Ron Howard to direct The Dark Tower

Dark Tower

Stephen King’s sprawling Dark Tower book series is being given the big (and small) screen treatment courtesy of director Ron Howard.

The seven-tome series, which King himself has described as his magnum opus, follows gunslinger Roland, who is on a quest toward a mythical tower that is said to be the nexus of the universe.

Universal Pictures have given the go-ahead to a trilogy of films based on the books, with Ron Howard directing the first instalment. Not only that, but a TV series will air directly after the release of the first film that fills in the blanks before the second movie.

“We are excited to have found partners at Universal who understand and embrace our approach to King’s remarkable epic,” says Howard, who bought the moviemaking rights to the books alongside Akiva Goldsman and Brian Grazer.

“By using both the scope and scale of theatrical filmmaking and the intimacy of television we hope to more comprehensively do justice to the characters, themes and amazing sequences King has given us in The Dark Tower novels. It might be the challenge of a lifetime but clearly a thrilling one to take on and explore.”

Stephen King, meanwhile, seems sure that the right team for the epic job have been put in place. “I’ve been waiting for the right team to bring the characters and stories in these books to film and TV viewers around the world,” he said.

“Ron, Akiva, Brian along with Universal and NBC have a deep interest and passion for the The Dark Tower series and I know that will translate into an intriguing series of films and TV shows that respect the origins and the characters in The Dark Tower that fans have come to love.”

Howard hasn’t taken on anything as fantastical as this since 1988’s Willow , and even that production can’t touch the massive scale of Dark Tower . Goldsman, meanwhile, is an entirely hit-and-miss screenwriter. Our fingers are crossed that both can pull out the stops for this adaptation - if done right, this could threaten to top even The Lord Of The Rings for grandiose filmmaking.

Josh Winning has worn a lot of hats over the years. Contributing Editor at Total Film, writer for SFX, and senior film writer at the Radio Times. Josh has also penned a novel about mysteries and monsters, is the co-host of a movie podcast, and has a library of pretty phenomenal stories from visiting some of the biggest TV and film sets in the world. He would also like you to know that he "lives for cat videos..." Don't we all, Josh. Don't we all.