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News broke big that Stephen King's The Dark Tower series was being developed as a feature film trilogy by Imagine Entertainment, with Ron Howard directing, as reported by Deadline New York. But that announcement was for a film trilogy AND a television series based on the author's seminal work. The question is how the twain shall co-exist.
Fans of The Dark Tower know that while there is a mostly linear story going on there, beginning with the last gunslinger, Roland Deschain, chasing the man in black across the desert. There's also Roland's backstory, before the world moved on, which King has explored within the novels, as well as a novella and some exclusive comics published by Marvel Comics.
The TV series could be the adventures of a young Roland Deschain and serve as a backdrop to the film trilogy. What would be more interesting, and far more daunting an undertaking, would be for the television series and the films to weave in and out of one another. The films could hit the high points of the saga, while the television series could feed the narrative between them.
It's an incredibly ambitious notion, and one I'm sure they won't consider, but it would make for an incredibly impressive project. While there are some beats to the story that would require massive special effects budgets, there are as many quieter moments. Roland's gathering of his allies along the beach could easily be done within the confines of a television series, as could many of the trips to our world.
Another problem with that idea, though, is what to do about actors. Do you make your big budget film without any name actors, or do you try and convince a big budget film star to slum it on television. It would be easy enough to have characters who don't overlap the two mediums, thus allowing the stunt casting that feature films love so much.
But, the beauty of this project is that Stephen King's The Dark Tower will sell bucketloads of tickets and should plant plenty of butts on the couches as well. How would you approach the idea of developing a TV series and film trilogy at the same time?