Now that his Intrepid Pictures has a new deal at Amazon, The Midnight Club director has his sights set on Stephen King's magnum opus.
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Director Mike Flanagan has opened up about his plans to adapt Stephen King's The Dark Tower book series for TV.

"If you know anything about me, you know it has been my Holy Grail of a project for most of my life," Flanagan told Deadline in a new interview. "We actually have those rights carved out of our Amazon deal, which doesn't mean that they can't or won't get behind it at some point — you don't know. But that's something we've been developing ourselves and are really passionate about finally getting it up on its feet at some point."

After years of creating original movies and shows for Netflix (including The Haunting of Hill House and Midnight Mass), Flanagan and his producing partner Trevor Macy are moving on. The two announced last week that they had signed an overall deal with Amazon Studios through their company Intrepid Pictures. Following that news was Netflix's announcement that it was canceling their thriller The Midnight Club after a single season. The still-forthcoming Fall of the House of Usher will be their final series at the streamer.

Mike Flanagan, on-set, 2019. ph: Jessica Miglio / © Warner Bros. / courtesy Everett Collection
Mike Flanagan wants to adapt Stephen King's 'The Dark Tower' series for TV.
| Credit: Everett Collection; Scribner

The Dark Tower was previously adapted into a 2017 film starring Idris Elba as protagonist Roland Deschain, a gunslinger from a postapocalyptic world who is searching for the titular tower that is the linchpin of multiple realities — yes, The Dark Tower predates the latest multiverse craze by several decades.

The movie version — which also featured Matthew McConaughey as Roland's nemesis the Man in Black — was a critical and commercial flop, and Amazon passed on a subsequent TV pilot. But Flanagan still has hopes for his adaptation, which he envisions as "five seasons of television, followed by two standalone features."

"More than half of my life, I've closed my eyes and been able to watch a lot of this play out — I've dreamed about this," Flanagan told Deadline. "That first shot — which comes right off at the first incredible sentence of the first book, The Gunslinger — I've had that image just rattling around in my head since I was an undergrad. It's going to have to get out of there eventually. I really need to get it out of my head."

Calling the pilot script "one of my favorite things I've ever gotten to work on," Flanagan added that King has been very supportive of his ideas ever since he sent the author "a very, very detailed outline."

Moreover, Flanagan isn't worried about The Dark Tower's reputation of being unfilmable, pointing out that he already adapted two other King novels that many thought would be hard to translate to the screen: Gerald's Game (which focuses mostly on one woman handcuffed to a bed by herself) and Doctor Sleep (which entailed the tricky task of balancing King's and Stanley Kubrick's different interpretations of The Shining).

"You have to be intimidated by it in order to do it properly," Flanagan said.

Whether Flanagan's version of The Dark Tower will materialize at Amazon or elsewhere is still uncertain, but the filmmaker is certainly very passionate about the project. Read his full interview at Deadline.

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