
The original plan was to shoot the adaptation as a three-part film series that would be linked by two limited-run television shows. That plan eventually devolved into a one-picture deal with the promise of future films when financing powerhouse Media Rights Capital made an offer last year. The last we heard, however, Grazer hinted towards a mysterious Silicon Valley investor that may allow the team to tackle their original, ambitious vision. Howard did not specify in the podcast which direction they would be taking.