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Warner Bros. Passes On Ron Howard's 'The Dark Tower' & 'The Imitation Game'

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by Kevin Jagernauth
August 20, 2012 7:36 PM
6 Comments
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The Dark Tower The Imitation Game

Update: Huh. Below we kind of predicted that some non-studio indie backer might take on the film, and now Deadline reports that MRC (one of the examples we mentioned) are now in talks to finance.

It's back to square one for Ron Howard and Brian Grazer's ambitious adaptation of "The Dark Tower." Even with Russell Crowe eyeing to take over the lead, and a reduced budget, it seems it wasn't enough for Warner Bros. to pull the trigger on the project, leaving the future of it ever getting made -- at least in this incarnation -- in doubt.

To recap, the concept involved telling Stephen King's epic, multi-novel story stretched out across three films, with a television series between each movie in order to pack in the narrative. Akiva Goldsman was apparently turning in a new script that would be the deciding factor, and it seems the answer is a firm "no." With Universal having already passed last summer, it leaves the options at major studios quickly dwindling, but we'd reckon not all hope is lost yet. With folks like Media Rights Capital (Neill Blomkamp's "Elysium," David Fincher's "House Of Cards") and/or David Ellison ("True Grit," "Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol") becoming deep pocket, indie backers for stuff like this, getting financed may just mean going outside the studio system before circling back for distribution. But it means conversations have to start all over, and ultimately, "The Dark Tower" is a long way from being built.

Meanwhile, WB has also said "no thanks" to "The Imitation Game." The Black List-topping script by Graham Moore is based on the biography "Alan Turing: The Enigma," and tells the story of English multi-hyphenate -- mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, computer scientist -- whose cracking of ciphers made a massive difference in World War II and whose exploration into early computer design paved the way for the technologies we have now. However, he was a closeted homosexual who, once he came out, subjected himself to "treatment" programs and sadly took his own life in 1954. 

"The Disappearance Of Alice Creed" helmer J. Blakeson signed on to direct this spring, with Leonardo DiCaprio being sought to star. But it seems with the actor declining the project, the studio isn't much interested in making it anymore. But Blakeson and Moore are staying on and hoping to find another home for the film. [Variety/THR]

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6 Comments

  • Mike | August 21, 2012 10:14 AMReply

    Unfortunately that might kill its chances of being adapted for HBO instead since HBO & WB are under the same parent company. Seriously, it'd be better off that way, & without Ron Howard. Supposedly Goldsman's screenplay is atrocious, which should surprise no one.

  • JD | August 21, 2012 4:00 AMReply

    Very surprising turn of events, with Warner letting the Imitation Game go. It was a well-writen, compelling story that could be a great film if done right, but the feeling that it was a little bit similar to A Beautiful Mind is probably behind this aside from Leo dropping out. Definitley a potential winner for whoever picks it up if it is cast well and the choice of director is right.

  • Justin | August 21, 2012 3:49 AMReply

    Forget Dark Tower...Warner handling of Imitation Game from its infancy has been absolutely disastrous. They're going to regret letting this one go when TWC, Focus, etc snatch it up and make the film.

  • Jesse | August 20, 2012 8:03 PMReply

    Let's hope Ron Howard gives up on this this idea and hands it over to someone more capable of handling this material.

  • Kevin Klawitter | August 20, 2012 7:46 PMReply

    It really shocks me that WB passed on "The Dark Tower". It would have been big and expensive, sure, but think about it: Ben Affleck is still attached to a 2-film adaptation of "The Stand" over at WB, and you'd think by making that and "The Dark Tower" they could work at creating a Stephen King franchise over there, maybe an adult-aimed equivalent to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

    Or maybe I'm just overthinking things.

  • Karen K | August 20, 2012 8:06 PM

    Think you're over-thinking things. "The Dark Tower" is such a massive story, it would be nearly impossible to bring it to a screen. Consider all of the elements that would have to translate to screen: the Beams, crossover characters, Gilead, the Rose, even the High Speech...and many more. Plus, there is a real threat that "The Dark Tower" would be bastardized, and that would piss off a lot of people...including me.

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