'The Dark Tower': Hopes for a TV/film treatment fading?

gunslinger.jpgFans of Stephen King's "Dark Tower" books have been more than a little excited about the prospect of seeing King's epic tale translated into a massive TV and movie franchise by Ron Howard.

Speculation about who would play the lead character (Roland, aka "The Gunslinger" -- a cross between Clint Eastwood's Man with No Name, "Lord of the Rings'" Aragorn and "Star Wars'" Han Solo) have ranged from the predictable ( Viggo Mortensen) to the interesting-but-we're-not-sure-yet ( Javier Bardem).

Now, though, it appears all the speculation may be a bit premature.

According to Variety, the movie-trilogy and TV series plan has run into budgetary "complications." Meaning that Universal, who had signed on as a distributor, might be finding the project a little too expensive for its taste.

Execs are expected to meet in the coming days to decide whether or not to proceed with the project.

For precedent, Variety cites Guillermo Del Toro's adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's "At the Mountains of Madness," which the studio scrapped just as production was set to begin.

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