We haven't heard much about Ron Howard's massive adaptation of Stephen King's Dark Tower saga recently, but apparently that's by design.
Howard's been trying to make the project -- which has been billed as three films bridged by seasons of television -- happen since 2010, and though it's endured budget issues, studio changes, casting changes and the bevy of other projects that its creative team is busy juggling, it's never truly been declared dead. Lately, though, things have been especially quiet on the Dark Tower front. The only thing we've really heard recently is a comment from Netflix Vice President of Content Ted Sarandos, who said his company might be interested in helping out.
Now Howard has broken his silence on the project. Speaking to the Empire Magazine podcast about The Dark Tower, he offered an explanation as to why we haven't heard anything lately about the adaptation.
"The Dark Tower is something that we’re still working on," he said. "We’ve all taken a vow of silence about the progress, the headway, what we think our timetable is, because I don’t think I realised how much media interest there was in the title and how much excitement there was."
That seems like a reasonable stance to take, especially with a project that's already hit so many bumps on the road to production. Even for a Hollywood heavy hitter like Howard, The Dark Tower is a tough nut to crack, but according to him that's part of the appeal.
"It’s a fascinating, powerful possibility and even Stephen King acknowledges it’s a tricky adaptation, but to be honest, from a financing side, it’s not a straightforward, four-quadrant, sunny superhero story – it’s dark, it’s horror," Howard said. "That edge is what appeals to me, the complexities of those characters is what appeals to all of us. And I think Stephen King really respects that, with [regular screenwriting collaborator] Akiva Goldsman and myself, that that’s what we love about it, and that’s what we want to try to get to the screen."
Howard's been quite busy lately as the release of his new racing film, Rush (starring Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth), moves closer. Plus, his slate of future projects already includes a third Robert Langdon thriller with Tom Hanks, Inferno, set to be released in 2015, plus the possibility of even more Arrested Development. So, for the moment, it looks like The Dark Tower's release date, if it ever gets one, is simply "someday," and Howard's just fine with that.
"So my answer is: it got delayed, it’s never gone away," Howard said. "We’re working on it, and Stephen is very patient with us, and Akiva’s just gone off and directed a movie, I’m continuing to work, but the Dark Tower dreams – fever dreams, rather – are still there, but we’re not going to give it a timetable."
So we might not get any real answers for a long time, but Howard is not giving up on this massive cinematic undertaking. What do you think? Will he ever get The Dark Tower on screen?