Any adaptation of Stephen King's The Dark Tower was always going to need to be ambitious, but the initial plans just seemed a stretch. The multi-platform plans would include a movie franchise led by Idris Elba as the Gunslinger and Matthew McConaughey as the evil Man in Black, and Nikolaj Arcel directing. But there was also a TV series component, the likelihood of which has fluctuated for years.
Today we learn that the small-screen series will indeed happen with Elba reprising his role, joined by co-star Tom Taylor who plays Jake Chambers. Or at the very least they'll be part of a framing sequence for the 10-13 episode series, that is looking to begin in 2017 for debut in 2018. The fourth book in King's series, "Wizard and Glass", will serve as the source material and it focuses on the Gunslinger Roland Deschain's earlier years as the Man in Black tried to manipulate his destruction.The present day will be the setting and will follow a young boy “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.” So expect a different actor to play Deschain, and possibly the villain as well since McConaughey isn't confirmed. So far there is no showrunner attached.
This should help assuage those who were concerned about the amount of material left out of the film. However it'll be interesting to see what happens if either the movie or TV series is a flop. As we've seen recently with Terminator Genisys, if one side fails the whole thing comes tumbling down. The Dark Tower opens February 17th 2017. [EW]