Just one day before Sony Pictures' long-awaited The Dark Tower heads into theaters, the sprawling adaptation's TV series component has taken another big step forward. Glen Mazzara, a former showrunner on AMC's hit zombie series The Walking Dead, has come aboard to serve as the showrunner and executive producer of The Dark Tower TV series. This comes just weeks after writer-producer Akiva Goldsman confirmed that the pilot script has already been written, and that Idris Elba will reprise his role from The Dark Tower movie as Roland Deschain, a.k.a. The Gunslinger. While the TV series doesn't have a network home at this time, Sony and Media Rights Capital (MRC) are still aiming to start production in 2018.
The Hollywood Reporter broke the news on this highly-anticipated TV series, which the producers are envisioning as a "straight-to-series project," meaning they hope to bypass the pilot phase. Sources claim that producers are eyeing a first season order that would span between 10 and 13 episodes for air on a cable network or streaming service. Here's what Glen Mazzara had to say about the project, confirming a report from last year that the series will be based on Wizard and Glass, while adding that it will also be based on the first book The Gunslinger, the fifth book, The Wind Through the Keyhole, and more.
"I've been a Stephen King fan for decades and the opportunity to adapt The Dark Tower as a TV series is a great honor. The events of The Gunslinger, Wizard & Glass, The Wind Through the Keyhole, and other tales need a long format to capture the complexity of Roland's coming of age, how he became The Gunslinger, how Walter became the Man in Black, and how their rivalry cost Roland everything and everyone he ever loved. I could not be more excited to tell this story. It feels like being given the key to a treasure chest. And oh yeah, we'll have billy-bumblers!"
This new report also reveals the series will be "independent" from the movie adaptation, although The Dark Tower stars Idris Elba (Roland Deschain), Dennis Haysbert (Roland's father Steven Deschain) and Tom Taylor (Jake Chambers) are slated to return, although it isn't known how big a capacity their return will be. The series will actually focus on a younger Roland Deschain and his group, although those characters have not yet been cast. Insiders claim that the TV series is not a "prequel," but rather an "origin story."
The pilot script was written by The Dark Tower director Nikolaj Arcel and his co-writer Anders Thomas Jensen, with Akiva Goldsman serving as executive producer along with his Weed Road Productions president Gregory Lessans and Imagine Television's Ron Howard and Brian Grazer. Akiva Goldsman was originally tasked with writing the pilot script when The Dark Tower movie and TV series were both set up at Universal Pictures. We reported back in May that Glen Mazzara was tapped to write the pilot script for a Sin City TV series. Aside from serving as The Walking Dead showrunner, Glen Mazzara also served as a writer and producer on hit shows like The Shield, Crash and Damien.