The story of Ron Howard’s attempts to get Stephen King’s masterpiece, The Dark Tower, onto the big screen (and small screen) could be a King-sized novel of its own. Now, however, a new chapter has been written, as Warner Brothers has officially passed on the project.
Normally that would mean that a project is dead. In this case, however, it means Howard and his partner, Akiva Goldsman, can now pitch the project to other studios. This could, in fact, be a good thing. Let me explain:
Hollywood runs by rules that defy conventional logic. Sometimes properties are bought up by studios who only have the most casual interest in actually producing them just to stop other studios from potentially having a hit. Did you wonder why they made a second Fantastic Four movie after how badly the first bombed? Or why there was a Spider-Man reboot so soon after the Raimi/Maguire trilogy? It’s to keep the rights to those properties from reverting to Marvel (who, you know, made a kinda big movie this year). The Dark Tower has been tied up with Warner Brothers like this for years.
Now it’s free, which means the team pushing for it can now go elsewhere. They could get locked into another multi-year ordeal, but hopefully they’ll get a studio that actually wants to make the project happen and not one that’s more interested in just keeping the property out of the hands of competitors.