One of the most talked-about films of summer 2017 has been The Dark Tower, which finally delivered an adaptation of the first book in Stephen King's saga of the same name. The source material is complex and was undoubtedly difficult to adapt for the big screen. The film did top the box office in its first weekend in theaters, although the total gross wasn't too impressive. Reviews were mixed from critics, and a big question was whether the planned TV series would move forward as intended. Well, an exit survey completed by Dark Tower moviegoers revealed how many viewers are interested in a TV show, and the numbers are higher than we expected.
Folks who saw The Dark Tower this weekend were asked if they were interested in a TV series in the Dark Tower universe after getting a taste on the big screen. According to the results calculated by MRC, 83% of film audiences were definitely/probably interested in a TV show. Given that viewer approval of the movie is only 70%+, it seems that many people were attracted to the universe of The Dark Tower even if the movie as a whole didn't entirely work for them. Deadline reports that the $19.1 million box office translates to 4-4.5 million people actively interested in the show.
Of course, the series is still in the very early stages of development, as co-producers MRC and Sony TV have yet to find a network. That said, the show is already shaping up to work pretty well for the small screen. It could come with a built-in audience if moviegoers do check out the TV expansion of the Dark Tower universe, and Stephen King fans would be likely to check it out no matter what. Throw in the fact that movie stars like Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey could be involved, and a Dark Tower TV project might have a recipe for success.
The TV series that is being developed won't pick up where the Dark Tower movie action left off. The show would take place many years before the setting of the film and focus on Roland's origin story. Viewers who wanted to know how Roland got his guns and became a gunslinger could get their answers, and the beginnings of his conflict with the Man in Black could be revealed. Episodes could even cover his first love and his first mission. Considering Roland's status when he first enters the scene in The Dark Tower, we can be pretty confident that his origin story won't have a happy ending, but it could make for an entertaining ride, especially if a film franchise develops.
Idris Elba has already spoken out about why The Dark Tower should be expanded upon in a TV series. He hasn't said definitively if he would play a younger Roland on the small screen, but he seems to know quite a bit about the plans for the series, including the fact that it will be more canonical to the books than the movie was.
We'll have to wait and see what happens next. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest in TV news, and swing by our fall TV premiere schedule. If you haven't caught The Dark Tower just yet, it's still playing in theaters.