Contrary to popular belief that Stephen King’s Dark Tower series is too unwieldy to adapt, King wants you to know that the combination movies/TV series will happen. Someday—because, no surprise, it’s going to be a hell of an undertaking. And he’s totally fine with waiting.
Chatting with MTV about a different movie adaptation (his thriller A Good Marriage), King talked a bit about The Dark Tower’s status. Director Ron Howard had the ambitious plan to adapt several of the novels into movies, while saving the flashback-heavy books for seasons of a tie-in TV show. King was totally onboard:
I love it because it’s so innovative—the idea of using the front story as theatrical tent pole movies, and using the back story of when the characters are a little bit younger as a TV thing. To be able to shoot both at the same time, and use these big sets for TV—it’s a very innovative idea.
Unfortunately, such a multimedia project requires a huge commitment. And Howard’s plan? Already four years old, which means they’d basically have to start from scratch in assembling a cast and crew. For a long time, Javier Bardem was the frontrunner to play gunslinger Roland Deschain—producer Brian Grazer said the actor was “psychologically” locked in for the part, whatever that means—but no longer.
Again, King is very zen, even about that disappointment:
He was perfect. We were this close to green light. You know how it is in Hollywood. Things puff up like mushrooms after a rainfall—then, all at once, they’re gone.
If you think about it, however, it makes a lot of sense that he’s not rushing to get the adaptation out there. After all, he spent over three decades writing the Dark Tower series; what’s a few more years?
It took me 35, 36 years to write The Dark Tower. I can wait [for the movie]. We’ve been close a couple of times. I’m content to see what happens. Sooner or later, it’ll show up.
In the meantime, check out our read of The Dark Tower on Tor.com! You’ve got a good long time to devote to it.
Image: David Finch/Marvel Comics