In an wide-ranging interview with Imagine Entertainment’s Ron Howard and Brian Grazer about the 25-year producing partnership, Deadline broached some questions about their planned adaption of Steven King’s The Dark Tower at Universal Studios.
An epic undertaking, the project would encompass three movies AND two TV mini-series. Whay take on such a massive production?
Ron Howard answered that the project may be even more ambitious.
“The universe Steve King created is so dimensional and creative. It blends scope, sweep, and adventure with some very personal compelling stories. We could have tried to force all of it into one or two or three movies.
It became clear to me that the medium of TV has become so bold and cool, we could use it to our advantage creatively, and really fulfill the possibilities of this universe of characters King gave us to work with. We can use the intimacy of television when that’s appropriate, and the scope and scale of the big screen with the bigger fantasy ideas.
We discovered elements that would probably never have a home either on the big screen or on TV, but would make fantastic narrative gaming opportunities that won’t rehash the movies or TV, but have its own material borne out of the books and graphic novels. We’ve got gaming designers and there is enthusiasm for that. It’s a way to use all the mediums at our disposal to try to fulfill what’s possible. Universal sees this as an asset that can benefit the company in a lot of different ways.”
The site mentioned rumors that Universal might be getting cold feet about the undertaking, and the fact that the start of production has been delayed until 2012.
Howard replied that the original start date was part of a “fast track” plan that in the end went back to a “more traditional timetable”.
Asked about the studio’s desire to reduce the budget, Brian Grazer replied that writer and co-producer Akiva Goldsman is is “sensitive to cost” and re-writing the script to reduce the expense, insisting that “the cuts aren’t that deep or radical.”
Questioned if Javier Bardem is signed to play the lead Roland Deschains, Ron Howard said that Bardem does want to play the role and that he hoped that would be the case, but implied no one is “pay or play” at this point.