Well, this isn’t good news: the ambitious, cross-medium adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower has been put on hold, according to Deadline. Pre-production staff have been put on hiatus, the site says, with executive producers Ron Howard and Akiva Goldsman in talks with Universal as to how to proceed. Definitely out, apparently, is the September start date for the first movie, which then puts the following television season off until 2014 at the very earliest.
The idea of combining movies and television to tell one story with characters (and actors) crossing between the two was always a risky one – What if the movie flopped, or the TV show’s ratings were so low as to risk cancellation? Also, consider the amount of money that would have to be invested to make everything work the way it was planned – and it’s possible that the project has just become too rich for Universal’s tastes. Deadline suggests that the project may move to Warners, where Goldsman’s production company has an existing deal, but… it may be time to start preparing for the worst here.