When Universal Pictures dropped out of funding three feature films and tie-in TV series from Stephen King seven-novel post-apocalyptic saga ‘The Dark Tower’ last year, Warner Bros were mentioned as a possible home for the project. Bringing a huge smile to my face, Deadline report that Warner Bros is very close to a deal that will give Ron Howard the chance to direct at least the first feature, potentially with Javier Bardem starring as gunslinger Roland Deschain.  Ron Howard had been attached to direct from Akiva Goldsman and Mark Verheiden’s script. Bardem’s participation would depend upon his availability, however he was firmly attached when the project was at Universal.

‘The Dark Tower’ follows Deschain as he travels through an Old West-like landscape in search of the mythical Dark Tower to save civilization. Along the way, he encounters characters, good and bad, in a world that has an old West feel.  The movie has been searching for new backing since Universal let it go last July. The limited-tun TV series looks like it has found a home at HBO (Warner Bros sister studio). Fingers crossed we get some solid information regarding the project sooner rather than later. If Deadline’s sources are on the money, the film (the first in a trilogy) would likely begin production in the first quarter of 2013. Check out the synopsis for ‘The Dark Tower’ below.

In the story, Roland Deschain is the last living member of a knightly order known as gunslingers and the last of the line of “Arthur Eld”, his world’s analogue of King Arthur. The world he lives in is quite different from our own, yet it bears striking similarities to it. Politically organized along the lines of a feudal society, it shares technological and social characteristics with the American Old West but is also magical. While the magical aspects are largely gone from Mid-World, some vestiges of them remain, along with the relics of a highly advanced, but long vanished, society.

Roland’s quest is to find the Dark Tower, a fabled building said to be the nexus of all universes. Roland’s world is said to have “moved on”, and indeed it appears to be coming apart at the seams as mighty nations have been torn apart by war, entire cities and regions vanish without a trace and time does not flow in an orderly fashion. Even the Sun sometimes rises in the north and sets in the east. As the series opens, Roland’s motives, goals and age are unclear, though later installments shed light on these mysteries.