After Universal recently shut down the multimillion dollar project, it was assumed that The Dark Tower was dead in the water. The original concept that filmmakers Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and Akiva Goldsman had for the novel-to-screen adaptation included three films and a slew of television series. It is widely assumed that the scope and budget of the project is what scared the studio off, but it looks like there might be hope for this one just yet. The process for this adaptation has been largely stop with a little go, but during recent interviews, Grazer was very optimistic about the future of the project. He stated that they have cut about $45 million from the original proposed $140 million budget, fitting it into a scope that studios will be much more likely to accept.
It’s no secret that movie studios have been cutting back on budgets in the past few years, trying to push the average blockbuster production budget to under $100 million. With this price tag in mind, it seems the filmmakers have decided to cut back somewhat on the scale of the films in order to make it a more marketable concept. Grazer actually expressed renewed hope in The Dark Tower, saying that “In the $140 million draft, the ending wasn’t quite as satisfying. Now, we’ve got $45 million, $50 million out of the way and a really satisfying ending. It’s gonna get made.” Just a few days after making that comment, he announced that while the films are not yet sold, the television series has been purchased by none other than HBO.
Needless to say, HBO has plenty of experience in television, producing some of the most well known and respected shows of the last few decades. With a company like this behind one side of the project, you know the marketability for the film franchise is going to increase as well. Not only have they fit the budget to a pricetag that most studios look for, but they have signed a deal to do half of the project with one of the biggest names in television. As Grazer quipped, this one is going to get made. Fans were fearful that this one would never see the light of day, but it appears the filmmakers just weren’t ready to let this one go.
Who can blame them? The Dark Tower is one of the most beloved fantasy novel series of the past century for very good reason. If you haven’t at least read a few of the novels, you owe it to yourself to check them out. If you’re too lazy for that, at least check out the graphic novel adaptation that Marvel put out a few years ago. Either way, chances are you won’t have to wait too long before this one actually hits the little screen. Hopefully this will also push studios to accept and move forward with their project on the big screen as well. Until we get final word, we’ll have to accept that only half of this project is currently set to move forward. However, the way things are going, we have more reason than ever to get excited for the adaptation that millions of fans have been waiting decades for.
Sources: Deadline, MTV, Slashfilm.