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The Dark Tower producer shares regret over movie: "We could have done better"

The Dark Tower
(Image credit: Sony Pictures Releasing)

Akiva Goldsman, a producer on Stephen King adaptation The Dark Tower, has talked about his disappointment over the movie.

"I have a lot of regret about the parts of that that didn't work out. Our best version of that existed well before television-movie crossovers and streaming were a thing," he told The Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab). "I have a lot of affection for the books that didn't end up onscreen [in the movie]. And Ron Howard had this idea of what could be done across platforms – he didn't touch the movie, but sometimes things slip away."

The Dark Tower debuted to mostly negative reviews and underperformed at the box office, netting just over $113 million globally. An attempt to adapt the series again, separate from the film entirely, was set to launch in 2020 with a TV pilot for Amazon Studios – but, according to Deadline (opens in new tab), the series did not go any further. 

The Dark Tower's journey to the big screen was complicated, with multiple filmmakers and studios attempting to tackle an adaptation over the years. The film eventually came out in 2017, directed by Nikolaj Arcel and released by Sony. Goldsman and Howard were both producers on the film: they had previously been involved in a scrapped adaptation with Universal, which was set to be a trilogy of films with a tie-in TV series. 

Still, Goldsman is positive about some aspects of the Sony film. "There are things about that [film] I still admire, and Idris Elba [played a] really wonderful Roland," he said. "I think there were too many different points of view – mine included – when it came to figuring out how to tell a cogent story onscreen, and we could have done better."

There have been plenty of King adaptations in recent times, including Andy Muschietti's It and It Chapter 2, and Mike Flanagan's Doctor Sleep, a sequel to The Shining. On the small screen, The Outsider premiered in 2020 (though HBO has not renewed the series for a second season), the now-canceled Castle Rock, and an upcoming prequel to The Shining called Overlook. The Dark Tower, though, seems to be proving too difficult to adapt – and that's not much of a surprise, considering the sprawling series spans a large swathe of time and a variety of genres, and has some fairly complex lore.

If you're in the mood for more King adaptations, check out our ranking of the best Stephen King movies.

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for our Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after getting my BA in English.