'The Dark Tower' gets a stay of execution -- for now

gunslinger.jpgLast week, Stephen King fans were disappointed to learn that Ron Howard's plans to turn King's seven- (and soon to be eight-) book epic into a hybrid film-and-TV project might be derailed by budgetary concerns. Universal -- which signed on as a distributor -- apparently balked at the proposed cost of the ambitious plans.

But, according to the Hollywood Reporter, Howard and his partners on the project have committed to bringing down costs. The script is in rewrite -- so will this mean fewer special effects or less realistic Billy Bumblers?

Another possibility: A smaller budget could scare away Javier Bardem -- the actor had reportedly signed on to star in the project. Also rumored to be circling a role: "The Walking Dead's" Norman Reedus who, according to MTV News, is up for the role of junkie-turned-gunslinger Eddie Dean.