This week was apparently Stephen King’s birthday. Quite who has the time to keep track of these things is beyond me, but alas it’s the reason for the extra Stephen King related news this week. And the first and most exciting news for many people, is that of the Dark Tower TV series adaptation.
Now the film version of this classic series is currently in-development, having shot in our very own Mother City, and is due to open on Feb 17 of next year. Which is still too far away for most. We know however that the film version is not going to be a direct adaptation of any of the novels, but rather simply a continuation of the story. Which for anyone who has read the books, will probably know it’s the best way of actually trying to tell the story and include so many beloved characters at the same time. However, what direction the companion TV series is going to take has not really been known… until now, as revealed by EW through the film’s producer and co-screenwriter Akiva Goldsman.
And I would like to state first up that this is not a rumour. It is happening. Sony Pictures has apparently not just committed to a pilot episode, but a full first season of the show between 10 and 13 episodes, so they are all in on the idea:
The Dark Tower show will begin shooting in 2017 with plans to premiere it in 2018, ideally around the time the film becomes available on cable or streaming services.
So it looks like they are committed to putting this together soon. They speak about trying to sync the series up with cable or streaming services, though there is still no word on any distributor for the series yet. Whether it will be on Netflix, HBO or Amazon though, it will likely be a hotly bidded on property. The arc nature of the books will likely suit cable or streaming services perfectly.
What is exciting is that Idris Elba has signed on to appear in the series. Its been reported that Elba reprise his lead movie role of Roland alongside Tom Taylor, who plays Jake Chambers in the film. Chambers is a boy from present-day New York who harbors a secret, psychic power and is grappling with visions of the tower and the men (and other creatures) who are trying to reach it. So, what does this mean for the series and how it fits into the film?
While the duo are set to appear in the series they are not expected to star. They are merely meant to set up the show and provide a whole story within a story element. The series is going to take the shape of a prequel to the films and introduce us to a younger Roland, who has yet to be cast for the role, but will obviously need to not look too different from Elba to tie it all in. (I’m taking bets on who it will be, to fund themovies.co.za‘ cake addiction. Please place them in the comments below and I, along with my big muscled friend Brutus, will collect them once it is announced).
And where are they looking to start? For the TV series, the creators will be tackling Wizard and Glass (or the bulk thereof). Now, I won’t reveal any story details around it, but this is actually the fourth book in the series, but as it essentially formed a prequel to the other stories, it makes sense to start there and perhaps shows that the TV series will run in a more chronological order than the books did.
What this means is that we can probably expect the Dark Tower TV series to be a direct adaptation of the books, as opposed to what the movie is doing. I think this is a great thing. That being said, the TV series might also still fit in more elements from the different books at different times and could cover more than one book in the series, possibly making use of flashbacks. And if the producers somehow run out of appropriate book content for future series, there is also the fantastic prequel comic book series from Marvel that they can build on.
Doing all of this as a TV series instead of cramming it into a feature film will allow for each of these additional stories to be developed properly, and in the end, could just see the whole Dark Tower cannon adapted. Provided the series actually turns out to be any good and makes it thus far of course. I have high hopes that it will though.
Fans who have read these books and comic will already likely know what to expect, but Goldsman did go on to reveal one more thing that we can expect from the series and how it will tie into the movie:
In the movie, Roland is suffering tremendous loss. The most concrete, personal, existential heartbreak a character can have. If the movie chronicles his final reach toward hope again, the TV show is the loss of that hope.
So, I guess, in summary, it could be quite a depressing set of events seeing the character lose all hope. This seems right up my sadistic alley.
But, what of Matthew McConaughey’s appearance in the film. While the article goes on to say that his involvement is still a possibility, it’s not locked-in yet. And considering his character of Walter Padick is a semi-immortal who wields powerful, ancient magic and takes on several different names and appearances in the books, it’s likely they can simply just have a separate actor/s playing the character without it affecting any narrative continuity. No doubt the character will be in the series, it just likely won’t be McConaughey.
There is a lot of detail that you can read up further for yourself in the original article, but as a birthday present to Mr King, they also revealed the following map with a famous quote from the book as well, just because they can.
I think most fans didn’t need any further information to get excited about a Dark Tower TV series, but does this approach make you more or less excited for it?
Last Updated: September 23, 2016