Amazon's 'Dark Tower' Adaptation Casts Lead Roles

Sam Strike and Jasper Paakkonen will star in the project based on Stephen King's novel.
Rob Kim/Getty Images; Steve Granitz/WireImage
Sam Strike (left), Jasper Paakkonen

Amazon's Dark Tower adaptation has found its two leads.

Sam Strike and Jasper Paakkonen will star in the project based on Stephen King's novel, which has been in development since 2017 and at Amazon for nearly a year. With the two leads set, a formal pilot order is likely to follow.

Amazon declined comment.

Strike (Nightflyers) is set to play Roland Deschain, aka the Gunslinger, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter. Paakkonen (BlacKKKlansman, Vikings) will play Roland's adversary, the Man in Black, also known as Randall Flagg and Walter O'Dim (among other names).

The Media Rights Capital-produced series was initially intended to dovetail with the 2017 film adaptation of The Dark Tower, which starred Idris Elba as Roland and Matthew McConaughey as the Man in Black. Since then, however, it was decided that the series will stand on its own as a more faithful adaptation of the sprawling world King created across several books.

The Walking Dead veteran Glen Mazzara will serve as showrunner for the series. "I've been a Stephen King fan for decades, and the opportunity to adapt The Dark Tower as a TV series is a great honor," he told THR in 2017. "The events of The Gunslinger, Wizard and Glass, The Wind Through the Keyhole and other tales need a long format to capture the complexity of Roland's coming of age — how he became the Gunslinger, how Walter became the Man in Black, and how their rivalry cost Roland everything and everyone he ever loved. I could not be more excited to tell this story."

The Dark Tower is one of several ambitious series Amazon has in development, including a Lord of the Rings adaptation and a global event series helmed by Avengers: Endgame directors the Russo brothers. The streamer has also signed deals with the likes of Jordan Peele, Nicole Kidman and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel producers Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino.

Valence Media, the parent company of Media Rights Capital, also owns The Hollywood Reporter.