Reports Mike Fleming at Deadline.com, "Universal has passed on going forward with the project, dealing a huge blow [to] the plan for Ron Howard to direct Akiva Goldsman’s script, with Brian Grazer, Goldsman and the author producing and Javier Bardem starring as gunslinger Roland Deschain."
The ambitious project was to consist of three feature films and two limited-run TV series.
Fleming explains in the article, "I’m told that this time the studio reviewed Goldsman’s script for the first film and the first leg of the TV series, and would only commit to the single film. That wasn’t good enough for the filmmakers, who had already hired comic book and ‘Heroes’ and ‘Battlestar Galactica’ writer/producer Mark Verheiden to co-write the TV component with Goldsman, which was to be made for NBC Universal Television (studio insiders deny that the studio was only willing to make the movie and not the series)."
Fleming adds, "Insiders said that Universal brass loved the filmmakers and the project, but couldn’t make it work with the current budget in its business model."
Fleming also writes that Warner Bros. could be a possible landing place for the project.
Scriptwriter Goldsman, who is also a Consulting Producer on Fox’s "Fringe," won both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for writing "A Beautiful Mind" in 2001 for director Howard.