Exclusive: Ron Howard On His Dark Tower Adaptation Plans

Plus a hint at what to expect from the next Arrested Development

the dark tower ron howard

In the latest Empire Podcast, Ron Howard talked about his new film, Rush, but also his ongoing plans to adapt Stephen King's magnum opus, the fantasy-science-fantasy-horror-Western series known as The Dark Tower, and a little sitcom called Arrested Development.

You can hear it all from the horse's mouth on the podcast itself, but for the audio-averse, here's a transcription of what Howard had to say about both The Dark Tower and the possible return of The Bluths.

"The Dark Tower is something that we’re still working on. We’ve all taken a vow of silence about the progress, the headway, what we think our timetable is, because I don’t think I realised how much media interest there was in the title and how much excitement there was.

"It’s a fascinating, powerful possibility and even Stephen King acknowledges it’s a tricky adaptation, but to be honest, from a financing side, it’s not a straightforward, four-quadrant, sunny superhero story – it’s dark, it’s horror. That edge is what appeals to me, the complexities of those characters is what appeals to all of us. And I think Stephen King really respects that, with [regular screenwriting collaborator] Akiva Goldsman and myself, that that’s what we love about it, and that’s what we want to try to get to the screen.

"So my answer is: it got delayed, it’s never gone away. We’re working on it, and Stephen is very patient with us, and Akiva’s just gone off and directed a movie [an adaptation of Mark Helprin’s novel, Winter’s Tale, starring Colin Farrell, Russell Crowe, Jessica Brown Findlay, Jennifer Connelly and Will Smith], I’m continuing to work, but the Dark Tower dreams – fever dreams, rather – are still there, but we’re not going to give it a timetable."

Stephen King himself appears in The Dark Tower, have you thought about how you might tackle that?

"Yes. And I will admit Stephen has said, ‘I don’t have to be in this.’ But that’s not to say that he won’t be!"

Should Arrested Development fans get excited about a movie or a new season?

"This last season was all designed as a set-up and a drum roll. There is a mystery hanging there, there are narrative threads dangling in the air, and so I think the fans are doing what they’ve done with the show all along: they’re saying they want more. Netflix is listening, and it’s still a question whether the best way to answer those questions are going to be more episodes or a longer form thing."

There’s a mystery surrounding what happened to Lucille 2… Can we rule out Ron Howard him/yourself?

I wouldn’t rule anything out. Let me just throw that out there as either the first giveaway or the first red herring…

Rush is out now, Arrested Development Seasons 1-4 remain on Netflix and The Dark Tower will arrive... at some point. You can check out our podcast photo gallery here... and subscribe to the Empire Podcast via our iTunes page or this handy RSS feed.