Mike Flanagan’s Dark Tower Might Be Further Away Than You Think

Beware the horror of scheduling.

Universal Pictures

Rebooting a horror franchise is not a one-size-fits-all situation. What works for The Omen won’t work for Scream, and what worked for Halloween won’t work for The Exorcist. Last year’s The Exorcist: Believer proved as much, as the director of 2018’s Halloween, David Gordon Green, failed to launch the iconic horror franchise into a new era.

Believer’s failure won’t stop Blumhouse from trying again, and the studio has asked one of the most successful horror directors of the decade to breathe new demonic life into the Exorcist’s world. But will this new gig get in the way of his passion project, one that’s trying to reboot another infamous cinematic failure?

According to Deadline, Doctor Sleep director and former Netflix horror mastermind Mike Flanagan will helm a “radical new take” on The Exorcist. Best known for his “Flana-verse” streaming series, the director has excelled at adapting classic horror stories, whether they’re by Stephen King or Edgar Allan Poe. But while he’s an old hand at offering new takes, not even Flanagan can tame the scheduling demon.

Mike Flanagan will supply a “radical new take” on the Exorcist universe.

Jason Mendez/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Flanagan’s had a full dance card for a while now. His next project, a film adaptation of the Stephen King short story “The Life of Chuck” starring Tom Hiddleston and Mark Hamill, is already in post-production, but there’s also an adaptation of another Christopher Pike novel, The Season of Passage, in the works (Flanagan already adapted Pike’s Midnight Club).

But the project fans are most looking forward to is Flanagan’s long-gestating adaptation of Stephen King’s vast Dark Tower series, which Flanagan told Deadline in 2022 he foresees as five seasons of television followed by two movies. That’s the kind of scope the story needs, as a 2017 attempt to cram the whole affair into one movie was a colossal failure. Last year, Flanagan told Fangoria the series was in good shape and would be “priority #1.”

That may no longer be the case. After years of developing TV shows, Flanagan seems to be pivoting, however temporarily, to movies. Will this new Exorcist movie come first, or will it somehow be squeezed in between seasons of The Dark Tower? King fans may be hoping to see the latter as soon as possible, but given what a mess The Exorcist: Believer was, it might be best if Flanagan focused on one thing at a time. We’ve waited this long for a good Dark Tower series, so a little longer won’t hurt.

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