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A TV adaptation of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series of novels is in development — again.
The latest stab at King’s supernatural western, which spans eight novels, comes from The Haunting and Doctor Sleep helmer Mike Flanagan and his Intrepid Pictures partner Trevor Macy. The duo have rights to the books, and Flanagan has written a pilot for what he calls his “Holy Grail” of TV work.
“We view it as a as a series that’s going at least five seasons,” Flanagan said in an interview with Deadline. “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.”
Intrepid Pictures recently signed an overall deal with Amazon Studios after several years with Netflix, which produced two seasons of The Haunting, Midnight Mass and The Midnight Club, along with the forthcoming Fall of the House of Usher. The Dark Tower, however, is carved out of the Amazon deal (and was at Netflix as well), which could allow Flanagan and Macy to shop the project to other outlets if they choose.
The Dark Tower has a fraught Hollywood history that spans more than a decade. In 2010, Universal and Imagine announced an ambitious set of three feature films and a companion TV series, with Ron Howard set to direct the first one and Akiva Goldsman adapting King’s work. Budget concerns led the movies being scrapped, and while Imagine’s Brian Grazer had hoped to land the series at HBO, that too never came to pass.
Fast forward to 2015: Sony and MRC joined Imagine to revive The Dark Tower, again with plans for both films and a TV series. That deal resulted in a 2017 feature starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, and plans for a series delving into the origins of Elba’s character. The Walking Dead and The Shield veteran Glen Mazzara was hired as a showrunner for the series.
The movie had a somewhat disappointing box office showing, grossing $113 million worldwide. The series eventually landed at Amazon’s Prime Video but was retooled to be a more faithful adaptation of King’s sprawling story. It got as far as casting the two leads but didn’t move beyond that.
Flanagan and Macy have a history with adapting King’s works. Flanagan wrote and directed 2019’s Doctor Sleep, a sequel to The Shining, and directed and co-wrote the Netflix feature Gerald’s Game, based on King’s novel of the same title. Macy produced both films.
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