Ron Howard Discusses The Dark Tower and Formula One Drama Rush
11.03.11 by Ryan
Had everything gone Ron Howard's way, he would already be directing a movie adaptation of The Dark Tower, based on the novel series by Stephen King. Production was set to start in September, but Universal balked at the budget and ultimately pulled the plug on the project, which was planned as a trilogy of movies with TV series airing in between.
Recently, HBO agreed to air the TV portion of the ambitious adaptation, but a new studio has yet to agree to take on the movie trilogy. In the meantime, Howard has decide to bring his Academy Award–winning directorial skills to a different project, the Formula One racing biopic Rush, written by Howard's Frost/Nixon screenwriter Peter Morgan. Rush focuses on the complicated friendship between Formula One rivals James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Inglourious Basterds's Daniel Bruhl). A huge sport internationally, Howard told THR why American audiences will enjoy Rush.
Because these are fascinating characters — ballsy, masculine guys. It was a very dangerous era in racing, and here are two absolute individuals at the height of their powers. It makes for great drama and very exciting action. I wasn’t a die-hard Formula One fan before I read Peter’s script, but I’ve been immersing myself in this world. I think the excitement I feel as a fresh convert may be infectious.
I love stories that center on fascinating characters, and here you have psychologically complex, rare human beings, and they are also young and cool — and it’s all in this unbelievably glamorous, sexy period in the mid-’70s. And yet, in terms of emotion and the heartbeat of the story, I think they will be very relatable. If you don’t know anything about Formula One, I’m going to present it in such a way that you’ll very likely fall in love with it. If you do know Formula One, I’m going to be very respectful and deliver a film you’ll love, too.
Howard revealed that part of the excitement will be how he plans to shoot the movie.
This isn’t like any film I’ve done before, but I think we can offer audiences a rare vantage point. I think we can get the camera into places it hasn’t been before — right in the middle, in the guts of the race — and offer the audience a real experience of what these guys do.
According to Howard, production on Rush will begin in February, with a likely release date in "early winter". After that, Howard could get back to work on The Dark Tower. The director says that progress is still being made on the project.
We are continuing to work on the script to find ways to make the budget more manageable and still deliver the work in a way that the project deserves. We were always racing and fast-tracking the project, so I always wince when I see something written about it and there’s a release date in there. These kinds of projects often take years to come together in the right ways. But I am in love with the material, and the minute it can come together in the right way, I am fully committed to it.
Rush will co-star Olivia Wilde (Cowboys and Aliens) as supermodel Suzy Miller, who married the womanizing Hunt but ultimately left him for actor Richard Burton. Howard reportedly wants Russell Crowe to play Burton.