Praise be unto the Great Turtle, Maturin! A TV show based on Stephen King's Dark Tower books is on its way to Amazon, reports Deadline, despite the poorly received film adaptation this past summer. The show itself is old news, as former Walking Dead showrunner Glen Mazzara became attached to the project around the time of the movie's release in theaters. It was also announced that it would follow a prequel narrative drawn from the fourth book in the series, Wizard and Glass.
What we didn't know at the time was what network would snatch up the property, but Amazon scooped up the rights to Dark Tower along with series orders based on J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time, Larry Niven's Ringworld, Iain M. Banks's Culture, Greg Rucka and artist Michael Lark's Lazarus, and Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash.
While the Dark Tower movie was a standalone mish-mosh of King's eight books, the TV show will be more faithful to the original series.
"It’s very, very closely adhering to the Wizard and Glass novel and parts of The Gunslinger novel," the film's director, Nikolaj Arcel, told Indiewire over the summer. "That was exciting, to be even more like, ‘Okay, now we’re going to be able to even lift lines directly, or like [write] characters exactly as they are.’ Which, as a fan, was exciting in a different way.”
Arcel and co-screenwriter Anders Thomas Jensen co-wrote the pilot script and will oversee production on the show with Mazzara. Akiva Goldsman, who had been tapped to write the script when the series was set up at Universal, will executive-produce, with Ron Howard and Brian Grazer executive-producing.
The movie version of The Dark Tower received horrible reviews (despite the bankable star power of Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey) and only made $113 million at the worldwide box office against a budget of $60 million. For comparison, another King adaptation from the summer, IT, got favorable reception from critics and made over $700 million against a $35 million budget. Still, King voiced his support for an R-rated sequel to The Dark Tower film, saying:
“I would love to see Roland on the beach with those lobster monstrosities and I understand the rationale behind [this] movie, that it’s PG-13. I totally signed off on that. I think it’s the right thing to do. I want as many people as possible to attend for all kinds of reasons … but I would love to see the next picture be R. Because I think that’s sort of where we’re coming from now, where the movies need to go.”