I hope you readers understand the effort it's taking me to write this article. This is mostly because, every time mention is made of a The Dark Tower adaptation (possibly) coming to life, I get so excited that I black out for a little while (which would explain that string of unsolved crimes in Southern California, but I digress).
The latest news came about a year ago, when it seemed as if the project was actually going to happen, with even attached for the role of Roland of Gilead, last gunslinger of Mid-World (meh), only to be leave the project and be replaced by (much better). And then studios got a whiff of how large the budget might be and, being notoriously skittish as they are, got scared off and so the project has been floating around in pre-development purgatory ever since.
But director seems bound and determined to make this happen, with both himself and original author both feeling optimistic it would happen one way or another. The last bit of news is that, with Warner Bros. looking at the budget (after Universal) and saying, "Oh, HELL no," Media Rights Capital was quick to swoop into talks with Howard for the rights for the film, which... also went nowhere.
And that was it. That was eight months ago. But might the ambitious Dark Tower project have finally found a home? What about if I were to tell you it might be on Netflix? Collider had a bit of a chat with Netflix Chief Creative Officer, Ted Sarandos, and he revealed all may not be lost for the epic project; it just might have to find a home on a different platform than expected:
I spoke to Ron about it, actually. The last time we talked about it the thing was being kicked about HBO – but it’s no longer there. Once Arrested Development gets through we’ll keep talking about it.
Now, before you pass out from excitement like me, let me caution you: These are just the words of someone who has been in very brief talks with Howard. That's it. It's also hard to conceive of the streaming video company having enough capital to be able to finance such an ambitious and epic dark fantasy series.
Part of me thinks, "Finally! It might happen!" But most of me thinks, "One, you've heard that already and nothing has ever happened, and two, do you REALLY think Netflix can handle the cost of making this?" to which I have to say no, not so much.
An interesting (but ultimately probably unworkable) solution might be to have a major Hollywood studio pick up the production for the series of movies planned, and move the television spin-off to the Netflix side. But that would also involve two separate studios having to battle it out over rights and who gets what, so that's probably not going to happen.
In other words, no one has any idea what's going on with The Dark Tower (still), but at least we fans can rest assured it is in good hands with Howard, who seems determined to get it to happen, no matter how many people he has to talk to. All we can do is hope that one day, we'll see an opening shot of a camera panning across a vast desert and a somber voiceover intoning, "The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed..."
Go then, there are other worlds than these.