Stephen King's "The Dark Tower" series of novels was on-track to be made into not only a motion picture, but at one point was rumored to be in development as a made-for-TV miniseries. New comes via The Hollywood Reporter, that all plans to develop the series as a live-action property are canceled at Warner Brothers. This means that Ron Howard's schedule has just opened up, as he's been the one shepherding the adaptation since its early stages, alongside producer/friend Brian Grazer. A script by Akiva Goldsman was the basis for three movies and two miniseries.
Warner Brothers is the second studio to pass on the project after Universal Pictures dropped the project in 2011. The original deal with Universal fell through when the studio couldn't reach a deal with Ron Howard, citing "difficulties" as the main reason for dissolving the massive project. Warner Brother seemed the perfect fit for the adaptation, having come off massive hits like "The Dark Knight" and "Harry Potter," as well as having a relationship with HBO, which would have seen the realization of the miniseries.
Javier Barden was rumored to be in talks for the lead role of Roland, the gunslinging hero of King's novels, however; he bowed out after the film continued to stall. As of earlier this month, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer were shopping the project to Russell Crowe, who is currently filming "Noah" under the direction of Darren Aronofski. Crowe, a frequent Howard and Grazer collaborator, would've been a perfect fit for the role of the grizzled fantasy hero.
With Warner Brothers having passed on the project, it's entirely likely that a new studio could pick it up. The main problem lies in whether or not the project will have legs as both a miniseries event and a major motion picture franchise. Locking an actor into such a huge contract is something that can prove costly for a studio, as multi-picture deals are becoming the norm for most studios in the wave of superhero franchises like "The Avengers" and "The Dark Knight" saga.
King's western-inspired series is set in a fantasy world where magic and technology combine. Roland Deschain, the hero of the series, is a gunslinger fighting evil forces. The film adaptation was rumored to be set on Earth, which is a development seen in later entries of the saga.