For some, maybe not many, but some, Stephen King’s Dark Tower series is almost holy. The author’s magnum opus presents a view of our universe that is dark and strange, yet uncomfortably familiar. For years, the Hollywood has tried to bring the fantasy/sci-fi/western/horror story to the big screen, most recently with Ron Howard at the helm. In order to truly do the property justice, however, more than just a movie is needed, leading Howard to the ambitious task of developing a trilogy of movies with a companion television series to connect the dots. The project came with a heavy price tag as well as time obligations, so no studio wanted to take the risk. Well, at long last, it appears that Roland and the Ka-Tet of 19 will finally be heading to the screen, thanks to Sony.
Deadline is reporting that new Sony bigwig Tom Rothman has picked up the massive series and plans to continue with Howard’s vision of producing a few big screen features with a companion television series. Howard is no longer attached to the project and Sony will be looking for a new director to sit in the Big Chair. The outlet further reports that the script for the first movie, which is co-written by Akiva Goldsman and Jeff Pinkner, will focus on the first book in the series, The Gunslinger, and the relationship between Roland and Jake Chambers, a boy that plays a huge part in the series.
Through the years, actors such as Javier Bardem and Russell Crowe have been attached to play Roland Deschain, while Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul was at one point rumored to play the part of Eddie Dean in the series, and Naomie Harris’ name was thrown around more than once to take on the role of Detta/Odetta/Susannah. With Howard out of the picture, however, all of these names are now scrapped while Sony scrambles to find a new director. While Bardem would not have necessarily been a good fit, the other names mentioned would have fit their parts well, so it will be interesting to see just how the new director handles the casting and whether or not she/he will turn to the previous list to begin her/his search.
The Dark Tower tells the story of the last gunslinger (think Jedis without the powers of The Force, and they carry revolvers instead of lightsabres), Roland, in a world that has moved on, and his quest to find the Dark Tower that sits at the center of existence. The first book, The Gunslinger, centers around Roland as he chases after The Man in Black, a mysterious figure who holds the key to Roland’s journey. As he continues through his
seven eight book journey, Roland manages to draw companions from our world to help him on his quest. The series incorporates aspects of almost every book King wrote prior to his near fatal accident back in 1999, creating a universe in which all of his stories simultaneously exist. Basically, think the MCU before shared universes were cool. Speaking of Marvel, the House of Ideas has been producing a comic book adaptation of The Dark Tower for years, with the ever-wonderful Peter David scribing and if you are a fan of the King series, the Marvel counterpart is something that you truly need to read.
While this is exciting news, the excitement really should be a bit subdued for now, considering Ron Howard is no longer attached. His excitement and passion for the property truly lent itself to the fans’ trust when he first began working on the adaptation. He knew what to do with Roland’s world and the fans knew that the adaptation would be faithful. Without a director attached, however, fans have no idea what to expect from the adaptation or whether or not the new director could care less about the project. There are many that feel that if the movie cannot be adapted faithfully, then it shouldn’t be done at all. Considering the uneven track record of King’s adaptations, this is fair. With this movie, there is plenty of Oscar potential under the right direction but at this point, it’s a coin toss. Let’s hope it lands lucky. (Pssst! Hey, Sony! Make sure that Robin Furth is involved or you may have a revolt on your hands!)
How do you feel about a Dark Tower adaptation? Is there a favorite scene in the books that you NEED to see played out on screen? If you have any Dark Tower tattoos, we would love to see them!