Against all odds, The Dark Tower TV series still has a pulse.
Last summer, a film adaptation of Stephen King’s enduring fantasy Western series hit theaters. It starred Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey as gunslinger Roland Deschain and his nemesis, the Man in Black, two mythical figures warring over the fate of a grand structure that upholds nothing less than the universe itself.
The movie pulled ideas from several of King’s eight Dark Tower books, while also serving as something of a sequel to the series. And more pressingly, it was — put lightly — an unmitigated garbage fire for Sony Pictures, earning roundly terrible reviews and underperforming at the box office.
Such a grim result seemed at the time to pour cold water all over previously established plans to follow The Dark Tower with sequels and a related TV series. (The TV series was originally developed by MRC and eventually made its way to Amazon.)
In a recent interview with Deadline Hollywood, however, Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke revealed that the company’s efforts to craft a small-screen take on The Dark Tower aren’t over yet.
“Those are scripts that I haven’t gotten yet,” said Salke, responding to a question about long-in-development propositions including an adaptation of fantasy series The Wheel of Time as well as Dark Tower. “I’ll be seeing those, that material, in the coming weeks. None of those things are dead. They’re very much alive.”
There you have it — King acolytes may have a return to Mid-World to look forward to. Former Walking Dead showrunner Glen Mazzara was announced as the showrunner at one point, on a series that would pull heavily from King’s Wizard & Glass and focus on telling the origin story of Elba’s gunslinger. No word on whether Dark Tower director Nikolaj Arcel remains involved, or whether once-hatched plans to have Elba, Tom Taylor, and Dennis Haysbert reprise roles from the film still stand.
Our guess? Amazon will go back to the drawing board, and in doing so distance the series from last year’s Dark Tower. Even before the movie arrived (and flopped), King was alluding to the idea that Amazon’s series could tell a completely different story. “We’ll see what happens with that,” King said at the time. “It would be like a complete reboot, so we’ll just have to see.”