Amazon Passes on Its Dark Tower Series

After landing with a dud in theaters, fans of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series had another chance at watching a decent adaptation when Amazon began developing a series based on the books last year. Unfortunately, those hopes are dashed once again: Deadline reports that Amazon has passed on ordering a pilot, and the project’s showrunners are looking to shop it around at other outlets.

King first began publishing the series in 1982 with his novel The Gunslinger, and followed it up with eight additional installments through 2012.

Over the years, there were some ambitious plans to adapt the series as a film and TV show: J.J. Abrams had been attached to direct a film back in 2007 (the first of a seven-part series!) He left the project a couple of years later, after which it went to Ron Howard and Universal Pictures, who intended to produce a film trilogy and companion TV show. That also didn’t go anywhere. In 2015, Sony Pictures and Media Rights Capital picked up the project, with Nikolaj Arcel (A Royal Affair) signed to direct. That version starred Idris Elba as the gunslinger Roland Deschain, and Matthew McConaughy as The Man in Black. The film—itself a sort of sequel to the book series—hit theaters in 2017 to negative reviews, which killed any momentum for a sequel and companion series.

While this was happening, the TV project was still in the works, with Glen Mazzara (The Walking Dead) set as showrunner, which would help fill in some of the details of the film, and would see Elba and Tom Taylor reprise their roles as Roland and Jake Chambers.

Amazon picked up the rights to the series, and plans to tie the show in with the film were later dropped, and would be “a more faithful retelling of the book than the movie was.” Now, it seems as though it won’t come to fruition for now, due to “the challenges translating” the complicated book series for television. Deadline notes that Amazon didn’t see the project at the same level that it did its other major fantasy shows, The Wheel of Time and its upcoming Lord of the Rings-inspired project.


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