Is <i>The Dark Tower</i> Adaptation In Trouble At Universal?

Universal's plan to adapt Stephen King's Dark Tower epic as a movie trilogy and interlocking television series has been trumpeted as ambitious and unprecedented. But someone neglected to add very, very expensive.

That oversight apparently has been remedied, with Variety passing along word that the project has encountered "budgetary complications," leading studio executives to reconsider their approach in the couple of days. That could mean allowing Imagine Entertainment's Ron Howard and Brian Grazer to take The Dark Tower to another studio, either to partner with Universal or to take over the adaptation completely.

The trade paper stresses that sources contend that "Universal is moving ahead as if the project is going forward," with Javier Bardem wrapping up negotiations to star as Roland Deschain, Mark Verheiden signing on to co-write the TV series and Howard searching for other cast members. The first film is targeted for May 17, 2013.

The studio only recently pulled the plug on the planned $150-million adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness -- from director Guillermo del Toro and producer James Cameron, no less! -- over concerns the movie couldn't make money with an R rating. That may not bode well for The Dark Tower's chances at Universal.

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