Months after Universal Pictures pulled the plug on Ron Howard's ambitious project "The Dark Tower", Warner Bros. Pictures emerges as a potential new distributor for the high-end gig. Deadline reported that Warners is now "very close" to seal a deal with Howard to make at least the first installment of the planned franchise.
It was said that Oscar winner Javier Bardem is still on board to star as gunslinger Roland Deschain. Meanwhile, Akiva Goldsman is still attached as the screenwriter in addition to serving as the producer along with Brian Grazer and author Stephen King. Should everything work according to plan, Howard is expected to begin filming in the first-quarter of 2013.
Based on Stephen King's acclaimed fantasy series, "Dark Tower" revolves around Deshain who roams an Old West-like landscape in search of a dark tower, which is rumored to be a magical portal to other worlds. Bardem has been firmly tapped to play the lead gunslinger since the project was still at Universal.
The big-budgeted movie project was originally designed as a film trilogy with a TV component in between the movies. Back in July 2011, Universal announced that it declined to develop the project due to budgetary issue. An insider told Entertainment Weekly that the studio thought the gig was "too costly, too big a risk, and not something they felt comfortable moving forward on."
While the movie is close to find its new home at Warners, "Dark Tower" TV series version has already been obtained by HBO. The network agreed to develop the super-sized franchise after Howard was able to reduce the film's massive budget. Announcing the good news, producer Grazer said, "We'll do the TV with HBO, and we'll do the movie with... to be determined. We'll do it right."