The Dark Tower Adaptation is Confirmed

September 9, 2010

in General News

NBC Logo image

That’s right, Universal Pictures and NBC Universal Television Entertainment have finally closed the deal with Ron Howard to tell the story of Stephen King’s, The Dark Tower, putting to rest all previous rumors. The adaptation is going to be filmed in a completely unique way by utilizing both feature length movies and a network TV series.

We’ve had many comments on other posts, with some people in favor of a TV series and some for the films. It seems everyone would have preferred 7 (or more) high budget films to tell Roland’s tale, but what Ron Howard said on this decision has made me think that perhaps this Film/TV approach would actually work better;

“…it’s driven by the material. I love both, and like what’s going on in TV. With this story, if you dedicated to one medium or another, there’s the horrible risk of cheating material….if you committed only to films, you’d deny the audience the intimacy and nuance of some of these characters and a lot of cool twists and turns that make for jaw-dropping, compelling television.”

If Howard manages to give us jaw-dropping and compelling television, then I’m all for him trying this new approach to get to the screen what many people agree to be Stephen King’s greatest work.

There is of course a financial aspect behind this decision and Howard has indicated that “from a business standpoint” it would have been difficult to get the funding for a film only adaptation.

Preliminary Outline for the Films/TV Series

This is not going to be a direct book-to-screen adaptation and is even going to involve King writing additional content, in the form of a prequel comic book.

Howard and co. are still hashing out the details but the initial plan seems to be;

  1. Feature Length Film #1
  2. TV Season (used as a bridge to…)
  3. Feature Length Film #2
  4. TV Season
  5. Feature Length Film #3 (Roland reaches the Dark Tower)

Not a lot has been said about the TV series, which would be shown between the second and third movies, other than that the story in Season 2 will evolve around Roland as a young Gunslinger, with King’s prequel comic book series being released to fill out the storyline.

The dedication the cast will need to make for this project would predict that we’ll not see any superstars, which will probably be for the better as we’ll have fewer preconceptions over who they choose to play Roland.

One final piece of good news is that Howard has given priority to the project. Akiva Goldsman is writing the script as we speak and both Howard and Grazer have cleared all other projects to make sure they can get started on this as soon as possible.

Howard is currently in production on “The Dilemna”, due for release in January, so we could expect filming on The Dark Tower to begin as early as 2011.

So there you have it fans, we’re finally getting our wish.

We’d love to hear your own thoughts on this unique approach Ron Howard is taking in telling the story of Roland Deschain, the Gunslinger, and his quest for the Dark Tower.

{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

Tet19 September 9, 2010 at 1:15 pm

this is very good news.

Joanzie September 9, 2010 at 5:49 pm

Finally! And what a great director to see it through! I was afraid I’d never see it in my lifetime!

James September 9, 2010 at 7:59 pm

Josh Holloway as Roland!

DSo September 9, 2010 at 8:13 pm

I had posted in the other thread that I thought it was a horrible idea to go with a TV series. I think the method they are planning on does sound quite good. As I’m sure any King fans will agree, one of the reasons we love him is his level of intimate detail he gives to each of his characters. It’s often something that is lost in the translation of books into movies. There are also invariably subplots and characters that are either changed and condensed so stay within a cinema friendly time (2-2.5 hrs), or they are left out altogether.

An initial movie done well will hopefully get people into watching a subsequent TV show, and knowing that there’s going to be at least one more movie will hopefully keep the viewers faithful knowing there’s a payoff coming.

Again my only worry would be budget on a TV show, especially if the movie is top notch and the TV series just has really low production values.

tropical55 September 10, 2010 at 10:33 am

The Internet and King’s fans are in a fevered buzz over the news of the Dark Tower series being made into movies/TV series. Casting choices are being made all over the place for the characters that we’ve all loved for over 20 years. This could be the greatest movie franchise since LOTR or Harry Potter. And with Ron Howard at the helm, it should be awesome!!

lucas September 10, 2010 at 11:28 am

I think the best approach to tell the full story, with all it’s depths would be a miniseries, and maybe ending it all with a 3h movie. But this ideia of mixing movies with tv seasons is good.
P.S: I wish J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof would still be in charge of the adaptation though.

JKnaak September 10, 2010 at 12:24 pm

I hope that Ron Howard does not ruin this like he did Angels & Demons. I wish I could say I am excited about this, but I think I am more apprehensive. I like what they have to say about their passion for the project. I just don’t think that broadcast TV and a movie that is likely turned PG-13 can do it justice. Give me an HBO cable TV series or an R-rated movie with GDT directing and I would be in heaven!

Chris September 11, 2010 at 9:39 am

I think Josh Brolin would be a good pick for Roland.

J.Cummins September 11, 2010 at 12:54 pm

*sigh* Okay, it doesn’t sound like a bad idea, but this series means so much to me. It has literally changed my life. The way I approach the troubles in my life, and how I apply life’s lessons. All I have to say is thank you to Stephen King for writing this wonderful story. No matter how this adaptation turns out, good or bad, it could never amount to what the books are. So I’m not nervous at all. Because at the end of it, if I hate it, I can always just re-re-re-read the series to be rid of the failure, like a heaping spoon of honey to chase a disgusting taste out of my mouth. Do what you will Howard! You’ve got nothing on King!! HAHAHA!!!

1ManNamedDan September 11, 2010 at 11:50 pm

@ James – Really …. U see some (an ounce of?) Rolland in that guy… I’m sorry dood but I do not- At all.

If it has to be a talent already named the closest I have seen (besides a younger Clint Eastwood of course), would be Stephen Moyers -Bill Compton from True Blood, and thats only because he has a quiet intensity about him . Granted Josh has a lil quiet fire but way to pretty (dimples and all).

We all have to set ourselves up for a little disappointment here… The Books were so good that theres really NO WAY that a director could take over for our own minds eye. Mr. King was able to tap into a story so deep in Ka that we all who read were affected by it.
The Gunslingers live in all of us now, for somebody else to try and show them to us would be akin to ask an artist to paint Gods face for us.
I felt sorry for George Lucas who tried to come back and tell the beginning of a story already so great (in our minds) that it brought a revolution to generations of imagination. He even tried to re-invent the technology to tell the story (like he did the first time around) but he just could not please those who wanted the BEST story EVER –
Kind of like King trying to bring the end of the Gunslinger’s story for us…
-before I truly believe he heard it- But he feared time was on him after that very near fatal accident, which was the only way he could make it real enough for us – to tell that story in his own story and let us know why the end is as it is- UNFINE..
… theres another door my friends beyond 19… Maybe this project will unlock it -and what is left to tell.

Justin September 13, 2010 at 10:26 pm

Like the Stephen Moyer Idea, also like Zoe Saldana playing Odetta not sure on Jake and Eddie

Red September 20, 2010 at 6:08 pm

After seeing the trailer for Priest I think Karl Urban would make a good Roland at some point in the series. I am tired of see Zoe Saldana I think maybe Raven Symone she is old enough. Hey maybe Stephen Moyer would work but if that is the case than consider Rutina Wesley as Odetta.

JD September 21, 2010 at 9:18 am

Stephen Moyer would be fine, but one that I really think would work well as far as looks, acting and the ability to do Movie/TV roles would be Thomas Jane. He has the ruff, rugged looks for Roland (Don’t forget that in most of the series, Roland is an older man). The young Roland, I am not sure who. I would definatly agree with Zoe Saldana to play Odetta. Eddie and Jake will take some time to think of.

Robert Ramirez October 14, 2010 at 12:04 pm

i realy havent fineshed the Dark tower sirea but wher i was at i was very impressed.

LarryLo October 15, 2010 at 8:17 am

Bout damn time….. Now I have to hurry up and read all 7 books again.

matt October 20, 2010 at 3:32 am

Viggo Mortensen for Roland. That’s my vote.. rough, rugged, tortured look.

KFlowers October 26, 2010 at 2:31 pm

Thomas Jane!?! Really??? I can’t see it personally- too attractive and still too young. Roland’s pretty old and not exactly ugly but not handsome which Thomas Jane simply is. And no Raven Samone, she’s not old enough to be around or close to 30 which Odetta/Detta is. Eddie is generally young as well between 25-27. To make something this long and big work, you are going to have to start fresh with no-name (haven’t made it, yet) actors because the commitment for this is like marriage. You think the Harry Potter kids were committed, these people are going to be Committed.

While this is a unique way to go, I still think it would have been cheaper, easier and more imaginative if they’d have made it into an anime series. That way Roland and the others are drawn to be what King would have wanted them to look like and you can’t knock the source. On top of that, a voice commitment isn’t as difficult to continue as an acting commitment.

Sean October 28, 2010 at 10:13 am

Look how well Spartacus Blood and Sand done. I think it will be a really good series if they make it something that resembles Spartacus. By that i mean a very interesting story(check) love for the characters(check) visually striking, and appropriate amounts of blood violence swearing and nudity. They could make it work, i believe.

Sean October 28, 2010 at 10:31 am

and for characters, id use

Roland- Maybe Matt Damon. He is around the same age Roland would be i believe(He’s 40) and from his performance on Departed and The Bourne trilogy, we know the kid has chops.
Or Thomas Jane. He definately has an edgier more bad ass quality. Look at the punisher. plus he is around the same age he would be as well.
If those 2 aren’t ‘it’ enough, id go ahead and say Hugh Jackman. Nuff said.

Eddie- Damn i wish Heath Ledger were still around… But id go ahead and say James Franco.

Detta/Odetta- Hale Barry. Why? well im not sure i just don’t know many black women around her 30’s

Jake- Logan Lerman. Why? He’s got that innocent child look. Yeah he is a bit older, but he would still be better that the bieb amirite?

Sean October 28, 2010 at 10:40 am

Sorry for the triple post…

One more candidate for Roland…

Andy Whitfield. No clue why i didn’t think before, but look at the guy. Watch Spartacus and you’ll see why. So much passion and commitment, on an HBO series of all places. And i think Daniel Craig has the eyes for Roland, but not the sheer baddassness needed for the part.

Neil November 3, 2010 at 7:01 pm

I think this movie definately needs to be a rated R or mature movie, based on the fact that the novels are so very intense violent and bloody. Anything less is just going to ruin it far all the Dark Tower fans which by the way are in fact adults. The youth of this generation dont appreciate good novels anymore so lets not cater to them with this one.

GoodMan November 7, 2010 at 2:26 pm

Most looking forward to the past of Roland, the fall of Gilead, the Battle of Jericho, and Farson! I hope it will look exactly like the comics, his hair no mistake. Alone I wait until I grow. Farson is God

John November 15, 2010 at 4:32 pm

This is fantastic news!

A while back, when I first started reading the series, I had laid out a character sheet, with each main character given an actor representing both what I felt was close to their features and behaviors.

I won’t name them all, but when I first started reading Gunslinger, I had seen the movie The Road and it starred Viggo Mortensen and ever since then, I wasn’t able to shake the image of Viggo as Roland and Kodi Smit-McPhee as Jake. I dunno why, maybe it was their chemistry together struggling in a world devoid of pleasantries together as Roland and Jake both had, but it stuck and it stuck well.

Regarding Eddie I kept thinking of James McAvoy and for Suze – good ol’ Whoopee Goldberg! (Just kidding.) Zoe Saldena. She’s everything Suze should be, except legless.

Anyway, just felt like sharing.

c December 3, 2010 at 4:49 pm

Josh Holloway while hot is too young to play Roland… Someone like Mark Harmon fron NCIS would be better.. Zoe Saladina would make a great Odetta/Detta/Susannah. the biggest difficulty I think would be finding a Jake. I cant wait to see what they come up with for the story line most stephen king movies have for the most part done the books justice and I hope darktower is no exception. Cant wait to see the special effects 🙂

TK December 13, 2010 at 4:15 pm

I like the idea of doing both TV and movies. I think you can look at the LOTR and see what was missed/left out because they had to focus on the “main” story. Also (although I’m not a big Harry Potter fan) the HP stories have been losing their flavor as well. I think mixing the mediums is an interesting way to solve both a story-telling and a financial concern…

TK December 13, 2010 at 4:23 pm

As for casting…I think whoever plays Roland should be a total unknow (dangerous, I know). But 1 of the reasons to read the novels is to find out who exactly Roland is, so an unknown actor without a history (although the some of the suggestions on here would work) would add to his (Roland’s) mystery in the beginning.
I’m all for Anthony Hopkins as the hermit in the desert in book 1 with the raven Zoltan! He could pull that off.
Other than that, I can’t say I’ve seen anybody that would fit the bill for any of the other characters.

TK December 13, 2010 at 4:25 pm

Ok, it’s a stretch…but what about Jayden Smith as Jake?

TK December 13, 2010 at 4:37 pm

Of all the suggestions I’ve seen for Roland, so far, Josh Brolin is the best bet (if they don’t get someone new). Pop some bombadier-blue contacts in, make him lose some weight, and you may have him. Although it would be tough watching the older brother from the Goonies playing Roland…

TK December 13, 2010 at 4:37 pm

Gary Oldman as Walter!

DJAY January 1, 2011 at 4:43 am

Viggo for Roland, James Franco for Eddie, Zo Saldana for O/D/S and Jae Head for Jake..he’s that blond kid from The Blind Side..

J.D. January 3, 2011 at 12:39 am

I just stumbled onto this site. i like some of the ideas for Roland. Viggo has the look for sure. I know this may sound crazy…But I have always thought that Bruce Campbell could pull off Roland if the movie has a good budget and director. Third option for me would be Gerard Butler. I know hes maybe too young, but, he has that intense aura that Roland has.
I am surprised that nobody has considered Ryan Reynolds for Eddie. He’s the perfect “smart ass” that Eddie is.
I Have never been able to picture Suze as any current actresses. think an unknown will land this role.
Peter Fonda as Walter.

Peter January 13, 2011 at 12:01 am

I am not worried about the production value of T.V. versus movie. If you have ever seen the show ‘Firefly’ and then the movie adaptation ‘Serenity’ you have all the proof you need. I never felt the T.V. show had anything less to offer.

BLR January 20, 2011 at 1:58 am

Nick Stahl as Eddie! Zoe Saldana as O/D/S! Dunno about Roland…it’s tough. Might want to see an unknown we can all fall in love with like we did when SK introduces us to Roland in the books themselves…

Donna March 9, 2011 at 3:33 pm

Can’t wait for this! I love all of these characters just like all of you do, but most especially Roland, of course. And I already love Josh Holloway, but definately think Andy Whitfield has an even better look and even more emotion. Still I have to agree with those who think this needs all unknowns. Roland needs that long, lean, chisled look and blue eyes–not Javier–more like Whitfield or the actor who played The Rifleman-can’t think of his name!

Daniel May 25, 2011 at 1:28 am

If funding for the movie series is a problem, I would be willing to donate twenty bucks or so if a proper, secure fund were set up. I’m sure there are lots of people that would do the same. I would just hate to see the films lose detail, or not be made at all, because of financial issues. Anyone else?

Vinny June 18, 2011 at 4:37 am

I agree with Daniel. Surely if money is an issue there are plenty of us fans that want to see this through.

Eddie April 9, 2012 at 10:08 am

I also believe Josh Brolin would be a better fit for the role of Roland. Javier is a good actor but doesn’t seem to fit, for that character. If it’s not set in stone ,reconsider please..

Stephanie April 22, 2012 at 9:13 pm

This is so awesome , I started reading this story in the 7th grade 🙂

Chris L September 8, 2012 at 12:20 pm

I’m here to second the nomination for Bruce Campbell to play Roland’s mid-late years! Take away his cheesy dialogue from previous films featuring him: and you could easily have a serious, dark haired, gruff looking, blue bombardier-eyed, direct descendant of Arthur Eld ready to go – simply add two shiny sandalwood gripped revolvers and several of your fellow ka-tet into a large bowl, stir vigorously for 10-15 mins, pour into the gunslinger mold and bake at 450 degrees for 35 mins. When done, garnish with a little emotional trauma, hard earned experience, and some lost love and you’ll have yourself one of the finest to ever brandish steel in mid-world.

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