Universal shuts the door on Stephen King's 'Dark Tower' | EW.com

Movies

Universal shuts the door on Stephen King's 'Dark Tower'

The studio may have put the kibosh on Ron Howard's ambitious project starring Javier Bardem, but King hasn't given up hope

It took Stephen King 22 years to write the quest of The Dark Tower, and it looks like the movie could be in for a similarly long journey. Universal has turned down Ron Howard’s proposal to make three films and two seasons of TV out of the seven-novel series, derailing one of the most ambitious projects ever put forth in Hollywood. Ultimately, it was just too ambitious, with an estimated budget of $200 million for the first film and its follow-up six-hour miniseries, according to a source close to the project. Dark Tower would have starred Javier Bardem as Roland, a gunslinger on a path to a mythical structure that binds space and time. All hope is not lost, though. Howard and his Imagine Entertainment partners, who had a first-look deal at Universal, are now free to shop the project to other studios — and King himself is still optimistic. ”I’m sorry Universal passed, but not really surprised,” he tells EW. ”As a rule, they’ve been about smaller and less risky [movies]…. I bear them no ill will, and trust Ron Howard to get Roland and his friends before the camera somewhere else. He’s very committed to the project.”