Excitement for The Dark Tower franchise might have cooled when the movie adaptation of the Stephen King epic failed to excite the box office, but the film's poor reception apparently didn't affect plans for a series adaptation. Amazon Studios will begin production on the series in a few short months.
The original plan was to have a trilogy of big screen Dark Tower movies, with a TV season taking place between each film, filling in the gaps with stories from protagonist Roland Deschain's past. This was a huge project spearheaded first by Ron Howard, then by Akiva Goldsman.
However, when the movie arrived, it didn't tell any story from the Stephen King novels. Instead, the film was an alternate take on the events of the books. Talk of the trilogy and the TV shows died with the movie, which ended its theatrical run at $50.7 million domestic on a budget of $60 million.
Despite that, two years later the TV series is underway again. Amazon Studios will start production on The Dark Tower in mid-April, according to That Hashtag Show. The series will film in Croatia, lasting until late June. According to the site, the two-year delay is the result of Amazon wanting to distance its upcoming series from the film's poor reception.
The Dark Tower series by Stephen King tells the story of Roland of Gilead, the last Gunslinger, and his quest to find the Tower. Along the way, he picks up a group of friends known as his ka-tet, including recovering drug addict Eddie Dean, a schizophrenic woman named Susannah/Odetta and a young boy named Jake Chambers.
The story follows them on their quest for the Tower while sharing stories from their pasts, mixing in characters and events from King's other novels and stories, culminating in a very meta ending that included the author himself.
The Dark Tower movie featured Roland and The Man in Black, and also included Jake Chambers, but never reached the stage where Eddie and Susannah entered the picture. It doesn't look like this TV series will pursue that story either.
Amazon will instead tell one of the stories from Roland's past -- as was originally planned. In this series, Roland is a young boy who has his original ka-tet of Cuthbert, Alain, Ileen and Jamie, as well as his girlfriend Susan. These names are very familiar to fans of the King novels, with casting seeking out actors between the ages of 16 and 18 years old.
The series' villain is Marten Broadcloak, who has an affair with Roland's mother. That sends Roland after Marten with his guns in hand, bringing his father, Steven, chasing after him.
There is no release date yet for Amazon's The Dark Tower. Glen Mazzara (The Walking Dead), Akiva Goldsman and Stephen King will serve as producers.