UPDATE: It's back to the drawing board for Ron Howard and 'The Dark Tower" as Warner Bros. has officially passed on the proposed multi-tier project, according to Heat Vision.
The ultra-ambitious package, based on the series of western fantasy novels by Stephen King had Ron Howard attached to direct and Brian Grazer producing a script from Akiva Goldsman. It was to consist of three movies and two TV miniseries.
Universal turned down "The Dark Tower" last year and now Warner Bros. has followed suit - even with the extra added incentive of WB favorite Russell Crowe being mentioned for the lead role of Roland Deschain.
There is still hope that the "Tower" may rise, though, as Deadline reports that Media Rights Capital is now in serious talks to take on what WB turned down. Stay tuned, all ye low men in yellow coats ...
Is Russell Crowe preparing to ascend the seemingly insurmountable Stephen King adaptation?
The multi-part film adaptation of King's "The Dark Tower" series is emerging from its own rubble as director Ron Howard and producer Brian Grazer are attempting to bring the project back to life ... and this time with their "A Beautiful Mind" star, according to Deadline.
"The Dark Tower" seemed all but demolished when Universal Pictures dropped out of financing the massive project that follows the epic adventures of Roland Deschain, the last living member of a knightly order of gunslingers — and humanity's last hope. King's sprawling sci-fi/ fantasy/ western tale spans over seven novels, with the mythology being further explored via several splinter chapters and characters appearing in other King novels and short stories.
Javier Bardem, who plays the villain in the upcoming 007 adventure, "Skyfall," was originally attached to play Deschain, but is no longer involved now that the project is being courted at Warner Bros. Akiva Goldsman will soon be delivering his new draft of the first installment, "The Gunslinger," and the studio will make the call on whether they're going to shell out the cash from there.
Crowe makes for a good ace card in this procedure. He's got a good track record with Howard and Grazer thanks to "A Beautiful Mind" and he's in good with WB due to his upcoming turn as Jor-El in Zack Snyder's "Man of Steel." Russell Crowe, Stephen King, a great story and a (hopefully) managable budget, not to mention a pitch that probably now goes something like, "It's kind of like 'Game of Thrones'"? How could Warner bros. say no?
Stay tuned as Ron Howard and company look to build "The Dark Tower" once again.
Originally published on Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012 at 10:11 p.m. ET.