When Universal scrapped its mega-budget adaptation of Stephen King‘s post-apocalyptic western The Dark Tower last July, most assumed that spelled the end for the project, despite the vows of director Ron Howard and producer Brian Grazer (pictured right) to the contrary. Eight months later, The Dark Tower has indeed risen from the ashes, albeit in a slightly less ambitious form, at Warner Bros.
Deadline.com reports that the studio has bought the rights to Akiva Goldsman’s script for the first film in the Dark Tower series (King’s original saga spans seven novels) and is planning for Howard to begin production on the film in the first quarter of 2013, pending a Goldsman re-write. It’s a far cry from the three-movies-plus-a-TV-series commitment that Universal reportedly pulled out of last year, but it’s certainly a positive step for fans of the novels. And there’s a significant chance a Dark Tower series could land still land on HBO.
At this point it’s unclear whether Javier Bardem, who had been slated to star in The Dark Tower when it was at Universal, is still officially attached to the project. Deadline reports only that he could “possibly” star in the revamped version.