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Ron Howard’s “Dark Tower” to encompass practically every entertainment medium

Ron Howard’s “Dark Tower” to encompass practically every entertainment medium (photo)

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Stephen King’s “Dark Tower” series is already massive, containing seven novels, an eighth on the way for 2012, a two-volume concordance by King’s collaborator Robin Furth, a King-endorsed book of back-story and analysis, five individual Marvel Comics series and even an online game called “Discordia.” So it’s fitting that Ron Howard’s adaptation of the series will not only include a trilogy of films, but two television series and possibly even additional games.

In an expansive interview with Deadline Hollywood, Howard and Imagine Entertainment partner Brian Grazer shed a considerable amount of light onto the absolutely humongous project that is “Dark Tower,” describing the project as “a way to use all the mediums at our disposal to try and fulfill what’s possible.”

Instead of forcing everything into a series of feature films, Howard looks to utilize the strengths of both the silver screen and television, saying, “We can use the intimacy of television when that’s appropriate, and the scope and scale of the big screen with the bigger fantasy ideas.”

While “Dark Tower” clearly has influences in expansive fantasy literature like “The Lord of the Rings,” what Howard has planned would dwarf even that series’ epic film adaptation. While there have been small screen spin-offs of films, big screen spin-offs of television series and video game versions of both in the past, “Dark Tower” would be something much bigger, more complicated, and likely more rewarding as all of the interlocking pieces are conceived of as a whole.

Howard also went into the possibilities of additional “Dark Tower” games, adding, “We discovered elements that would probably never have a home either on the big screen or on TV, but would make fantastic narrative gaming opportunities that won’t rehash the movies or TV, but have its own material born out of the books and graphic novels.” So your dream of “Dark Tower” death matches may be just a couple steps closer to reality.

The development process of “Dark Tower” hasn’t been without its hiccups though, as even though writer Akiva Goldsman originally wrote the film’s script “to be sensitive to cost,” it apparently wasn’t enough for Universal, as the studio asked for an even more budget-friendly rewrite.

In the interview, Howard also touches on the possibility of prodigiously handsome Spanish actor Javier Bardem taking on the series’ lead role as the Gunslinger, Roland Deschain. The once and future Richie Cunningham admitted that nothing is set in stone yet, but that Bardem is “fascinated by the character and has great instincts for Roland.”

Deadline’s talk with Howard and Grazer also goes into the controversy surrounding “The Dilemma,” working with Clint Eastwood, the upcoming “Cowboys & Aliens”, as well as the two’s thoughts on a slew of their previous work. The interview is a must-read for even casual film fans, and definitely worth devoting some time to on a Tuesday afternoon.

Are you excited to see Ron Howard’s take on “Dark Tower”? Let us know below or on Twitter or Facebook.

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G.I. Jeez

Stomach Bugs and Prom Dates

E.Coli High is in your gut and on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Brothers-in-law Kevin Barker and Ben Miller have just made the mother of all Comedy Crib series, in the sense that their Comedy Crib series is a big deal and features a hot mom. Animated, funny, and full of horrible bacteria, the series juxtaposes timeless teen dilemmas and gut-busting GI infections to create a bite-sized narrative that’s both sketchy and captivating. The two sat down, possibly in the same house, to answer some questions for us about the series. Let’s dig in….

E.coli-class-

IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

BEN: Hi ummm uhh hi ok well its like umm (gets really nervous and blows it)…

KB: It’s like the Super Bowl meets the Oscars.

IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

BEN: Oh wow, she’s really cute isn’t she? I’d definitely blow that too.

KB: It’s a cartoon that is happening inside your stomach RIGHT NOW, that’s why you feel like you need to throw up.

IFC: What was the genesis of E.Coli High?

KB: I had the idea for years, and when Ben (my brother-in-law, who is a special needs teacher in Philly) began drawing hilarious comics, I recruited him to design characters, animate the series, and do some writing. I’m glad I did, because Ben rules!

BEN: Kevin told me about it in a park and I was like yeah that’s a pretty good idea, but I was just being nice. I thought it was dumb at the time.

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IFC: What makes going to proms and dating moms such timeless and oddly-relatable subject matter?

BEN: Since the dawn of time everyone has had at least one friend with a hot mom. It is physically impossible to not at least make a comment about that hot mom.

KB: Who among us hasn’t dated their friend’s mom and levitated tables at a prom?

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

BEN: There’s a lot of content now. I don’t think anyone will even notice, but it’d be cool if they did.

KB: A show about talking food poisoning bacteria is basically the same as just watching the news these days TBH.

Watch E.Coli High below and discover more NYTVF selections from years past on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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