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Sony, MRC Team on Adaptation of Stephen King’s ‘Dark Tower’ Series

Sony Pictures and MRC will co-finance the first installment in Stephen King’s “The Dark Tower” book series, sources confirm to Variety.

The first book, “The Gunslinger,” has already been adapted by Akiva Goldsman and Jeff Pinkner. Goldsman and Imagine Entertainment’s Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Erica Huggins will produce. Pinkner will exec produce.

Sony will distribute the pic, and the plan is for “The Gunslinger” to be the first in a series of films. MRC will also develop a TV series to go along with the film franchise.

“There are few projects out there that compare with the scope, vision, complex characters and fully drawn world that Stephen King has created with ‘The Dark Tower,'” Sony’s Entertainment Motion Picture Group chairman Tom Rothman said. “I am a giant fan. And, as Stephen himself does, we love the direction that Akiva and Jeff have taken. This is a great opportunity for a director to put his or her stamp on a cool global franchise.”

The project has had plenty of budget hurdles to overcome since Howard and Grazer announced their massive plan to take on the franchise when it was originally set up at Universal. The idea was that Howard would direct three pics. A TV show would serve as a bridge between series installments. Howard is now unable to direct, and the studio will be going out to filmmakers shortly.

The addition of MRC as co-financier seems to signal that budget obstacles may be easier to overcome this time. Actors like Javier Bardem and Russell Crowe circled the lead role of Roland in the past, indicating that A-list talent sees the value in the property.

“I’m excited that ‘The Dark Tower’ is finally going to appear on the screen,” King said. “Those who have traveled with Roland and his friends in their search for the Dark Tower are going to have their long-held hopes fully realized. This is a brilliant and creative approach to my books.”

Deadline Hollywood first reported the news.

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