Ron Howard is not a bad filmmaker, he's simply a director whose workmanlike style leads to decent, straightforward movies and never anything more. That's why Howard is completely wrong to take on Stephen King's The Dark Tower series.
The Heat Vision Blog has the details. Howard, his producing partner Brian Grazer and his longtime writer Akiva Goldsman, have scooped up the rights to the series after JJ Abrams and his company, Bad Robot, let them lapse. Their plan is audacious, to say the least: start things off with a movie and then continue the story as a television series.
I'm not going to go out and call Stephen King's seven volume magnum opus a masterpiece (it's too scattershot and messy, particularly in the final few novels, to achieve that status), but it's a compelling read, a unique combination of horror, fantasy and science fiction following Roland, the "last gunslinger," as he goes on a dimension-hopping, robot-shooting, monster-fighting quest through an apocalyptic landscape to reach the fabled Dark Tower. It's an odd series that takes the kitchen sink approach to storytelling, but has enough audacity (aka balls) to make it work.
Howard seems like a good guy (the man narrated Arrested Development for crying out loud!), but his films are pleasant at best and sleepy at worst. I don't want a pleasant Dark Tower; I want a crazy, violent, surreal, Leone-meets-Lynch-meets-Lord-of-the-Rings epic. Is Guillermo Del Toro still working on that Hobbit thing? Because he needs to be on this instead.
I also have nothing nice to say about Goldsman, who you may know as the man who churned out the scripts for those Schumacher Batman atrocities and the three-hour non-thrillers, The DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons.
I have no idea how this group is going to tackle this project. If the folks behind the mindbending Lost and the awesomely bombastic Star Trek reboot couldn't find a way to make King's dark, bizarre and wonderfully dense universe work on screen, I don't see how Howard and company will fare any better. I hate to wish ill feelings toward a project, but I kind of hope this one gets quietly shuffled away.