I was very, very skeptical when Akiva Goldsman, Brian Grazer and Ron Howard announced that they would be taking over the reigns as the latest troop attempting to bring Stephen King's mammoth dark fantasy series The Dark Tower to the big screen. I love the series so much that I'd have been skeptical no matter who was attached to the project, but there was just something about their collective careers that does not scream epic fantasy to me. Today's news has completely changed my opinion of them, however.

I can't imagine how hard it was to convince a studio as big as Universal to make the sprawling, multi-year commitment they've just signed up for. There's really no industry precedent for the scale of what they're about to attempt. And I wouldn't have it any other way when it comes to The Dark Tower.
The plan, as revealed by Deadline, is to adapt the series as a combination of feature films and TV seasons. Basically, what they'll be doing is kicking things off with a feature film, which will be followed by a season on television that will bridge the gap to the second film. They'll then repeat the process, creating a second TV show to bridge the gaps from the second film to its final film. So for a quick recap: the creative trio masterminding it think it's going to take (at least) three films and two seasons of television to properly tell the story of Roland the Gunslinger. Sounds about right to me.

At this point we know that Ron Howard is signed on to direct the first of the films, which will be written by Akiva Goldsman. The pair will continue those same duties into the first season of the NBC show, but it's unclear who will be writing and directing after that (who knows, they may end up doing the whole thing). All of the entries are to be produced back-to-back as well, so as to avoid lengthy release delays. And, yep, Stephen King himself will be a producer all along the way.

If that wasn't enough of a relief, apparently Howard and company don't want to adapt solely from King's novels. The second TV series is going to tell the story of Roland as a young gunslinger, which is a chunk of the story that began in the third fourth book and was recently expanded in a series of comics (which are well worth checking out, if you haven't yet -- the artwork alone is stunning).

So what do you think, Dark Tower fans? Is a commitment that large befitting of the beloved series? Can Howard, Grazer, and Goldsman actually pull this off? And, perhaps most importantly, who do you want to see as Roland Deschain?
categories Cinematical