Ron Howard has revealed he is still working on his Dark Tower film - but has taken a "vow of silence" about the project.
The Oscar-winning filmmaker has long been planning to adapt the Stephen King sci-fi novels for the big screen, and has now said that although it has been delayed the movie is still in the pipeline.
But the Rush director told Empire magazine in a podcast that he won't be giving a timetable for the project.
"The Dark Tower is something that we're still working on," he said. "We've all taken a vow of silence about the progress, the headway, what we think our timetable is, because I don't think I realised how much media interest there was in the title and how much excitement there was.
"It's a fascinating, powerful possibility and even Stephen King acknowledges it's a tricky adaptation, but to be honest, from a financing side, it's not a straightforward, four-quadrant, sunny superhero story - it's dark, it's horror. That edge is what appeals to me, the complexities of those characters is what appeals to all of us."
He went on: "So my answer is: it got delayed, it's never gone away. We're working on it, and Stephen is very patient with us, and Akiva's (regular screenwriting collaborator Akiva Goldsman) just gone off and directed a movie (Winter's Tale), I'm continuing to work, but the Dark Tower dreams - fever dreams, rather - are still there, but we're not going to give it a timetable."
The Dark Tower is a series of books from author King, incorporating themes from multiple genres, including fantasy, science fantasy, horror and Western. The series is about a roaming alternate universe cowboy named Gunslinger as he embarks on a quest towards a tower.
When it first emerged that Ron would be adapting the Dark Tower, it was also announced that a TV miniseries would follow the film.