While not quite as full-on horror as one might normally expect from Stephen King, The Dark Tower series is arguably his most epic creation, right up there with tomes like IT and The Stand. Spanning eight books, The Dark Tower’s core is the tale of gunslinger Roland Deschain, and his epic quest to reach the titular structure.
Hollywood has been trying to make a Dark Tower movie adaptation happen for decades, but next month, such a film finally hits theaters. In an intriguing decision though, the movie doesn’t directly adapt any of the books, instead serving as a sort of sequel to King’s sprawling series.
The Dark Tower stars Idris Elba as Roland, with Matthew McConaughey as the gunslinger’s evil nemesis The Man in Black, who in the books is revealed to be an alter ego of The Stand’s Randall Flagg. Newcomer Tom Taylor plays Jake Chambers, a young boy who becomes both a friend and almost surrogate son to Roland.
Years ago, back when Ron Howard was set to direct a Dark Tower film, the plan was to do both a series of movies and a companion TV series, all serving to fully realize King’s massive vision. Surprisingly enough, producer Akiva Goldsman tells Deadline that as of now, a companion TV series is still part of the plan.
“The first episode of a show has been written, and we hope to retain Ron’s original idea to mix platforms, something that seemed revolutionary 10 years ago but now is something that others have done,” Goldsman said. “Idris for sure is part of this, and if the movie is Roland Deschain the gunslinger, the show is his origin story, based on the fourth novel in the series, Wizard and Glass.”
Goldsman has been involved with bringing Dark Tower to the screen since back when Howard came up with the above idea, so it’s not too surprising that he’s still pushing for the TV part. What’s a bit more surprising is that star Elba is also attached to the TV show, as his film career is booming as of late.
Of course, Elba is no stranger to TV, playing the lead in the well-received UK crime series Luther, for which production will begin in 2018 on a fifth season after nearly three years without new episodes airing.
That all said, if The Dark Tower performs poorly at the box office, there’s no guarantee further films will be made, much less a TV series to go along with them. We’ll all find out Roland’s financial fate on August 4th.