DARK TOWER Budget Cuts Not That Deep; Project To Include Game Component

Brian Grazer and Ron Howard dismiss reports that their DARK TOWER adaptation is getting slashed to ribbons by Universal.

Talking to Deadline Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, the men behind Universal’s ambitious attempt to make Stephen King’s The Dark Tower into a trilogy of movies and two seasons of TV, downplayed talks of budget cuts to the enormous project.

“Without putting a number on it, the cuts aren’t that deep or that radical,” Grazer told the site.

And the reports that Universal was having second thoughts and removing the project from the fast track? Says Howard: “The first version represented a bold attempt to fast track, because of weather concerns. It was a little more dramatic to people on the outside than to us. We’d have liked to move forward on that fast track, but it was always Phase One.  There was an understanding that if we couldn’t answer all the questions in a way that made sense to all the partners involved, then we would operate on a slightly more traditional timetable. Even if we go in March, that’s still moving quickly for something of this scale.”

That scale is even bigger than I had previously thought (although maybe I missed some announcement about this); there will also be a gaming component to The Dark Tower. Says Howard: “We discovered elements that would probably never have a home either on the big screen or on TV, but would make fantastic narrative gaming opportunities that won’t rehash the movies or TV, but have its own material borne out of the books and graphic novels. We’ve got gaming designers and there is enthusiasm for that.”

That really sounds like a nice trifecta for Universal: movies, TV and games.