The adaptation of Stephen King's The Dark Tower was an ambitious project that promised to combine film and television. However, following the film's failure, the series has been in limbo. With no real movement, and no network set to produce the television side of the equation, it seemed like the series, and thus the entire project, was likely dead. However, it's now being reported that Amazon has picked up The Dark Tower series, which means it could actually happen after all.
Amazon has been making huge moves in the TV space of late including setting up a Lord of the Rings series so it's not surprising that they're looking to other big products for Amazon Video. Amazon is also looking at developing Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash and Terry Pratchett's Ringworld as either films or series. Deadline adds The Dark Tower to this list almost as an afterthought, but it's pretty significant news. The last thing we heard about the show was that Dark Tower actor Idris Elba, who was supposed to appear in it, had no clue what was going on, and if he didn't know, then who did?
The original plan for the Dark Tower series was for it to act as a prequel to the movie, starting with the fourth book written by Stephen King, Wizard & Glass. That book consists mostly of flashback as Roland Deschain, the part played by Idris Elba in the film, tells his friends the story of how he embarked on the path to The Dark Tower.
If The Dark Tower series does move forward, one has to wonder if the plan is still to tie it into the recent movie, or simply reboot the whole thing and start over.
For whatever it's still worth, this could be the best possible thing to happen to the franchise for Dark Tower fans. The Dark Tower series, like Game of Thrones, is a sprawling epic series of novels where quite a lot happens and while some of the books could lend themselves to a feature film structure, the story has a whole would almost certainly work better as a television series. With Amazon at the helm, they could even still make the combination of films and episodes if that's really the best way to do it. With everything available on Amazon Video, fans would still be able to binge the complete story without having to run off to the theater to see various parts.
With all the different plates that Amazon is spinning, it will be interesting to see how much attention The Dark Tower will get. Is this a high priority to get moving or will other things be developed first? Stay tuned to CinemaBlend Tower Junkies, we'll continue to follow this one until we reach the clearing at the end of the path.