Dark Tower
Film adaptation of Dark Tower series will be major undertaking (Marvel) Marvel

Warner Bros is rumoured to be in talks over a film version of Stephen King's Dark Tower series.

Fans of the epic book saga have had their hopes of an adaptation repeatedly quashed, but Deadline claims the studio has bought a script by Akiva Goldsman.

Adapting the seven book series to the screen is an ambitious venture, with a devoted fan following and reams of content woven into the story of Roland Deschain, the gunslinger on a pilgrimage to the titular tower, the cog on which all of the universe's dimensions turn.

Stephen King, never one to baulk at a long word count, has packed enough into the books to fill a dozen films, with a tone that touches on old school horror, epic fantasy and spaghetti westerns.

Anticipation of a film reached fever pitch in 2011, when director Ron Howard suggested adapting the books as a trilogy, each joined with a full-length television series. However, Universal Studios, which was originally attached to the project, decided not to take such a huge risk.

The level of support for a film adaptation could be seen by the enthusiastic reactions on web forums, where a character from Frank Darabont's adaptation of King's The Mist was seen painting an image of the gunslinger.

The Mist
This scene in the Mist seemed aimed to start rumours of a Dark Tower film (Weinstein Company) Weinstein Company

Javier Bardem, star of No Country For Old Men and Vicky Christina Barcelona, has been tipped to play Roland, a role that shares more than a passing resemblance to Clint Eastwood in a Sergio Leone film.

Although far from a guarantee that the film will be made, especially in the shadow of the box office failure of John Carter - another ambitious adaptation - the rumours will give renewed hope to Dark Tower devotees who had given up on ever seeing the books on screen.