After more than a decade of rumors, scripts, starts and stops, Sony made a big announcement Tuesday evening (April 12) — Stephen King’s “The Dark Tower” had finally rolled cameras. Over the years, the beloved 1982 – 2012 series of books had gained a reputation as visionary, thrilling … and quite possibly unfilmable.
Needless to say, fans of the series are excited to finally see the film version being made, with Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba in the lead roles and Nikolaj Arcel directing. If you need help understanding why, read on for 5 talented Hollywood power players who have struggled mightily in a battle almost as epic as the books themselves.
As if the guy isn’t busy enough, from 2007 to 2009 Abrams was determined to make Stephen King’s fantasy series his next great franchise. Working with his “Lost” buddies Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof, Abrams optioned the rights — which “Lost” fan King reportedly sold to them for an injoke-friendly $19 (a number that appears throughout the books). By 2009, a frustrated Abrams admitted that his “reverence for Stephen King is now getting in the way of what any good writer would do first when they’re adapting a book, which is take creative license.” By the end of that year, Abrams had thrown up his hands in frustration — and he would spend the next seven years toiling in obscurity on movies with the word “Star” in the title.
Out of everyone involved with “The Dark Tower” over the years, none has worked harder than Mr. Opie Cunningham himself. Taking things over after Abrams, he crafted several different plans of attack until late 2014/early 2015. At that point, after attempting to turn King’s eight-book series into some mixture of film and TV projects, Universal finally killed Howard’s Quixotic directorial quest — although he would stay on as a producer. According to rumors, Javier Bardem and Norman Reedus were among the stars he was thinking about casting.
One of the most in-demand writers in Hollywood, Goldsman has conquered such difficult material as “A Beautiful Mind,” “I Am Legend” and the acclaimed new series “Underground.” He was also hired by Howard to adapt the “Dark Tower” novels, and had a hand in the decision to make them into a mix of films and TV that were once rumored to air on HBO or even Netflix. Goldsman was also reportedly forced to scramble as the budget kept getting slashed — but when Sony took over in 2015, Goldsman remained as writer and producer.
A longtime collaborator of Goldsman and Howard, the “Beautiful Mind” Oscar winner was at one time being considered to play a lead in the film. Goldsman had written a new script for Warner Bros., and for the summer of 2012 the Australian looked to be the new face of the “Dark Tower” saga. Ultimately, Warner Bros. passed, and Crowe went to play in a different sandbox.
Another actor who has professed his love for the series over the years, the “Breaking Bad” star said in 2012 that playing Eddie Dean would be a “huge dream,” and in 2014 he revealed that he had conversations with Ron Howard about the possibility. Could his dream come true? There are rumors that he may still have a stranglehold on the role.