Despite the torrent of middling-to-extremely negative reviews coming out for the film, it looks like The Dark Tower franchise is moving forward.
On Thursday, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Glen Mazzara — the former showrunner of The Walking Dead — had been tapped as showrunner of The Dark Tower TV series.
Given that reviews for the movie started coming out Wednesday evening, and were pretty much all scathing, it’s interesting that the powers that be behind the series decided to immediately allay fears that the franchise had a future. Then again, it could have been a way of saying the kind of adaptation fans are looking for is on the way.
“I’ve been a Stephen King fan for decades and the opportunity to adapt The Dark Tower as a TV series is a great honor,” Mazzara told THR. “The events of The Gunslinger, Wizard & Glass, The Wind Through the Keyhole, and other tales need a long format to capture the complexity of Roland’s coming of age — how he became the Gunslinger, how Walter became the Man in Black, and how their rivalry cost Roland everything and everyone he ever loved. I could not be more excited to tell this story. It feels like being given the key to a treasure chest. And oh yeah, we’ll have billy-bumblers!”
Mazzara’s opinion that TV’s longer format is better suited to a work like The Dark Tower has long been held by fans. This is probably especially true after the wave of poor reception to the film adaptation, which ran for a brutally lean 95 minutes. Having it on TV might also means it could be more likely to take risks with its storytelling and fantastical elements, something mostly absent from the movie.
The Dark Tower director Nikolaj Arcel and co-writer Anders Thomas Jensen — half of the writing team for the film — are working on the script together, which could be taken as a bad thing. But after the production issues the film encountered, it’s likely too early to jump the gun.
The proposed Dark Tower series will adapt Wizard & Glass, the fourth book in the series. Idris Elba (Roland Deschain, the Gunslinger), Dennis Haysbert (Roland’s father, Steven Deschain), and Tom Taylor (Jake Chambers) will be reprising their roles from the movie in some capacity. The main players of the potential series, a younger Roland and his group, have yet to be cast.
We’ll have to wait and see if The Dark Tower’s box office reception changes anything for the planned series.
The Dark Tower will premiere this Friday, August 4.