Nikolaj Arcel in early talks to direct Stephen Kings The Dark Tower

The development hell in which The Dark Tower has languished for the better part of a decade is a thing of the past. The Stephen King adaptation recently found sanctuary at Sony, and the studio are keen to get production underway as a new director has entered the picture. According to Deadline, Nikolaj Arcel is the studio’s top candidate to direct the first instalment of the series.

Arcel co-wrote the original Swedish adaptation of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and went on to direct A Royal Affair, which landed him an Oscar nomination and caught the attention of Sony. If Arcel secures the gig he will work alongside producers Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and Akiva Goldsman - who have championed the project for years - to adapt The Gunslinger.

The first novel in King’s seven-tome series it introduces the hero Roland Deschain and his quest to reach the Dark Tower, which involves befriending a young boy called Jake Chambers. Goldman and executive producer Jeff Pinkner recently submitted a “lean, mean” script to establish the alternate world of King’s novels.

Sony plans to spawn a movie universe and a crossover TV series based on the books, which as a genre blend of western, sci-fi, fantasy, horror and drama could easily hook audiences. In light of the mammoth success scored by George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road, it seems like The Dark Tower is in the right place at the right time.

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