Last week, Universal passed on Ron Howard's planned three part adaptation of Stephen King's Dark Tower novels, and the project hasn't been picked up by another studio. Studios pass on projects all the time, but the news of the Dark Tower deal stunned Hollywood because Ron Howard is one of the directors who has for decades rarely heard the word "no," especially from his longtime studio Universal.
For nearly 30 years, Howard, 57, has been getting up each day and making movies. A few of them like Apollo 13 and A Beautiful Mind have been great, winning awards and making a ton of money for him and his partner in Imagine Entertainment, powerful producer Brian Grazer. And they have been rewarded with one of the movie industry's most lavish production deals. According to The Hollywood Reporter's Kim Masters, Imagine's deal with the studio is worth "well north of $8 million a year." But the new austerity in Hollywood is leading to questions of whether that kind of relationship is sustainable anymore, Masters writes.
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