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A Beautiful Mind director Ron Howard had his work cut out for him when he set out to make a big screen adaptation of Steven King’s The Dark Tower, a seven novel sci-fi series about a murderous gunslinger trekking across dimensions and racking up a pretty impressive body count along the way. Even with Howard and Javier Bardem, the bolt pistol killer from No Country for Old Men, attached to the script, Universal refused to undertake the three-films and two-television-seasons lined up for the ultra-violent epic. The novels, beloved by many, presented a Pandora’s box of dilemmas for the risk averse studio. King and Howard remain committed to shopping the project around elsewhere.

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