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    Universal Razes Ron Howard's Dark Tower Dreams

    Dark Tower Book Cover, Ron Howard Zade Rosenthal/ Columbia Pictures

    The Tower has fallen.

    Universal has put the kibosh on director Ron Howard's ambitious proposal for an alternating trilogy of feature films and a TV series based on Stephen King's acclaimed fantasy western, The Dark Tower.

    Sorry, Gunslinger. You've been had.

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    Per the Hollywood Reporter, the studio couldn't get the project's budget down to a manageable size to give it the greenlight and July 15 was considered the final deadline for Universal to make a decision on whether it was going to move forward with production slated for next year.

    Studio execs, who had already scotched a previous start date set for fall, opted not to proceed despite the fact that Javier Bardem was lined up to star and a crew was ready to go.

    That's disappointing news no doubt for King fans, who have been hoping against hope that the famed author's magnum opus inspired by The Lord of the Rings, the legend of King Arthur and good ol'-fashioned cowboys will finally make the jump to both the big and small screen.

    The Dark Tower follows a gunslinger named Roland Deschain, King's version of "The Man With No Name," who embarks on a quest across a magical Old West looking for a dark tower that will save his dying world.

    Howard was on board to produce through his Imagine Entertainment shingle as well as direct while the tale was being adapted by his screenwriter, Akiva Goldsman.

    With Tower's collapse, the filmmaker will likely move on to the racing flick Rush, which will star Thor's Chris Hemsworth.

    This isn't the first Dark Tower to collapse. Previously, Super 8 director J.J. Abrams had been working on a version of his own that failed to get off the ground as well due to similar budgetary constraints.

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