Once upon a time, it was announced that a film adaptation of Stephen King's madly popular fantasy novels, The Dark Tower series, was in the works. Not only would there be three films but also a companion television series that would bridge the gap between the movies. This multi-platform shared-universe story was wildly ambitious at the time, but it eventually stalled and crumbled into development hell. Ron Howard has gotten the ball rolling on the films again, but there's been no word on the TV show. According to Ron Howard, the project isn't dead just yet.
Ron Howard and his producing partner Brian Grazer were speaking with Deadline about their upcoming Beatles documentary, as well as their many other in development projects, which obviously includes Dark Tower. The director finally opened up about the long-gestating potential Dark Tower TV show, and while it sounds like the project is still in the early stages of development, with details still being worked out, that's still a huge relief to know the TV project hasn't been trashed.
As for what characters and storylines this in development series could follow, there's really no shortage of options. The Dark Tower series of books is composed of eight novels, in addition to some extra material that exists outside the core series. King's fictional world is so vast and expansive, that a number of different series could be made. And fans of the novel should know that the film will not be a direct adaptation of the novel, but will instead mix and match different elements from the entire series. Not only does this help to simplify the narrative but there is also an actual story reason for the change, which revolves around the Horn of Eld. So that just opens up the potential subject matter even more.
As far as the platform the project could debut on, one would have to guess that a streaming service is the way to go, to stop ratings from getting in the way of future seasons. Hulu was the home to 11.23.63, another King adaptation that met some good critical response, so Hulu might want to keep that train going.
With shared universes growing in popularity, audiences are becoming more accepting of cross-platform storytelling. Marvel is the most successful example of this, with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC and soon to be three different shows on Netflix. The Dark Tower TV project has a similar potential but it really boils down to execution. The potential series will also live and die on the reception of The Dark Tower movie and if that series of films manages to land with audiences.
The Dark Tower film is directed by Nikolaj Arcel and stars Idris Elba as Roland the Gunslinger and Matthew McConaughey as The Man in Black. It will hit theaters on February 17, 2017, and stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates on the mysterious Dark Tower TV project.