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It’s looking less and less likely that J.J. Abrams is going to direct Star Trek XI. He’s still writing and producing it, but it now seems almost certain he’ll have something else to direct instead. That’s bad news for Star Trek fans, but maybe good news for anyone who’s read Stephen King’s “Dark Tower” series. According to IGN, that’s what Abrams is ditching Trek for. They claim he’s planning to direct a project based on King’s book series.

The catch is, that no one knows what kind of a project this will be. It could be a movie, a television series, a mini-series, or even a series of movies. If you’ve read the “Dark Tower” books then you know how complicated they are. There’s absolutely no way you can squeeze them all into one film. So if it’s a movie, we presume the film will only cover the first of King’s books, “The Gunslinger”. But really, as complex as they are, the novels probably lend themselves best to a limited run television series on something like HBO or Showtime.

So far, IGN hasn’t been able to get any sort of confirmation on their scoop out of JJ’s people. They aren’t denying it, they’re just not going to comment… which usually means there’s something to it. If the rumor’s untrue, most production companies are quick to squash it.

As a Trek fan, I’ll be deeply disappointed of Abrams jumps off the Enterprise in mid-production to do something else. He really is the franchise’s best hope to return to relevance. Without him, the odds drop considerably. Sure he’s still involved in the process, but there’s no way they’ll find anyone decent to direct it when they don’t have complete control over what they’re making. Brace yourself for the return of Jonathan Frakes. At the same time, you almost can’t blame Abrams. This is “The Dark Tower” after all. King’s books, especially the first three or four, are truly brilliant material. Turning that into a television series or a feature film has to be a dream come true for anyone who’s fan of well… things that are good. On the things that are good scale, “Dark Tower” rates pretty high indeed.

For those of you foolish enough to miss out on the last few decades of Stephen King’s magnum opus, The Dark Tower is the story of a man from an alternate universe named Roland. He’s a gunslinger, though not exactly in the way we think of the word. He’s the last living member of an order of gunslingers, sort of like a group of knights. He’s on a quest to find something called “The Dark Tower”, and his journey takes him through his world, described as a place that has “moved on”, and into a world very similar to our own.

King recently completed his “Dark Tower” series with book seven. Since then it’s already spawned a series of graphic novels, the first of which was released just last week… which makes this rumor terribly convenient for anyone trying to get extra publicity for the comic books.
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