Sony Pictures has found what they hope will become their next big franchise, and it’s one that other movie studios have tried to take on in the past before ultimately passing on. According to reports, Sony is teaming with Media Rights Capital to co-finance an adaptation of Stephen King‘s book series The Dark Tower, and they want to fast-track the production.
Universal was the first studio to try to adapt the books along with NBC Universal Television back in 2010 in what was going to be a trilogy of movies and a companion TV series with Ron Howard directing and Akiva Goldsman writing the first movie and first season of the show. It was so ambitious it was unbelievable, which is why it wasn’t all that shocking—just disappointing—when Universal dropped it. Then in 2012 Warner Brothers looked close to adapting the books, but they too decided it wouldn’t be worth it.
Yesterday we reported that Warner Bros. had passed on Ron Howard’s adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. Howard, who has been courting Russell Crowe (who previously starred in Howard’s A Beautiful Mind) for the role of the Gunslinger, a role that was previously bestowed to Javier Bardem when that project was being shopped at Universal. So with two studios having already passed on The Dark Tower, some might think that this project may be too much to handle.
After all the deal does call for the adaptation to start off as a film, then switch over to the small screen for a short televised series run, then turned back into a movie finale. The financial implications would hurt the distributing studio if the first part of the planned adaptation failed. So it’s really no surprise that the studios didn’t want to take the risk. Well you might think that other studios might not want to even touch this project with a 10-foot pole, but Media Rights Capital has stepped in as the next studio hoping to make Howard’s dream come true.