The massively ambitious adaptation of Stephen King's "The Dark Tower" may currently be stalled, but that won't stop Akiva Goldsman and Ron Howard from chronicling the story of another gunslinger.
According to Deadline, Goldsman has signed a two year exclusive deal with HBO, with his first project at the network slated to be an adaptation of Mary Doria Russell’s novel "Doc," which follows the life of the famous Western icon, John Henry Holliday, who is better known as Doc Holliday.
Goldsman will executive produce the currently untitled project, from a script by Adam Cooper and Bill Collage ("Accepted"). Ron Howard is also attached to direct the pilot episode, with his father, Rance Howard also serving as a co-producer with his wife, Judy Howard.
The real Doc Holliday was a legend in his own time, thanks to his involvement in the infamous Gunfight at the O.K. Corral as well as his friendship with Wyatt Earp. Holliday has appeared in numerous films and TV series for almost a century, including a memorable turn by Val Kilmer in "Tombstone" (pictured above).
However, while Holliday is often portrayed as a sidekick to Earp, the proposed HBO series will reportedly put the focus squarely on Holliday as he transitions from a dentist and a distinguished Southern gentleman into one of the most feared gamblers and gunslingers in the old west.
The series will also explore an important element of Russell's novel, the love triangle between Holliday, his prostitute wife, Kate Elder and Holliday's best friend, Wyatt Earp.
Goldsman and Ron Howard have been frequent collaborators since first teaming on "A Beautiful Mind." Since then, the duo have worked together on "The Da Vinci Code," "Angels & Demons," "Cinderella Man" and the previously mentioned "Dark Tower" adaptation that is currently being shopped to different studios since Universal dropped it earlier this year.
Goldsman is also a writer and consulting producer for the Fox series, "Fringe." And ironically enough, the co-creators of "Fringe," Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci are developing a Wyatt Earp series for Fox.
Which Western series do you want to see first, the new "Doc" at HBO or "Wyatt Earp" at Fox? Who would you cast as Doc Holliday for the HBO series? Draw your weapons and share your picks in the comment section below!