The studio and filmmaker Ron Howard said last year they wanted to make three movies and two seasons of a television series inspired by King's western-tinged fantasy novels and starring Javier Bardem as main character Roland the Gunslinger.
EW.com said Universal told Howard it now feels the project is too expensive and risky to mount.
Howard's Imagine Entertainment retains the rights to the property, however, and is free to begin talking to other studios and networks about it, the entertainment news Web site said.
Howard did not immediately return a call requesting comment on the future of the screen adaptations of the King saga, EW.com said.
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