Well, it took years but “The Dark Tower”, a series of popular novels by Stephen King, are being adapted. It began in 2007 when JJ Abrams was attached to produce and direct an adaptation. Then, after Abrams became concerned with other projects such as “Star Trek” which was released in 2009, Ron Howard took over for several years trying to adapt the work. His idea was far more ambitious.
Originally Howard saw adapting “The Dark Tower” as a multi-media project (A film, then a one-off miniseries followed by another film and then another one-off miniseries and so on).
At first, the major reason by Howard was the budget. Obviously making multiple films and multiple series was something considered quite ambitious at the time by Universal, who is still the studio behind the adaptation today.
After even more development hell, Howard was, for unknown reasons, lowered to an executive producer role and Danish director Nikolaj Arcel, known for his 2012 Oscar-nominated film “A Royal Affair”, was brought on to helm the film. Throughout all of this, Akiva Goldman rewrote the script multiple times until, finally, in 2015 it was announced that the film, based off the first book in the series (“The Gunslinger”), had a set release date of January 13, 2017.
And now, the first major bit of potential casting has been announced. It has recently been reported that Matthew McConaughey, who just won the Academy Award for Best Actor for 2013’s “Dallas Buyers Club”, has been offered the villain role of the “Man in Black”.
A little history for you, the “Man in Black” appears in King’s “The Gunslinger”, serving as a prominent villain that lead character Roland (The Gunslinger) looks for throughout the first book. He also goes by the name of Randall Flagg who appeared in King’s other popular book “The Stand”. Of course, no surprise, McConaughey has also been offered the role of the character in the film series being made from “The Stand” as well. The reason for Flagg appearing in both novels is that King’s novels tend to all connect through the “multiple universes” concept. Throughout King’s writing history, many concepts from his books have popped up in one another. Flagg serving as a villain in two of his books is an example of this.
While actors Javier Bardem and Russell Crowe have been rumored to play the role of Roland in the past when Howard was directing, there is no word who is up for the lead character as of yet under Arcel’s tenure as director. Whoever it is I’m sure he’ll be…
The first film, titled “The Gunslinger” like the book it’s adapted from, is said to be the first in a series of films based off the entire “The Dark Tower” series of books. There is no further mention of the interlude television series that Howard hoped to air between each film being released. However, MRC will develop a TV series that simply goes along with the film franchise.
All is know is the script is by both Akiva Goldsman and Jeff Pinkner, who will also executive produce. Goldsman and Imagine Entertainment’s Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Erica Huggins will produce. We’ll keep you updated as this long-awaited adaptation finally comes to fruition, hopefully in a way that will make fans proud.