Lone Ranger-style budget cuts could save that big-screen Dark Tower

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Dec 15, 2012, 11:18 AM EST

It's been three months since Universal dropped its support of Ron Howard's massive film and TV adaptation of Stephen King's The Dark Tower, and the project is still showing signs of life. Script rewrites have removed a hefty chunk of the budget, and producer Brian Grazer is confident that because of those changes, "It's gonna get made."

The project was never completely dead in the first place, as we heard reports back in August that both Grazer and Howard were still at work seeking outside financing. Howard is now working on his new flick Rush, due out in 2013, but according to Grazer they have already revisited the script and managed to make it a good deal cheaper.

"We found a way to cut out $45 million out of the budget without changing the scope and actually giving it a good ending," Grazer said, suggesting a heavily re-worked approach. "In the $140 million draft, the ending wasn't quite as satisfying. Now, we've got $45 million, $50 million out of the way and a really satisfying ending. It's gonna get made."

It's a pretty vague statement, and it doesn't even indicate whether Grazer is talking about the first film or the whole project. Based on the numbers, it seems like the first film is all he could be referring to, but since we're not sure exactly where one part of this project will end and another will begin, we also don't know what that newly satisfying ending could be either.

Grazer, Howard and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman already tried going the route of cutting the budget through rewrites before Universal dropped the project, but this seems like a much more drastic effort, so maybe it'll work. We heard just two weeks ago that Johnny Depp's The Lone Ranger was saved at Disney by budget cuts, so it could work again for this. The Dark Tower, though, is a project on a much grander scale, so even if it does work for the first film, how does this affect the project overall?

(via Comic Book Movie)