Stephen King movies have always been hit and miss, but none of his books has had a hard time at being adapted for the big or small screen as The Dark Tower, the prolific author and forest-killer’s longtime passion project. Started in 1982 and spanning what is currently eight books (plus a novella), it’s a genre-bending epic that’s proven tough to transfer to another medium. A movie version languished in development hell for ages before stumbling into multiplexes in 2017, earning terrible reviews and precious little money. Perhaps it would work better as a TV show, some wondered.
But now we have an answer to that one as well: As per Deadline, a threatened TV version, has earned a pass from Amazon Studios, despite being shepherded by The Walking Dead‘s Glen Mazzara. Deadline’s source claims Team Amazon thought it was “not on the level” as such forthcoming Amazon fantasy shows as The Wheel of Time and their stab at The Lord of the Rings.
Mind you, that doesn’t mean the end for The Dark Tower as a motion picture extravaganza. The project, handled by The Walking Dead’s Glen Mazzara, focuses on the origin story of its grizzled gunslinger, Roland, who would be played by Sam Strike. We’d also see his first encounter with the sinister Man in Black (Jasper Pääkönnen).
The film version was a kind of spin-off and mish-mash, taking elements from some of the books, but essentially treated it as a probably inadvertent riff on Last Action Hero, with a kid from Earth bringing Idris Elba’s Roland, along with Matthew McConaughey’s MiB, to our world, where mid-budget havoc was wreaked. It did not launch a franchise. If this Mulligan doesn’t work out either, King can always take comfort by writing a ninth episode — after he’s done been roasted for his recent Twitter comments on diversity.