Last we heard, Ron Howard was hard at work on a large-scale adaptation of Stephen King’s sprawling epic, The Dark Tower. However, Universal has suddenly developed a case of cold feet in regard to funding the project – which is set to span three feature films and two television series. So with his big project left in the lurch, Howard has started to explore his other options – and the project he’s signed on for is about as far away from King’s mythic fantasy western as one can get.
Deadline reports that Howard will team up with screenwriter David Koepp to craft a live action version of Spy vs. Spy for Warner Bros. Those who didn’t spend their childhood years (and maybe their adult ones) reading Mad magazine will probably be unfamiliar with the title. Essentially, it’s a spin-off of a recurring strip in the magazine, wherein a white spy and a black spy (their literal color, not their ethnicity) engage in a constant struggle to outdo each other. To be honest, it’s a really weird concept for a live action film… one that reminds us of The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle -- which is never a good thing.
What does this mean for The Dark Tower? Don’t fret, King fans. Howard and crew are turning in a rewrite of The Dark Tower to Universal in the coming weeks and hope to have a definitive answer from the studio about whether the project will move forward or not. Should it not, the director assures us he is 100% committed to making the films -- even if it’s with another studio – and intends to begin shooting early next year.
With that time frame in mind, we might not be seeing Howard’s take on Spy vs. Spy for quite a while – unless he can somehow shoehorn it into his schedule for this year. That could prove challenging, given that he’s also circling the Formula 1 film Rush. According to sources, that feature has the best chance of coming to fruition, but only if it can shoot sometime this fall. At any rate, it’s clear that Ron Howard is a busy guy. Our hope is that he gets to make The Dark Tower as he envisions it, because these other projects aren’t nearly as intriguing.
What do you think? Does live action Spy vs. Spy sound as bizarre to you as it does to us? Share your thoughts below.