In early 2020, plans for a TV show based on Stephen King’s The Dark Tower novels hit a wall when Amazon passed on showrunner Glen Mazzara’s pilot script. But as fate would have it, the streaming service just inked an overall deal with someone who knows a thing or two about adapting King’s work, and he’s about to try his own hand at bringing the Gunslinger’s journey to life on the small screen. Deadline confirms that Mike Flanagan and his longtime producing partner, Trevor Macy, are spearheading a new live-action take on King’s Dark Tower books.
King launched the Dark Tower series in 1982 with his first installment, The Gunslinger. The book introduced the titular Gunslinger, Roland Deschain, and his nemesis, the Man in Black. Since the original novel’s debut, King has published seven sequels, the last of which hit stores in 2012. In 2017, Sony released its own film adaptation of the series featuring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey. But sadly, it earned mostly negative reviews for attempting to combine the stories from multiple books into a single movie.
So far, Flanagan has directed two Stephen King adaptations—Gerald’s Game and Doctor Sleep. However, he says The Dark Tower has been a “Holy Grail” project for most of his career. Flanagan also revealed that he secured the rights to the books before he and Macy finalized their pact with Amazon.
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“I wrote a pilot, we view it as a as a series that’s going at least five seasons,” said Flanagan. “And having lived with this project as long as I have, I have an enormous amount of it worked out in my brain. But I have a pilot script I’m thrilled with and a very detailed outline for the first season and a broader outline for the subsequent seasons. I think eventually, if we’re able to get it going, there are some other writers I want to fold into that process whom I’ve worked with before; I think they would be really fabulous for a very small, intimate writers room where we can continue to break it.”
News of Flanagan and Macy’s overall deal with Amazon Studios initially made the rounds last week. Previously, the duo had an exclusivity pact with Netflix, resulting in a number of hit series like The Haunting of Hill House, The Haunting of Bly Manor, and Midnight Mass, all of which cemented Flanagan’s status as a modern master of horror. His latest series, The Midnight Club (co-created with Leah Fong), premiered on Netflix in October; and unlike his earlier projects, it was designed to last for several seasons.
Unfortunately, Netflix cancelled the show on the same day that Flanagan’s Amazon deal was announced, although he insists the two events aren’t related. In fact, he still has one more show slated to debut on Netflix—The Fall of the House of Usher, based on the work of Edgar Allen Poe.
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Flanagan often uses a lot of the same actors in his TV projects, including his wife, Kate Siegel, Rahul Kohli, Carla Gugino, Samantha Sloyan, and E.T. star Henry Thomas. So any of these performers could potentially appear in his upcoming Dark Tower adaptation. Regardless, the casting process is still a ways off. Flanagan and Macy will produce the series through their Intrepid Pictures banner. Amazon hasn’t announced a release date.
Are you excited to see what Flanagan can do with The Dark Tower? Let us know in the comment section below!
Recommended Reading: The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger