Mike Flanagan and Trevor Macy (The Haunting of Hill House, Midnight Mass) are preparing to take on an adaptation of epic proportions. The duo recently revealed that they’ve acquired the rights to Stephen King’s The Dark Tower book series, which they envision adapting into a five-season TV show, followed by two stand-alone movies.
This project exists outside of the recently inked deal between Flanagan and Macy’s Intrepid Pictures and Amazon Studios, though Flanagan notes the pair would be “thrilled” if Amazon gets involved. A previous attempt at adapting The Dark Tower over at Amazon proved unsuccessful. The series was last adapted as a feature film in 2017 with Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey in the lead roles, but a poor box office performance and abysmal critical reception killed any hope of a sequel.
Mixing the science fiction, horror, dark fantasy, and Western genres, The Dark Tower series is composed of nine books and serves as something of a linchpin of the Stephen King universe. The books follow gunslinger Roland Deschain as he travels across the post-apocalyptic of Mid-World in search of a powerful but elusive magical edifice. The intricate and sprawling mythology of the series makes it difficult to adapt, but with Flanagan having successfully adapted the King novels Gerald’s Game and Doctor Sleep, he may be just the man to do it.
“I’ll tell you, more than half of my life, I’ve closed my eyes and been able to watch a lot of this play out, I’ve dreamed about this,” Flanagan explains in the interview with Deadline. “That first shot which comes right off at the first incredible sentence of the first book, The Gunslinger, I’ve had that image just rattling around in my head since I was an undergrad. It’s going to have to get out of there eventually, I really need to get it out of my head.”
Flanagan also reveals that he’s already written the script for the pilot and created a detailed outline for the first season. He also has a broad outline for subsequent seasons and hopes to be able to bring in other writers he’s collaborated with to work on the project.
“We’ve been floored and grateful that Stephen King trusts us with such an undertaking, something so precious to him, and we hope to find the right partners to realize it,” Flanagan says. “[…] A project like this, I wouldn’t want to be involved in it at all If we were taking it in a direction that was going to be blasphemous to the Stephen King material, but he’s been very, very supportive and very excited about what we’d like to do with it.”
Words: Samantha McLaren (@themeatispeople)