Universal Pictures no longer backs Ron Howard's ambitious adaptation of Stephen King's fantasy series, "The Dark Tower". The first film was actually expected to begin its production this summer, but it was temporarily delayed after the studio announced it plans to make the project more cost-effective. This week, however, the studio pulled the plug on the project altogether.
An insider told Entertainment Weekly that the studio declined to develop the project because it was "too costly, too big a risk, and not something they felt comfortable moving forward on." Universal has declined to comment on its decision. Howard and his team must now find a new studio that is willing to back the project if he insists to move on.
Howard was expected to direct as well as produce the film with Oscar-winning screenwriter Akiva Goldsman providing the script. Javier Bardem, meanwhile, was supposed to take on the lead role as gunslinger Roland Deshain, who travels to find a dark tower that is said to be a magical portal to other worlds.
Aside from this ambitious project, Howard is reportedly preparing another movie about Formula 1 racing, called "Rush", in which Chris Hemsworth has been tapped to star. The drama movie expected to be released in 2013.