If Variety’s sources are on the money, it appears that Warner Bros has passed on Imagine Entertainment’s multi-platform presentation of Stephen King’s ‘The Dark Tower.’ The studio had been in talks to take on the eight-volume post-apocalyptic epic after Universal Pictures dropped out of funding last year. Ron Howard has been long-attached to direct the film, with Javier Bardem originally lined up to star as gunslinger Roland Deschain. More recently it was reported that Bardem was no longer in the mix as Deschain, with Howard and producers Brian Grazer and Akiva Goldsman looking into their ‘A Beautiful Mind’ star Russell Crowe to play Deschain.

Imagine Entertainment plan ‘The Dark Tower’ to be told through three films and two limited run TV series. Imagine is still able to take the project back out to other studios, but this latest news is a blow to the film’s future – when Universal first let go of the film, most insiders around town believed Warner Bros was its best chance of getting made. ‘The Dark Tower’ follows Roland 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. Check out the synopsis for ‘The Dark Tower’ series below. UPDATE: Deadline bring word that Media Rights Capital is in serious talks to take on ‘The Dark Tower.’ MRC recently developed and financed the Seth MacFarlane-directed summer hit ‘Ted’ with Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis. Next on their slate is the Neill Blomkamp-directed ‘Elysium’ with Matt Damon.

The Dark Tower series tells the story of Roland Deschain, Mid-World’s last gunslinger, who is traveling southeast across Mid-World’s post-apocalyptic landscape, searching for the powerful but elusive magical edifice known as The Dark Tower. Located in the fey region of End-World, amid a sea of singing red roses, the Dark Tower is the nexus point of the time-space continuum. It is the heart of all worlds, but it is also under threat. Someone, or something, is using the evil technology of the Great Old Ones to destroy it. 

In Roland’s where and when, the world has already begun to move on. Time and direction are in drift, and the fabric of reality is fraying. However, things are about to get much worse. The six invisible magnetic Beams, which maintain the alignment of time, space, size, and dimension, are weakening. Because of this, the Tower itself is foundering. Unless Roland can find a way to save the Beams and stabilize the Tower, all of reality will blink out of existence. 

Inspired in equal parts by Robert Browning’s poem, “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came,” J.R.R. Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings, and Sergio Leone’s spaghetti Western classics, The Dark Tower series is an epic of Arthurian proportions. It is Stephen King’s magnum opus, and is the center of his amazing creative universe.