6:28am PT by James Hibberd
King's Dark Tower epic to become movies, TV series
It's official: Universal's film and TV divisions are joining forces to adapt Stephen King's epic fantasy series The Dark Tower.
The companies will produce three films and a TV shows based on King's seven Dark Tower novels, short stories and comic books.
Ron Howard will direct the first film and first season of the TV show, which will be written by Oscar winner Akiva Goldsman.
The hugely ambitious and rather unprecedented project was previously in development at J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot production house, then the rights were obtained by Imagine Entertainment in April.
The heavy hitting producer lineup includes Goldsman, Howard and Brian Grazer. Kerry Foster will executive produce the first film with Todd Hallowell and Erica Huggins.
The books chronicle the mysterious The Gunslinger as he travels across a desolate and vaguely post-apocalyptic landscape in his quest for a black tower. Portals along the way eventually allow contact with our own modern world.
"I’ve been waiting for the right team to bring the characters and stories in these books to film and TV viewers around the world," King said. "Ron, Akiva, Brian along with Universal and NBC have a deep interest and passion for the The Dark Tower series and I know that will translate into an intriguing series of films and TV shows that respect the origins and the characters in The Dark Tower that fans have come to love."
Howard, Grazer and Goldsman plan first film in the trilogy to be immediately followed by a TV series that will bridge the second film. After the second film, the TV series will show the adventures of The Gunslinger as a young man as a bridge to the third film and beyond.
"The worlds of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series are richly detailed, inter-locking and deeply connected," Goldsman said. "By telling this story across media platforms and over multiple hours—and with a view to telling it completely—we have our best chance of translating Roland’s quest to reach The Dark Tower onto screen. We are proceeding with tremendous excitement, fidelity to the source material and, quite frankly, no small amount of awe at this opportunity."
The books have sold more than 20 million copies in 40 countries.