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MIke Flanagan developing The Dark Tower series!

December 8th, 2022 by Marc Comments

Oh, man, Dark Tower fans, how far we have come.

Stephen King’s eight-book (actually about 40 books as it encompasses most of his books in some way or other) fantasy masterpiece, The Dark Tower has had such a bumpy road to the big – and small screen.

Originally set to be a tv and movie series under Ron Howard, after years in development hell, we finally got a movie in 2017 under director Nikolaj Arcel and starring Idris Elba as the star of the story, Roland Deschain, the last gunslinger from Gilead who was on a quest to save the Dark Tower, the nexus point of reality that held back the monsters and the evil hidden in the Todash space between worlds. His opponent in the movie was Walter O’Dim, the Man in Black, played by Matthew McConaughey. It should have been a hit, with such great actors but sadly it wasn’t. It was far from it.

There were many reasons for this, many of which i have spoken about many times, from the condensing of eight massive novels into a movie that barely scraped past 90mins to the casting of Elba who was miscast as Roland and before anyone starts, if you read the books and know if Roland’s relationship with Suzanne, then you’ll know why Elba should not have been cast. Whatever the reason(s), the movie, while having some great set design and a solid score from Junkie XL, was a disaster and while it was envisioned as a sequel to the books, a lost chapter to wrap the whole story up (constant readers will know what this means), it failed in a big, big way.

Then, after the movie’s failure, Amazon stepped in and filmed a pilot episode of what was to be a Dark Tower TV series. The series was to tell the story of Wizard & Glass, the fourth book in the Dark Tower series (it’s a prequel story that tells the tale of how Roland becomes a Gunslinger and starts on the path of the beam that leads to the Tower) but it was canceled before being picked up.

And it’s a pity as it had a great cast with Eastenders star Sam Strike as the young Roland, BlackkKlansman and Vikings star Jasper Paakkonen as The Man In Black, Game of Thrones star Jerome Flynn the legend that is Michael Rooker were also both onboard (here), so it was sad news when we heard that once more, Roland’s quest for the Tower was thwarted.

Previous Dark Tower showrunner explains what his Dark Tower series would have been

Enter Mike Flanagan.

Flanagan is not only a great director  – The Haunting of Hill House, Midnight Club – but he’s also a MASSIVE fan of King with Gerald’s Game and Doctor Sleep both under his belt and his Midnight Mass series being one of the biggest homages to King we’ve ever seen.

Flanagan has for a long time, been trying to get The Dark Tower made with him saying as recently as October (here) that it was his dream project – and he was always dropping little hints about his love for King’s masterpiece (like this) and then, just a few days ago, we found out that he had left Netflix – where he made Midnight Mass and Midnight Club – and was heading to Amazon and a thought occurred to me…

And it seems I was right – sort of – and, yes, he’s developing The Dark Tower series!

Mike Flanagan reveals plans and plot details for now cancelled Midnight Club season 2 and beyond 

It broke earlier that Flanagan, along with Trevor Macey – they both own Intrepid Pictures – are developing the Dark Tower although, for now, it’s not with Amazon’s involvement but anything can happen when Roland sets his sights on The Beam once again.


“Predating our deal with Amazon, we acquired the rights to The Dark Tower, which if you know anything about me, you know it has been my Holy Grail of a project for most of my life,” Flanagan says.

“We actually have those rights carved out of our Amazon deal, which doesn’t mean that they can’t or won’t get behind it at some point — you don’t know. But that’s something we’ve been developing ourselves and are really passionate about finally getting it up on its feet at some point.”

Given how long he’s wanted a crack at the Tower, Flanagan has revealed that he also has already written the pilot and has the seasons all planned out: “I wrote a pilot, we view it as a series that’s going at least five seasons. And having lived with this project as long as I have, I have an enormous amount of it worked out in my brain. But I have a pilot script I’m thrilled with and a very detailed outline for the first season and a broader outline for the subsequent seasons. I think eventually, if we’re able to get it going, there are some other writers I want to fold into that process whom I’ve worked with before; I think they would be really fabulous for a very small, intimate writers’ room where we can continue to break it.”

Flanagan has said before that the series will begin with the iconic opening from the books: The Man in Black fled across the desert and the Gunslinger followed (I still get goosebumps just writing that), saying “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. 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.” And his idea to have a writers’ room is not a surprising one – the Dark Tower is a tale that makes Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones look like an episode of Brooklyn 99 in scale. It spans realities, worlds, time, magic, stories from other books and even has Harry Potter, Doctor Doom and King himself written into it, so it’s a mammoth task and, if I’m honest, I don’t think five seasons will be enough… but I have faith in Flanagan and co.

Flanagan: “What would it look like? Well, it would look like the books.”

He goes on: “The pilot script is one of my favorite things I’ve ever gotten to work on. It’s been surreal working on that. So 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.”

I first picked up The Gunslinger around 1990 and I’ve read the series many times – I’m re-reading it at the minute – so, like Flanagan, this is a dream of mine too. I hope he remembers the face of his father.

Oh, and just before I go, Midnight Club star Igby Rigney recently revealed that Flanagan got him hooked on The Dark Tower books, saying: “He [Flanagan] talks about Stephen King all the time… I just decided to go all in and now I’m obsessed.”

A throwaway comment? or is there more to this because, between you and me, I think this kid, left, could play Eddie Dean, one of Roland’s Ka-Tet. There’ll be water if God wills it, and all that.

Long days and pleasant nights, folks…
Source: Variety

Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….