By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist May 25, 2011 at 3:38AM
With a plan to stretch over three films and television series, Ron Howard and Akiva Goldsman's adaptation of Stephen King's "The Dark Tower" is certainly ambitious, so much so, that rumors swirled earlier this month at Universal was getting cold feet about the project. Alas, the project is still set up at the studio, but undergoing some revisions as the cautious studio looks like slim down the budget with the filmmakers getting more time to get the story and approach right. EW recently caught up with Howard and he was quite candid about the latest developments, including the involvement of Javier Bardem who isn't quite secured just yet.
“We had to pull back to our September start date due to budget delays and ongoing story development and logistical issues, but Dark Tower is moving forward,” Howard said. “We’re thinking of starting in early spring now. I can’t really say who’ll be in it yet, but Javier Bardem has shown a great deal of interest. We’ll know by the end of the summer, when our flashing green light goes solid.”
That's quite a different tune, especially since Bardem was reportedly signed on last month. However, with the budget getting trimmed and the story getting adjusted, perhaps the actor wants to see where the direction goes before fully committing and that seems fair enough. But it also opens a window for Bardem to take another look at "James Bond 23" which will shoot this fall. As you might recall, the actor was offered a villain role in the film which would've have initially conflicted with "The Dark Tower." But with the fall now free and clear, could Bardem take another peek? We hope so.
As for why the mega-franchise will roll out on both the big and small screen, Howard has a simple explanation. “There are elements of the 'Dark Tower' saga that are more personal and can be best dealt with on television,” he said. “TV allows you to roll out details of the characters in a more methodical way.” And by details, we're sure the "Arrested Development" producer means more Mayon-egg, right?
No word yet on how the production shift will affect currently slated May 17, 2013 release date, but we imagine that will be shifted to later the same year. But in this age of rushing films to find a release date, it's kind of nice to see one blockbuster taking a pause to make sure all of its moving parts make sense.