Thursday, September 9, 2010
Stephen King's The Dark Tower Coming to Theatres and Television
Stephen King’s massive The Dark Tower novel series is now getting the mass media full-court press that fans have been waiting so long for. The adaptation will be groundbreaking in that it will be adapted as both a film trilogy and television show from Universal Pictures and NBC Universal Television Entertainment.
As reported on Deadline.com, Ron Howard's team — responsible for Cinderella Man A Beautiful Mind, and the film version of The Da Vinci Code — will creatively head the adaptation, with Howard set to direct the first film and TV season.
Simultaneously launching a TV series and film trilogy is a relatively unprecedented move, and a clear attempt to do justice to the seven novels of source material. This has never before been attempted: using a major studio’s film and TV platforms simultaneously to tell a story. It is reminiscent of when Peter Jackson directed three installments of The Lord of The Rings, back to back, so that they could be released in three consecutive years.
“What Peter did was a feat, cinematic history,” said Howard. “The approach we’re taking also stands on its own, but 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. The scope and scale call for a big screen budget. But 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. We’ve put some real time and deep thought into this, and a lot of conversations and analysis from a business standpoint, to get people to believe in this and take this leap with us. I hope audiences respond
to it in a way that compels us to keep going after the first year or two of work. It’s fresh territory for me, as a filmmaker.”
The plan is for the first movie to come out, followed by Season 1 of the series. Movie 2 comes after that, continuing the story. Season 2 and beyond of the TV show (it’s unclear just how many) will then reach into the past, using the material from the comic book series to tell more of the history of Roland Deschain. Finally, Movie 3 will wrap up the story.
That means the feature cast—and the big star who’ll play Deschain—also has to appear in the TV series before returning to the second film. That also probably means we will see a cast of relative unknowns cast for the series.
The Dark Tower revolves around Roland Deschain, the last living member of a knightly order of gunslingers, and humanity’s last hope to save a civilization that will crumble unless he finds the Dark Tower.