It’s been a long wait, but it seems Stephen King’s magnum opus is finally coming to the big (and little) screen.
Deadline reports Sony Pictures and MRC have cut a deal to co-finance the first installment in a planned series of films based on King’s ambitious series The Dark Tower. The first film will apparently be based closely on the book The Gunslinger, following Roland Deschain as he makes his way through a frightening world of magic and horror. The current script was written by Akiva Goldsman (I Am Legend) and Jeff Pinkner (Fringe), and it’s apparently been “totally reconceived” in comparison to previous drafts.
No word on who will direct, though the studios are apparently keen to get this one on the fast track (years in development hell will do that), so additional information should be forthcoming. Casting news will also have to wait until a director is chosen, though everyone from Russell Crowe to Javier Bardem has been linked to the project over the years. Also of note: Longtime developer Ron Howard is still attached as a producer, and who knows, could potentially direct.
Though details are scarce, the report also notes a companion television series is also in development under MRC. That’s been one potential plan for the franchise dating back to around 2010, when a trilogy was conceived to potentially run alongside two television seasons to fill the void between the films. Assuming everything goes as planned (see: the first film is a hit), it seems that ambitious storytelling option is still on the table. No word on a network home, though HBO has been rumored in the past.
“I’m excited that The Dark Tower is finally going to appear on the screen,” author Stephen King said. “Those who have traveled with Roland and his friends in their search for the Dark Tower are going to have their long-held hopes fully realized. This is a brilliant and creative approach to my books.”
The book series is arguably one of the most expansive efforts ever attempted by King, and fans have been clamoring for a film adaptation for years. It’s taken this long, largely, because the story is so huge and sprawling that there’s just no way to cram it into a film. Oh, not to mention that something this big is also extremely expensive. Hence the trilogy plus television run. If they can actually pull it off, this could be one of the most ambitious genre works in history.
Are you glad to see The Dark Tower finally moving forward? Who would you like to see direct?