By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist March 8, 2011 at 8:57AM
Looks like Disney is going to pull a Universal. As their colleagues across town gear up a three film adaptation of Stephen King's "The Dark Tower" that will also include a television series to fill in the gaps, the mouse house is looking to do the same.
Deadline reports that Disney has picked a pitch titled "The Runner" that they are hoping will be a mega sci-fi franchise. Set to be written by Dave Andron (the rebooted "Knight Rider" and a few episodes of "Justified"), the story is set in the not too distant future of 2027. The Earth "has been rendered uninhabitable due to a devastating attack. A group of survivors living in the Rocky Mountains have discovered a way to send a man back in time. While the volunteer departs under the guise of trying to stop the devastating attack, he has an ulterior motive: to save the love of his life." So basically it sounds like "Source Code" meets "Looper" meets "The Road." Or something like that.
The pitch will be developed as a possible directing vehicle for Marc Foster but that's not all. Disney is gonna merchandise the shit out of it with mobile games, video games, graphic novels and a television series. Welcome to the new face of franchising. Why all the heat on television off-shoots? Because nobody watches TV anymore. At least not in the traditional manner. People buy box sets or download the episodes at their convenience. And with Universal and NBC falling under the Comcast umbrella, and ABC under Disney, you can see why the studios might be seen as vehicles to drive content to a media that is no longer being watched in way cable outlets might want us to. So no surprise then that Brian Grazer, producer of "The Dark Tower," is taking on those duties here too.
With a script still to be written, this one is a bit of a way off, but you won't have to wait too long for another Forster film. He's got the drama "Machine Gun Preacher" with Gerard Butler coming later this year.