“In honor of Stephen King’s birthday, the makers of The Dark Tower film are unwrapping their plans for the saga’s companion TV series.
The movie — starring Idris Elba as the gunslinger Roland Deschain, and Matthew McConaughey as the menacing Man in Black — opens on Feb. 17 and explores the hero and villain’s opposing quests to reach an otherworldly tower that connects their apocalyptic realm with ours.
Ever since the film project was first proposed, it came packaged with an unusual idea: a spin-off TV show that would fill in the fantasy epic’s prodigious backstory.
Now, sources at production company MRC and the film’s producer and co-screenwriter, Akiva Goldsman, have revealed to EW exclusive details about what they have planned for that series.
First off, it’s definitely happening.
MRC and Sony Pictures, which is releasing the film, have committed not just to financing a pilot but a full run of between 10 and 13 episodes, depending on how the scripts and story arcs develop.The Dark Tower show will begin shooting in 2017 with plans to premiere it in 2018, ideally around the time the film becomes available on cable or streaming services.
What the producers don’t yet have is a distributor. The darkness of the story rivals that of Game of Thrones, so they will require either a cable or streaming platform (MRC also makes House of Cards for Netflix, so they have a history already.) But MRC is not going to wait for a partner to come aboard before moving forward.
Elba has signed on to appear as older Roland alongside Tom Taylor, 15, who plays Jake Chambers in the film, a boy from present-day New York who harbors a secret, psychic power and is grappling with visions of the tower and the men (and other creatures) who are trying to reach it…”