Jul 19, 2011

Stephen King's Dark Tower Film Trilogy Brought To A Halt

image from Amazon

According to Deadline, even though Universal Studios had told filmmakers working on the huge project of Stephen King's Dark Tower film trilogy that filming can begin this summer, universal is now pulling the plug. The enormous project was set to be three films and two TV mini-series to encompass King's 7 novels, with Ron Howard (Director of Angels and Demons, Frost/Nixon, The Da Vinci Code, and A Beautiful Mind) to direct the script written by Akiva Goldsman (writer of A Beautiful Mind, Angels and Demons, The Da Vinci Code, I Am Legend), and starred by Javier Bardem (Best known for playing Anton Chigurh in No Country For Old Men). The deal-cancellation is said to be budgetary given that all of the movies and TV series were determined by filmmakers to be filmed back-to-back without breaks. The Dark Tower series is now indefinitely suspended until the project can find the big funding it needs.

From the sounds of it, Universal were right to sever their ties with the project. As great as the film series may have been, I think the filmmakers could have shown a little more leeway with the production company footing their bill. I also don't think the TV miniseries is really all that necessary. I understand squeezing 7 novels into 3 movies would have been a lot of work, but sometimes important things from books have to get cut for the sake of the viewing audience who don't have the kind of attention spans to watch that long of a series. Plus producing that much film/television could have lead to a lot of burnout. Harry Potter's done nicely with their huge franchise in a short span of time, but given that the target-audience is young, as well as the actors, everyone grows with each film that comes out. This kind of film would have targeted much more picky fanboys, so I think Universal made the right call.

Not to turn this into a disparraging rant, but I'm not the biggest fan of Stephen King's work and actually find him a bit overrated. I appreciate how creative he can be and how some of his story-ideas are great, but that's all I can really give him credit for is being a hit-or-miss idea man. I like a handful of his movies, but I think there's been just as many non-scary flops that grew out of his work as there have been successes. His writing style never appealed to me, as opposed to his son Joe Hill who I currently have a manly writers-crush on after reading Heart-Shaped Box. However, I really hope the Dark Tower project gets picked up, as it's a very hyped up franchise and I want to experience it without reading 7 books.

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