Stephen King’s ‘Dark Tower’ still coming to television


When Ron Howard was the creative mind behind bringing the Stephen King fantasy series The Dark Tower to life.

He had worked on a deal where there would be movies with television shows airing in between to tell more of the stories as a bridge to connect the films. However, when Howard left the film adaptation no one else mentioned the television aspects of the project.

The Dark Tower finally hits theaters in August with Idris Elba as Roland, the Gunslinger, and Matthew McConaughey as the Man in Black. However, that movie is still looking to be just the start and producer Akiva Goldsman said that the television series is still in the works.

Goldsman spoke to Deadline about a number of projects he is working on and talks came around to Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. Goldsman was working alongside Ron Howard on the project and he said in the interview that there is a pilot script for The Dark Tower TV show.

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"“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.”"

That is very exciting.

The Dark Tower movie seems different compared to the novels. Forget about recasting Roland as Idris Elba, because he seems to be embedding what Roland is all about regardless of race or skin color (we will ignore the problems that will come when they introduce the schizophrenic Odetta/Susannah for now). However, the first book in the series, The Gunslinger, is about Roland tracking the Man in Black through his world and meeting Jake Chambers along the way.

The movie’s trailers have shown that the story will take place in the real world, which seems out of place when it comes to the timeline of the stories.

However, the news that the TV show will focus on Wizard and Glass makes it sound like something that will be interesting to follow. This is the “story-within-the-story” of Roland as a child in Gilead, training to become the youngest gunslinger in memory.

This means that The Dark Tower TV show will be a chance to see Roland become the gunslinger that we will meet in the first movie and is more about filling in history and details than about continuing the movie’s story. This is smart because it shouldn’t hurt movie audiences that don’t watch television regularly.

It is interesting that Idris Elba will be involved and one has to wonder if The Dark Tower TV show will also veer away from Stephen King’s stories to have a more bankable star in the lead role of the series. Idris Elba was fantastic on the amazing TV series Luthor.

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The Dark Tower hits theaters on Aug. 4 but there is no word yet on when the TV show will film and a pilot could air.