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With The Dark Tower finally lifting its embargo, the critical reaction to the film so far might feel like something under what Sony was expecting. But nevertheless, there's a chance that the film will find its redemption by way of the planned TV prequel that would cover the past of Roland Deschain, the last Gunslinger. And with the movement that's been recently reported in the show's production, this is only good news if you talk to Idris Elba about the possibility. In particular, Elba's thoughts on the televised portion of the project, to which he's loosely attached, consist of the following:
It would serve us both right to maybe delve into other areas we can't do in the film in TV. Who knows? I'm excited, I love TV, and I think TV is an amazing space. I think where the film has a responsibility to cram a lot into a sort of space of time, television allows us to take our time a little bit. And I think, perhaps, that'd be a really good thing for this franchise.
With the reviews for The Dark Tower already faulting the film for being light on the mythology that drove Stephen King's book series, the long-form strategy of a TV series would serve as a fantastic foundation for future stories in this world. The building blocks are already there, with former Walking Dead showrunner Glen Mazzara recently announced as the man who'll help bring The Tower to TV. Not to mention, the specific source material the show will draw on are both Wizards and Glass and The Gunslinger, as the story of Roland's youth and progression as a Gunslinger are told through these Stephen King novels.
But, of course, with the brand new approach of the Dark Tower films representing the last spin of the wheel of fate between Roland and The Man in Black, those books will most likely find themselves adapted in a fashion that fits the existing narrative to the first film in director Nikolaj Arcel's potential franchise. But while things have changed, Arcel wants to promise fans that most pieces will stay the same, as he gave CinemaBlend the following information during an exclusive 1:1 inerview:
The good news for the die-hard fans is that even if we have changed things in [The Dark Tower], in terms of what the first novel is especially, the TV series is actually going to be quite canonical in terms of following pretty tightly the adventures of young Roland.
Both Nikolaj Arcel and Idris Elba filled me in on the TV prequel's progress during the New York press day for The Dark Tower, and you can watch Elba drop the low-down on this still developing enterprise in the video below:
While it's true that The Dark Tower isn't a one-for-one adaptation of The Gunslinger, what it is at its best is a lure for fans and non-fans alike to see where this new twist of fate leads to in the future. That equation may swing more towards the newcomers this time around, but TV looks to be the salvation for those who feel the need for more of the mythology that Stephen King created in his original novels. We'll see how this plan progresses after The Dark Tower opens to the public's initial reactions, starting with early showings tonight at 7:19 pm (of course).