Warner Bros. is deciding if it wants to pull the trigger on Ron Howard’s ambitious adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series. It turns out that Javier Bardem, the original choice to play post-apocalyptic gunslinger, Roland Deschain is no longer involved and that Howard and producer Brian Grazer have turned to their Cinderella Man and A Beautiful Mind star Russell Crowe. Good idea.
The Dark Tower is a highly ambitious idea, the plan is for the film to be a trilogy of films, two television series and there is also talk of a computer game element – making it truly cross-platform. None of this will come cheap, and that is why Universal Picture put the movie into turnaround. They thought that it was too much of a risk. Crowe adds a bit more box office clout than Bardem, who while a star in his own right, hasn’t really opened a blockbuster movie.
Warner Bros. is the ideal place for such a project, as the company owns HBO – the perfect channel to air the two ‘bridge’ series. Now, consider that NBC would have aired the series if the project had stayed at Universal – one word: censorship It seems like everything happens for a reason.
Russell Crowe is on his way back after a few years in the box office wilderness – although that doesn’t mean that he hasn’t been doing great work (State of Play anynone?). The star has a slew of high profile films on the way including the kung-fu actioner The Man With The Iron Fists, thriller Broken City, musical Les Miserables, Superman adventure Man of Steel and Darren Aronofsky’s Noah. He’s also attached to Eli Roth’s Dracula, film Harker and The Dark Tower screenwriter Akiva Goldsman’s directorial directing debut, Winter’s Tale. A great run indeed.
Crowe’s attachment isn’t yet rock solid and Warner Bros. could still decide not to move forward, but there seems to be light left in The Dark Tower.