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Don't give up hope, "Dark Tower" fans: Ron Howard says he's still planning to adapt Stephen King's Gunslinger series for the big screen.
"'The Dark Tower' is something that we're still working on," Howard revealed in an interview on the Empire Film Podcast. "We've all taken a vow of silence about the progress, the headway, what we think our timetable is, because I don't think I realized how much media interest there was in the title and how much excitement there was."
When Warner Bros. passed on the project last year, fans of the series thought they'd never see Roland and company in theaters. But Howard said that that setback was just a minor roadblock, and that while the project "got delayed, it's never gone away."
"Stephen is very patient with us," Howard said. "I'm continuing to work, but the 'Dark Tower' dreams -- fever dreams, rather -- are still there."
It makes sense that Howard would continue to pursue the project, based on the fervent fan devotion and his own aligning interests as a filmmaker. The main thing standing in the way of the adaptation is the story's complex, non-linear nature, the director said, though that challenge is only fueling his desire more.
"It's a fascinating, powerful possibility, and even Stephen King acknowledges it's a tricky adaptation," Howard said, "but to be honest, from a financing side, it's not a straightforward, four-quadrant, sunny superhero story -- it's dark, it's horror. That edge is what appeals to me, the complexities of those characters is what appeals to all of us. And I think Stephen King really respects that, with [screenwriting partner] Akiva Goldsman and myself, that that's what we love about it, and that's what we want to try to get to the screen."