A few days ago, producer and Ron Howard co-writer Brian Grazer shared this with Stephen King’s Dark Tower fans:
“We’re going to do ['The Dark Tower'] with HBO,” Grazer told us. “We’ll do the TV with HBO, and we’ll do the movie with… to be determined. We’ll do it right.”
“We’ll do it right.” Those are the words I want to hear. As a cultish fan of the Dark Tower saga, I want it done absolutely right. Grazer’s comment is quite interesting though for another reason. He’s already found Dark Tower another home. A month or two ago, NBC and Universal ended the initial agreement with Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, stating the scope and financial resources needed were too large for them to take on. Apparently Stephen King can scare even studio executives.
Those suits had a point though. Howard wants to make Dark Tower a multi-media event, adapting some of the novels as silver screen movies and some of the novels as television mini-series. That’s a large undertaking, requiring money and patience.
Studios hate offering up money and patience. They want quick returns on investments.
Fortunately, HBO has shown it can be patient while making a profit. In my opinion, NBC was always wrong for Dark Tower. To do Roland’s story correctly, it requires all the R-rated goodness that basic television can’t offer. HBO can and they’ve proved it with George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones.
It is also a bold move for HBO. The studio has not only acquired GRRM’s epic fantasy, but they’ve bought Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. Throw in a quality Stephen King story—like Dark Tower—and HBO is threatening to become what every Hollywood studio has shown it can’t be in recent years—a visionary.
Actor Javier Bardem is still attached to the project. Although I think he is wrong for Roland Deschain, having his Academy Award-winning name attached to the project helps considerably. What must happen next? Sounds like Howard and Grazer need to find a Hollywood studio with that vision, one that will take on the production and distribution of silver screen movies. Who will that be? I don’t know but I hope it’s something they get in place soon. Producers and directors will only fight for a project for so long before they give up. And I don’t want them to give up just yet…
… after all, Roland Deschain wouldn’t.
Ka is a wheel…