It's all over, folks: Universal Studios has canceled its ambitious adaptation of Stephen King's The Dark Tower over budgetary issues.
According to Deadline, the studio has scrapped the entire project—which was to consist of three feature films and two TV miniseries—because it was too expensive and risky. Even with Ron Howard signed to direct and Javier Bardem pretty much committed to star as Roland the gunslinger, Universal was willing to commit only to the first feature.
Universal and Imagine Entertainment (Howard's company with producer Brian Grazer) unveiled their plans for The Dark Tower last fall, stunning Hollywood with its scope. But just this past spring, the studio began getting cold feet over the cost of the project, delaying the start of production from this summer while it readjusted the budget. But even after reading writer/producer Akiva Goldsman's new drafts of the first film and TV episodes, Universal was still not willing to sign the check.
So now what? Well, Howard and his team will have to take the whole thing somewhere else if they still want to make it, and there are rumors that Warner Bros. Pictures could be their next stop. Either way, it looks like fans will have to wait a while longer to see King's seven-book fantasy/horror/sci-fi milestone on the screen—if we ever get to see it at all.