Ron Howard may be having trouble trying to get his long-in-gestation adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower off the ground, but it’s not enough to deter two equally high-profile filmmakers who are now making plans to bring a couple of titles from the author (one new, one old) to the big screen.
Firstly, director Jonathan Demme has optioned the rights to King’s forthcoming novel, 11/22/63. A science fiction yarn concerning a teacher who travels back in time in an attempt to prevent the Kennedy assassination, Demme will also write and produce, with King receiving an executive producer billing if the project comes to fruition.
The second King feature (which is currently in the finalisation stages of a deal being made via Warner Bros.) will be a big-screen adaptation of the post-apocalyptic horror/fantasy, The Stand (which itself, was turned into a high-profile mini-series back in the mid-nineties). The epic story, which focuses on a small group of survivors following the outbreak of man-made biological weapon which has managed to desecrate the majority of the human race, entirely lends itself to a cinematic landscape, but perhaps surprisingly, it’s being brought to the big screen by “Harry Potter” duo, David Yates and Steve Klowes (director of parts 5, 6, and 7, and the series scriptwriter, respectively).
The material is hardly what you’d describe as child-friendly, but due to the truly phenomenal success of the boy wizard (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 now stands as the 3rd highest grossing film of all time!!) these two must have pretty much carte blanche in terms of their next project, and it’s nice to see that they’ve gravitated towards edgier, adult material.
This news must be particularly frustrating for Howard. It’s not as if his Dan Brown adaptations did modest business (The Da Vinci Code’s finally world-wide box office tally stands at just over $750 million), but that doesn’t seem to matter in this new, cost-conscious Hollywood era.