Ron Howard’s planned film trilogy and interlocking TV series adaptation of Stephen King’s “The Dark Tower” saga has always been seen as extraordinarily ambitious.
Now however, that ambition might be too big for the company behind it – Universal Pictures. Variety reports that the project has run into budgetary complications which have caused studio execs to rethink original plans.
Meetings are reportedly expected in coming days to determine whether to put the project into turnaround which would allow producer Imagine Entertainment to shop it around and either bring another studio onboard as a partner, or let another take it over completely.
Deadline adds that Universal has put pre-production staff on hiatus as they discuss ways to bring down the budget. One thing’s for certain, the September start date has now been scratched.
The move isn’t unprecedented. Universal pulled out of Guillermo del Toro’s “At the Mountains of Madness” amid concern that the $150 million budget R-rated project would struggle to be profitable.
A project of this scale will cost considerably more so it’s not unreasonable for the studio to want to share the risk if possible. With Javier Bardem’s deal to play the lead role of Roland Deschain nearly closed, Imagine certainly has a viable property here.