The long-awaited TV component of the Dark Tower adaptation is at last coming into focus.
EW (via Birth.Movies.Death) reports that the fourth volume of King's massive Dark Tower epic, Wizard and Glass, is going to be adapted as a companion TV series to the now-filming first Dark Tower theatrical film (and, hopefully, its sequels).
From the start, the creative team that has been working to bring The Dark Tower to the screen has proposed a series of at least three films connected by two TV miniseries. But while the first film finally went into production this year after a decade of development, the TV plans have been vague until now.
But one of the producers (and co-screenwriter), Akiva Goldsman, along with sources at production company MRC, have confirmed that Sony -- which is behind the Dark Tower movie -- has also committed to financing a TV event consisting of 10 to 13 episodes, with production to begin next year for a 2018 premiere on a cable or broadcast network yet to be determined.
Let's hope it's the former because Wizard and Glass is one of the darkest (no pun intended) books in the Dark Tower canon. It's also a prequel, set in the days when our protagonist, gunslinger Roland Deschain, was a much younger man and sent by his father Steven, the ruler of Gilead, on one of his first missions after getting his guns, with his original ka-tet of friends Alain Johns and Cuthbert Allgood in tow. Sent to the distant seaside Barony of Mejis, Roland meets the girl who turns out to be the love of his life, Susan Delgado -- and the journey changes him forever.
Goldsman said, “In the movie, Roland is suffering tremendous loss. The most concrete, personal, existential heartbreak a character can have. If the movie chronicles his final reach toward hope again, the TV show is the loss of that hope.”
In the novel, Roland relates the story in flashback to his then-current ka-tet of Jake Chambers, Eddie Dean and Susannah Dean, and the TV series will follow suit in a way: Idris Elba and Tom Taylor, who play Roland and Jake in the movie, have agreed to appear in framing sequences for the TV show, while a younger actor yet to be cast will play Roland in his early years.
Goldsman, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer will be the executive producers on the show, as they are on the movie, while the movie's director and co-writer Nikolaj Arcel and his scripting partner, Anders Thomas Jensen, are currently working on the teleplay for the Wizard and Glass series while also completing work on the movie.
All this is pretty incredible news for Dark Tower and King fans, and it makes it extra-cool that it comes on Stephen King's 69th birthday. The idea of doing Wizard and Glass as a TV series is a smart one: while it's one of the best books (if not the best one) in the series, it might have been too confusing or unwieldy to go back in time on the big screen. Yet it can stand alone as its own story and really be allowed to breathe in a different format, which makes it a prime candidate for TV.
As a bonus, MRC has created and posted the map below (which also features a quote from Wizard and Glass) that marks most of the major locations in Mejis, where most of the story takes place. Let us know your thoughts on this news...