Dark Tower Adaptation Lives! Slightly Modified
|NEWS - MOVIE NEWS|
We can make it better, faster, stronger! Or at least, cheaper.
After some qualms and studio wavering, both wishy and washy, plans for the Dark Tower adaptation are moving forward. As the title suggests, though, with slight modifications.
Originally, the initial film of Stephen King's epic Dark Tower series was slated for release by Universal on May 13, 2013. This would be followed by two full-length feature films, plus two TV mini-series between the films, to help fill in the blanks (and keep the fans' interest level on the rise). To meet that timeline for the initial release, filming was set to begin in September 2011. An ambitious project, to be sure; yet with the Oscar-winning trio of Ron Howard directing, Akiva Goldsman writing, and Javier Bardem in the lead role as Roland Deschain, plus a built-in audience of Stephen King fans, it seemed like a no-brainer.
Still, a few days ago Deadline reported that Universal may well have been pulling out of the project. They actually put all pre-production staff on hiatus as they went to work on budget problems, leading to speculation as to whether the team would be persuaded to cut their original, epic vision, or whether they would pull out of Universal altogether and shop the project in its entirety to another studio. Now THR reports that the project will remain at Universal, with some modifications. The most telling is that there is a reduced budget - how reduced, nobody can say for sure; but Howard, Goldsman, and longtime collaborator Brian Grazer are working together to try to bring the budget down.
This has sparked concerns for Bardem's continued involvement: with a project this ambitious and complex, an actor would need to block out a significant portion of time away from other potential projects. A changed project timeline (starting in February 2012 rather than September 2011) would certainly affect that. However, it's the apparent lack of studio faith in the film that may have the actor concerned. A three-film, two-miniseries project will take several years of exclusive work by the actor in question, and is a career move that will either cement or sink an actor's career. If the studio is showing a lack of support in the initial stages, wouldn't an actor just heating up the Hollywood radar think twice about committing too?
Understandable though it may be, let's hope that it doesn't come to that. Javier Bardem seems to be a fantastic fit for the part, and he can certainly act. The Dark Tower series is epic in nature and scope, and it is refreshing to see a filmmaker's vision match an epic story - perhaps it's enough to know that the project is still alive at the studio for now.
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