Between movies based on the re-imaginings of fairy tales, literary remixes and one shot book deals, production companies are looking for the next big franchise. For popular comic book titles like Batman and Spider-man, some properties can even be remade until the heat death of the universe. So what will be the next big thing? Who will take over for the Harry Potter series or the Twilight Saga for multi-film dominance? (editors note: The Hunger Games!)
According to Deadline, Warner Bros. Is very close to completing a deal which will bring the Stephen King name once again to the movie screen. Not a contrived horror story about an evil lamp or stapler; Thank you Simpsons; but instead the films will be adaptations of King’s Dark Tower series.
This screen adaptation has currently been written by Akiva Goldsman, who will also produce the movie alongside Brian Grazer and Stephen King. Ron Howard has been brought on to direct the first feature film in what might be many more to come. To compound the ability to make money in this multi-film deal, there is even talks of a television series that might supplement the action between films; lots of Spartacus like prequels. Wow. I just realized that’s what they might end up doing for Ender’s Game if they go into sequels. Not only are there little short stories that serve as prequels, but they’re making new comics based on the life of Mazer Rackham.
King’s Dark Tower is a post-apocalyptic story that is equal parts spaghetti western and Tolkian fantasy. Portions I recall from the bits and pieces of comics I’ve read involve a wandering gun slinger who paid with things from his grow-bag; a magical pouch that would spit out coins and the occasional gem. The movie was initially pitched to Universal Studios back in 2010 as a three film deal with two limited-run television series. Probably thinking it was too much of a gamble to fully commit, the studio only gave the green light for one film. It’s the safe choice to make considering that the Dark Tower series is seven books long. As popular as the series has become, The Dark Tower is not as family friendly as Harry Potter was; a lot more violent and more horrific.
Nothing is written in stone yet, so don’t get your hopes up too soon. Warner Bros. Hasn’t fully committed, but with the momentum that the Howard and his team has built up, The Dark Tower looks like it’s prime for Hollywood plucking. So who will play Roland Deschain, the last living member of the knightly order of gunslingers? When the film adaptation was in Universal Studios’ hands, Javier Bardem; No Country for Old Men; was attached to the lead role. Who else would be more perfect to play an emotionless, compassionless killing machine? If schedules all work out in time for the potential filming of The Dark Tower, Bardem will likely keep the role.