This is probably the greatest piece of news of the day. Wait, the week. No, the MONTH!
Stephen King‘s epic seven book series of The Dark Tower is apparently finally coming to the big screen in a very Lord of the Rings like treatment. There are going to be three movies over three successive summers.
And to fill in the year long gaps between the movies? A friggin television show!
Yes, you heard right, The Dark Tower is going to be both a television show and a series of movies. Let me explain.
Deadline is reporting than NBC Studios and Universal Pictures have landed the rights to both the television show and movies to bring this massive project to life with the help of A-list team Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and Akiva Goldsman.
According to Deadline, the plan goes a little something like this:
It will start with a large theatrical feature, directed by Howard, followed by a season of TV episodes beginning that Fall, also directed by Howard. That season will then transition into the second feature film. Once that is released, a second season of TV episodes will again follow up that film, but this time focusing on the lead character, Roland Deschain, as “a young gunslinger” (the story behind which will be informed by Stephen King’s prequel comic books). Lastly, a final film will round out the series, returning to the aged Deschain as he completes his journey.
Akiva Goldsman will write the first fillm, as well as the first season of the TV series. Howard’s Imagine Entertainment partner Brian Grazer will produce, with Goldsman and the author who started it all, Stephen King.
This is an epic undertaking, and according to Ron Howard, he is ready for the challenge.
What Peter [Jackson, the director of the Lord of the Rings movies who shot them all back-to-back] did was a feat, cinematic history. The approach we’re taking also stands on its own, but it’s driven by the material. I love both, and like what’s going on in TV. With this story, if you dedicated to one medium or another, there’s the horrible risk of cheating material. The scope and scale call for a big screen budget. But if you committed only to films, you’d deny the audience the intimacy and nuance of some of these characters and a lot of cool twists and turns that make for jaw-dropping, compelling television. We’ve put some real time and deep thought into this, and a lot of conversations and analysis from a business standpoint, to get people to believe in this and take this leap with us. I hope audiences respond to it in a way that compels us to keep going after the first year or two of work. It’s fresh territory for me, as a filmmaker.
And the good news just keeps on coming!
Howard told Deadline that as soon as he is done post-production of his comedy, The Dilemma starring Vince Vaughan, he will start working on The Dark Tower.
Are you as excited for this as I am? Sound off in the comments below!
And for those who do not know what the The Dark Tower book series is about, here is a little synopsis of the seven book series (via SlashFilm).
The series incorporates themes from multiple genres, including fantasy fiction, science fantasy, horror and western elements. They describe a “Gunslinger” and his quest toward a tower whose nature the books call both physical and metaphorical. King has described the series as his magnum opus. Besides the seven novels that compose the series proper, many of his other books relate to the story, introducing concepts and characters that come into play as the series progresses.
In the story, Roland Deschain is the last living member of a knightly order known as gunslingers and the last of the line of “Arthur Eld”, his world’s analogue of King Arthur. The world he lives in is quite different from our own, yet it bears striking similarities to it. Politically organized along the lines of a feudal society, it shares technological and social characteristics with the American Old West but is also magical. While the magical aspects are largely gone from Mid-World, some vestiges of them remain, along with the relics of a highly advanced, but long vanished, society. Roland’s quest is to find the Dark Tower, a fabled building said to be the nexus of all universes. Roland’s world is said to have “moved on”, and indeed it appears to be coming apart at the seams—mighty nations have been torn apart by war, entire cities and regions vanish without a trace and time does not flow in an orderly fashion.