In some breaking news Monday night, it was confirmed that Warner Bros. has officially passed on Ron Howard’s The Dark Tower. The film franchise based on the Stephen King novel by the same name was being setup for three blockbuster features and two limited run television series’ to bridge the gaps between outings. Essentially, such a requirement was asking too much as studios have faced increased scrutiny this summer for their hit-and-miss big budget offerings. In an era when there is this desire to find the homerun property, it is also important to insure they are safe bets and this was a little too risky. Continue Reading
Reports are surfacing tonight that right now Warner Bros. is taking a good hard look at the Akiva Goldsman-scripted adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. This project has been in the works for over a year, and this would appear to be the moment of truth as a big studio is going to opt in or out of the Ron Howard-directed franchise.
If it goes forward, it would most likely star Russell Crowe who is currently wrapped up in Darren Aronofsky’s biblical epic Noah. This would not only be a reunion of sorts for A Beautiful Mind’s director and star, but it would also serve as Crowe’s first major big budget franchise. The actor notably attempted and failed at such a series a few years ago with Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood which audiences found far too romantic and slow for their tastes. Continue Reading
The box office is in full resurgence mode after a dismal 2011 with week after week of relative year-to-year gains. Coming off of the surprise success of several movies since January in addition to the juggernaut performance from Illumination Entertainment’s The Lorax, Hollywood is looking up these days. The cherry on top of the sundae is undoubtedly The Hunger Games as it is expected the franchise launcher will open to more than $100 million at the domestic level later this month which is a rarity for a non-sequel film.
The success of The Hunger Games is exactly what studios want–brand new franchises capable of grossing close to 10-figures worldwide with each progressive installment. The general strategy in Hollywood since 2008-09 was to take less risks and milk reliable properties to death, but the advent of this new wave of successful cinematic sagas illustrates that demand is waning for blockbuster rehashes. Moviegoers are ready to return in lieu of $8 popcorn; however, there is a catch. Studios have to try again. They just cannot throw out cheap knockoff efforts based on the assumed popular genres. They have to make something that will remind people why the movie theater is better than the couch in front of a flat screen.
That is why even after Disney’s John Carter was projected to cost the company north of $100 million after the film had ran its course, the studio came out this past weekend with plans for a brand new sci-fi epic feature called Paladin to be written by Max Borenstein (The Seventh Son). Another indication of this shifting strategic mindset in Hollywood is the story out yesterday saying that Stephen King’s The Dark Tower could finally get its day thanks to Warner Bros. and Ron Howard’s continued efforts to make a feature happen. The bottom line is that if 2012 continues to demonstrate strength, the top 10 movies of the year may no longer be littered with established properties on their fifth cycle.