Coming out of Comic Con this weekend, news comes that Sony Pictures and Media Rights Capital have closed their deal with Danish filmmaker Nikolaj Arcel to direct Stephen King's The Dark Tower, the first entry in what they hope will be a series of films.
Arcel will rewrite the original script - by Akiva Goldsman and Jeff Pinkner - with another Danish filmmaker, Anders Thomas Jensen.
Both men have Oscar credentials with Arcel having been nominated for the foreign language film, A Royal Affair, and Jensen having won for his short film, Election Night.
Sony is set to handle theatrical distribution with MRC developing a companion TV series as well, much like Stephen King's other, long in-development adaptation, The Stand. That project is further along, with a Showtime series set to debut prior to a cumulative feature film.
Oscar winning producer Brian Grazer and fellow Oscar winning director Ron Howard are still aboard the project as execs, along with King himself. They've been involved in this project for a while, since it was being developed at both Warner Bros. and Universal.
While I have never read any of The Dark Tower series (I know, I should), the first installment - entitled The Gunslinger - centers on the main protagonist, Roland Deschain, and his relationship with a young protege, Jake Chambers.
Both Javier Bardem and Russell Crowe were previously attached to play Deschain and it's unknown if either actor is still interested in the role.
All I say is this: The Dark Tower, much like The Stand, is a massive, massive undertaking. There are numerous books and millions upon millions of fans over the past 30 years. They better know what they're doing and not screw this up, period.