Stephen Kings The Dark Tower to Become Film Trilogy And TV Series

Director Ron ( Apollo 13 ) Howard to direct first movie and TV series of King’s epic fantasy series

Apollo 13 and A Beautiful Mind director Ron Howard will direct the first movie and the first season of the TV series, according to the official Universal press release – which, if we take the wording literally, would seem to suggest we’re talking a mini-series rather than a full 22-episode season, because we can’t see a director of Howard’s standing directing that many episodes (but they just mean he’s directing the pilot for the series). Howard, of course, has some fantasy pedigree: he directed Willow , but he has made some good films since (and The Da Vinci Code ).

There will be a film first, then a season of the TV show, then a second film, After that, the press release intriguingly reveals, “the television series will pick up allowing viewers to explore the adventures of the protagonist as a young man as a bridge to the third film and beyond.” So it sounds like they’re hoping the TV show could be an ongoing venture.

The first The Dark Tower novel, The Gunslinger was published in 1982, and the final one, The Dark Tower , in 2004, though there are reports that King may be writing an eighth, The Wind Through The Keyhole (which seems to be a short story idea that has developed big ideas). At its most basic level, the series is about a character, a gunslinger (who in this series are more like an order of knights than Western outlaws) Roland Deschain, who is on a quest to find The Dark Tower, but the books incorporate themes from multiple genres including fantasy, science fiction, horror and adventure.

According to Howard: “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.”

Producer Akiva Goldsman adds: “The worlds of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series are richly detailed, inter-locking and deeply connected. By telling this story across media platforms and over multiple hours – and with a view to telling it completely – we have our best chance of translating Roland’s quest to reach The Dark Tower onto screen. We are proceeding with tremendous excitement, fidelity to the source material and, quite frankly, no small amount of awe at this opportunity.”

Dave Golder
Freelance Writer

Dave is a TV and film journalist who specializes in the science fiction and fantasy genres. He's written books about film posters and post-apocalypses, alongside writing for SFX Magazine for many years.