The Dark Tower and The Lone Ranger Aren’t Dead Yet

It's been a rough month for some major upcoming projects with the news that both The Dark Tower and The Lone Ranger would not be moving forward at their prospective studios. Today, The Hollywood Reporter and New York Post offer a glimmer of hope for both projects, explaining that moves could still be made to bring them to the screen.

Ron Howard's immediate concern for The Dark Tower is finding alternate funding for the epically scaled adaptation and part of the plan involves moving forward with the television side of the project no matter what. Because of Howard's new commitments, though, the project will certainly meet with some delay.

"[T]he soonest we could do it would be June next year," producer Brian Grazer told the New York Post.

Howard is planning to shoot the Formula One racing story, Rush, early next year with Chris Hemsworth likely to play English racer James Hunt. Howard is also tentatively attached to direct the MAD Magazine adaptation Spy vs. Spy.

On the Lone Ranger front, things are looking a bit more grim as director Gore Verbinksi makes moves to drive down the tremendous $250 million budget. Though Westerns are traditionally one of the less-expensive genres, Ranger's script was originally said to feature supernatural elements in the form of Native American werewolves as well as "the biggest train sequence in film history." The werewolves, at least, appear to have now been removed from the current plans for the project.

The THR article notes that it's entirely possible that Walt Disney Pictures could replace Verbinski altogether and start from scratch, though there's some question as to whether the highly bankable Johnny Depp would remain attached. He previously worked with Verbinski on the first three Pirates of the Caribbean films and, more recently, on this year's Rango.

Check back with SuperHeroHype for more information on the state of both projects as it becomes available.