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;
- Feature Length Film #1
- TV Season (used as a bridge to…)
- Feature Length Film #2
- TV Season
- 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.