Stephen King 'not really surprised' about 'Dark Tower' roadblock -- EXCLUSIVE

With the news that Universal has canceled its planned film-and-TV adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower book series, the author tells that he’s still optimistic that director Ron Howard will find a home for Roland the Gunslinger on the big (and/or small) screen. “I’m sorry Universal passed, but not really surprised,” he writes in an email. “As a rule, they’ve been about smaller and less risky pix; maybe they feel it would be better to stick with those fast and furious racing boys. I bear them no ill will, and trust Ron Howard to get Roland and his friends before the camera somewhere else. He’s very committed to the project.”

Read more:
Is movie/TV version of Stephen King’s ‘The Dark Tower’ doomed?
Ron Howard talks ‘The Dark Tower’ delays
‘The Dark Tower': Javier Bardem offered lead role as Roland in Stephen King adaptation

Comments (143 total) Add your comment
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  • Khoff

    I heart Uncle Stevie.

    • Summer


      • Jenn

        Another IN DEPTH rehash of the same BS from yesterday’s article.
        Must be nice working at EW…Research and output consists of being a RE-Tweeter.

    • Buy the Graphic Novels Instead!!

      Awful news for Dark Tower fans!!
      But, if you’re looking for the next best thing to TV or movies for a great visual interpretation of this amazing series, you can always try eBay and get the Marvel Graphic Novels adapting these books.
      Try searching for “Marvel Dark Towers Hardcovers”.

      • Jason C.

        I wouldn’t say it’s awful news, maybe WB will pick it up which I think is a much better home for it.

      • steve

        If WB picks it up, the Wayans brothers are sure to get the parts Suzannah’s two halves.

      • Jason C.

        steve: Yes because WB did so horribly with any Christopher Nolan film or Harry Potter…

      • Stefan

        If WB picks it up, the Wayans brothers are sure to get the parts Suzannah’s two halves.

        Hahahahaha LOL!

    • Strepsi

      I have three letters for Stephen King:




      • Jerry Jack

        this would be the only reason I would sign up for HBO for the next 3 years. I can’t believe they can tame it down enough for tv tho…

      • Chris

        I agree that HBO would be the ultimate home for The Dark Tower. By doing a proper, multi-season series with the whole bit, they would be able to tell the whole story, and the results would be nothing short of amazing.

      • Stewman

        Absolutely! Look at all the amazing shows on HBO, this way it won’t be made into some rushed telemovie, and they can draw it out with as much detail as they need…..look at Game of Thrones!

      • k madryga

        Agreed,they can’t do this on regular television.I would even go so far as to say there are aspects of this story that couldn’t be done on the big screen either.The only proper way to give this story justice would be HBO or Showtime(think Deadwood,Carnival,Rome,The Sopranos)

    • LakeTabourie


  • Pookie

    Yeah, I’m a fan of King, but comments like that, make me ill.

    • Alex

      What was wrong with his comment? It was clever and jokey. Universal is a mediocre studio betting on lowest-common-denominator crap like Fast Five. In short, you’re an idiot.

      • BRETT

        Pull the stick out of your a$$. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and while I agree some posts are idiotic, that one was NOT. Grow up. I agree with the previous poster – the dig at FAST FIVE was unprofessional, considering he can’t even get his film into production…

      • Justin

        Brett your an idiot even though he was joking. Steven King had more talent in his pink toe then any actor or writer from that crappy series we fall Fast and Furious so stop being an annoying piece of sh1t troll and get out of here.

      • Bri

        Justin, I’m sure you meant to write “you’re an idiot”…….you idiot!

      • LFMAO

        Fast Five is Tolstoy compared to the Gunslinger. I read 5 chapters and had to quit. Fast Five made millions, how’d “The Dilemma” do, you d@#$che

      • Pookie

        I was responding to “I heart Uncle Stevie”.

      • Nick

        Uncle Stevie was the nickname he gave himself at times where he gave his opinion on something when writing for eweekly mag. If you’re unfamiliar with the piece he wrote then you’re unfamiliar with the reference.

      • Kingfan

        LFMAO, Tolstoy? Really? Fast Five may have made millions, but how much money do you think the Dark Tower Series has made? Or King himself? He has had success for decades. How long will Paul Walker last? It just goes to show how ignorant our country is becoming. You can have your sequels and unoriginal crap that Hollywood is producing. I will take The Dark Tower and Stephen King’s originality any day of the week. Fast Five. You make me laugh.

      • idmonster

        @ LFMAO
        I will try to say this in words you will understand. You should stick to your Fast Five type films, and leave the films and literature of merit to the adults. Geez. I think you should be able to understand this comment. If you need a simpler one, just let me know. Peace!!!!! Please read some Tolstoy. PLEASE!!!!

  • Marc

    As a Dark Tower fan, I feel strongly that the series will only find its true home on TV. Studio executives drooling at the thought of another Harry Potter have seriously misjudged DT’s fanbase. I think Universal made the right call. The Dark Tower has a small but avid community of fans. Harry Potter was a pop-culture phenomenon. Save your money and do it right, with a series on HBO, AMC, FX or Showtime. Hire talented character actors, allow time to flesh them out, build the mythology and the fanbase over time and you’ll have a hit.

    • Jake Mongoose

      HBO this sucker.

      • HMac


      • jay

        HBO is the way to go.

      • G8rfan94

        It’s the only way to go. OK, not the only way. The “Best” way…

      • dave


      • Khoff

        PLEASE!! It only makes sense. Some of the happenings in this book are SO far off what regular networks will allow…it would be a shame to lose them when there are perfectly good cable networks that can include it all.

    • T2

      SK – please get in touch with George RR Martin and HBO to see how it’s done, and done well.

      • Tajah

        Totally agree!!

    • Rob

      c’mon try puttin’ it on Sci-Fi,Spike,FX,some channel i have.Plan from the beginning to run 7 or 8 seasons Something akin to the way Highlander ran, maybe.?

      • lisa

        I think FX could do something really fantastic with Ron Howard directing. Look at Sons of Anarchy as an example of a great adult series – I think Dark Tower would really fly on their network-Maybe with Sam Elliot as Roland-(in electric blue contacts)

      • Jeffrei Dunagan

        I agree, put this on a station like FX where you get the most veiwers. With the way the last book ended, you can see the potential for years of stories. Please bring it to Cable TV soon, I need something good to watch!

    • GreyWolf

      If it is to be on TV, HBO would have to be the way to go. If a network channel would get it, it would be hacked up to pieces. There is too much in the books that they would have to censor and that would just ruin it.

      • Jen40

        I don’t know about all of the HBO comments. They would probably cancel it after The Drawing of The Three. Remember what happened to Carnivale?

      • jason

        and… and… look at all what they did to josh whedon’s works (the network execs) get a spot on the networks and joe dumbassincharge puts the season for the drawing of the three after the season for the wastelands!

    • Jason C.

      I liked the way they were doing it, with movies and TV, there was nothing quite like that idea. I think film mixed with an HBO series is the way to go, and I think WB is the studio to go with.

    • Bob

      The problem with HBO is being constrained by budget. “Game of Thrones” has to compromise at every turn because they don’t have a George R. R. Martin budget. Just wait until next season, when they can’t film the big battle.

    • jess

      If it does end up on either HBO or Showtime, I’ll have to order the movie channels, I definitely couldn’t miss the series! The books are amazing! I wanted to order them all for my boyfriend last Christmas, but couldn’t find all 7 in one box set. Pretty disappointing! Ah well.

    • J

      Especially in light of what is being done with Game of Thrones on tv (pay cable, that is), they should scrap the movie and just do a tv series. Otherwise, they would need to Harry Potter a movie franchise. And i don’t know that these books have enough of a fanbase to support that many movies. Nor do I think they could get an A list cast to commit for that long.

      The whole movie and tv thing is way too complicated and messy. people who don’t go see the movie will not want to do the show b/c they will be lost. it needs to be one or the other, not both.

    • drew

      Best post, Marc.

    • Bobbi

      I agree that HBO is the place for this series…I mean it could go on for years if you include the backstory that has been done in the graphic novels and all of the side stories as well. And obviously some people don’t watch True Blood because that series is not tame by any stretch of the the comment about taming this down for t.v. was just silly. Yes HBO should be an option.

  • Piratemon Wayne

    Stephen King is the epitome of class and honor. The world needs more people like Stephen King

  • JMJ

    I’m perfectly okay if The Dark Tower never gets made into a movie or tv series – those books mean so much to me that nobody could ever do it them the justice they deserve.

    • jmckee

      My exact sentiments. All it takes is one badly cast character to ruin it. Like Molly Ringwald in The Stand.

      • LuisC

        I agree that Ms Ringwald was a horrid choice for Frannie, but i dont think it ruined it. Every other casting made up for it. I can stomach one bad one for all the other awesome ones they did.

      • tommy

        The Stand is the reason the books should be done on film.

        That was soooo slchocky. It’s on netfilx now, rewatch that mini series and then tell me you want to watch,

        “The man in black walked through the desert and the gunslinger followed…” on television.


      • Stewman

        No offense to Ron Howard, all due respect I love his movies, but shouldn’t Frank Darabont be involved in this? Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile and The Mist…this guy’s interpretation of Stephen’s books make excellent flicks!

    • Lolita

      I am in total agreement with this statement! I dont think something like DT can be done properly, plus most of Kings movies suck. Except the Green Mile and Shawshank.

      • JerryAtric

        Those movies are great but I think many other movie adaptions were wonderul as well….the Shining (Kubricks), Carrie, Pet Cemetary, Stand by me,Misery, Silver bullet, Salems lot and even the first children of the corn. I also thought the IT mini series was good except for the very ending. I would like to see Peter Jackson and Don Coscarelli work together on this project. Coscarelli is directing “John Dies at the End” from David Wong. The early trailers look really good and it’s being done pretty low budget even. That story is filled with dimension hopping and complicated visuals….not nearly as long, in depth or deep as TDT but a challenge none-the-less.

    • Daniel

      I agree whole heartedly

  • Daniel

    I love the DT series but am unsure about it being put on film. However, my nervousness is eased knowing Ron Howard will direct-he’s the best of his generation. Now, if he sticks to the story exactly, it will be worth it.

    • josh

      “Now,if he sticks to the story exactly,it will be worth it.”Have you read anything about the changes Ron Howard is considering?I can’t remember every one,but just let me drop this one on you:Susannah’s gonna be changed to a white character!And that is just the tip of the iceberg.But,on the other hand,I don’t think ANYONE could do this series justice.

      • lalee

        I guess “considering” would keep this factoid from blowing up. That character change would be the death knell for the project. Changing her to a white character would basically change the entire story. But it’s issues like that that put me in the never want to see this project happen camp.

      • Zakry

        I agree with both of those posts above. I worry about television watering it down. I think about The Stand, it was a good try, but somehow unsatisfying ultimately (I watched three times before I realized they combined Lois into Nadine – the lightbulb suddenly turned on!). And, yes, I trust Ron Howard with it. I hope he sticks with it.

    • LFMAO

      What generation is that, the Happy Days generation? He is probably better than Henry Winkler and Ralph Most, but his best was Splash and Parenthood. Everything after became self important bs.

      • Dirty Dan

        1st of all, that was Donny Most. He PLAYED Ralph.

        Personally, I have loved nearly every SK movie, mostly because I loved the novels so much; even the ones that got all screwed up, plotwise, because there’s always something redeemable in the film/series. The Stand was terrific, despite Ringwald, and the lamest Flagg imaginable. Rob Lowe, Gary Senise, and others saved it.

        As far as DT goes. I’ve been waiting for this project for years. That said, if they DO make Susannah/Detta/Odetta white, I will personally drive to the set and kick Ron Howard in the shins. He’s a great director; he should know better.

  • Michael

    This is something that would be amazing if done correctly. I’m glad to hear Ron Howard’s directing it. Too bad for Universal on its loss-perhaps it will pave the way for another group. Just don’t chop it to hell Ron! That book is way too awesome to be Harry Pottered!

    • LFMAO

      To be done correctly, you would have to give the audience either LSD or Ecstacy tabs, pass a joint around, and enough alcohol so everyone passes out. As a former fan of King and Howard, I’ve noticed that they’ve both become the Super Hacks.

  • Judy Martinez

    Ohh My son will not be Thrilled about this..Im sure he was looking forward to it with HIGH HOPES!! I however, just barely began reading the DARK TOWER SERIES..& judging from what Ive been reading..This would definately make a Great Film! Im sure one of the Other Film Corp will see it as a Wise investment! Even HBO/SHOW TIME.. something along that line would still do it justice! Either way, Good Luck MR.KING & Thanx 2 Ron Howard for his diligent work! Hope positive things happen! ;)

  • Winger

    I am the little acorn that becomes the oak.

  • ChildeRoland840

    I agree with one of the above comments about the fact that the best home for these stories would be HBO or Showtime as a mini-series. They’d be able to still do them justice, and they could span the course of 3-5 seasons allowing time to do them and do them right while possibly gaining a larger following over time.

  • Drew

    Ron Howard is the best of his generation. The guy that did The Dilemma and the two Da Vinci Code movies? Yes, he’s done some good movies but he’s far, far, far from the “best of his generation”. Let’s not throw around words so loosely.

  • blackgoldcigaretteQ007

    Good luck to Ron Howard ( he has a beautiful mind ) and Stephan King. As for myself, I will never go to a movie again. EVER. History of bad experiences.

    • Dirty Dan

      Well, that’s just sad.

  • Beth

    I wouldn’t mind seeing AMC get a crack at this.. be it a miniseries or a series. I don’t think i’d enjoy DT as a movie.. it could happen tho. I just love the books SO much

    • JRM

      AMC would be the next best choice next to HBO or Showtime.

  • Joe

    HBO all the way…But still keep Howard’s vision of Three Films/2 Series.
    Have HBO Films do the movies and Series.

  • daryl stovall

    Yeah, is it me, or has Universal become the new MGM? It’s like for the past few years, they’ve become a haven for HACKS.

    • LFMAO

      So then Ron Howard would’ve fit right in.

      • daryl stovall

        I’m sure you think your trollin’ is comin’ off as witty, but I hate to break it to ya’, but in actuality it’s comin’ off as ANNOYIN’…Now go away, grown folks are talkin’.

      • thin

        It’s so cute when faceless names on the internet try to talk down to other faceless names on the internet.

      • idmonster

        I think it’so cute when obvious fools with Cap lettered usernames (LFMAO) try to wax intellectual about pop literature and epically fail. Can you say transparent?

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