Is has not been a good time at Hollywood studios for ambitious projects. "At The Mountains Of Madness," "The Dark Tower" and more recently, "The Lone Ranger," have all been squashed as execs have been very reluctant to risk hundreds of millions of studio dollars (and possibly their jobs) to bring these epic visions to the big screen, but at least one of those films hasn't given up just yet. It was just last month that author Stephen King expressed his faith that director Ron Howard would still get the film made, and indeed, he's still trying to.
Speaking with the NY Post (via THR), Howard producing partner Brian Grazer revealed that they were “trying to get outside financing to make it, and distribute it through a major [studio].” Moreover, Javier Bardem -- tapped for the lead role of Roland Deschain -- is still attached, which should certainly help in opening some wallets.
Outside financing is now no longer just a staple of indie filmmaking. Media Rights Capital fully financed Neill Blomkamp's forthcoming "Elysium" before it was picked up by Sony, and David Ellison's infusion of cash helped get both "True Grit" and the forthcoming "Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol" made. That said, even by tentpole standards, "The Dark Tower" is pretty out there. As originally envisioned, it would stretch across three films, with a television series to run between each installment, continuing the story. Whether or not that grand scale epic is what is currently being pitched -- or if they have scaled back their plans -- remains to be seen, but a trilogy of flicks is a heavy investment by anybody's standards.
So while we'll see if "The Dark Tower" can be rebuilt -- it will have to wait anyway for Howard to finish up his forthcoming racing pic "Rush" with Grazer noting "the soonest we could do it would be June next year” -- King fans still have plenty to be excited about. David Yates has just signed on to direct a multi-film adaptation of "The Stand" over at Warner Bros. so there will be plenty from King's world headed to a multiplex near you.