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This Is Not a Drill: Mike Flanagan Is Developing a ‘Dark Tower’ TV Series!

I'm about to dance the Commala.

Cover art for Stephen King's The Dark Tower

Fans of Stephen King’s novels know how difficult it is to translate his works into decent movies. Some have been great, like Misery and Carrie; and King’s non-horror stories, Stand By Me and The Shawshank Redemption, have become classics. The Shining has become a horror movie staple, yet the book’s ending varied from Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation. And then there are movies like Thinner and Needful Things, which did not live up to the source material. We all have our favorites, as well as those we would rather forget existed.

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One King adaptation fans have most tried to erase from their memories is 2017’s The Dark Tower. The movie had a lot of promise, with great actors Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey starring as rivals. But as a huge fan of The Dark Tower series, it was heartbreaking to watch. For all of those who follow the path of the beam, it looks like filmmaker Mike Flanagan is coming to our rescue. During an interview with Deadline, the horror king revealed that he has a Dark Tower project in the works.

A new path to the Tower

Along with discussing their recent break with Netflix, Flanagan and creative partner Trevor Macy revealed that they are developing The Dark Tower as a television series. Flanagan’s plan is to take the seven main books and create a five-season series, potentially followed by two “standalone features”—probably with some of the backstories and side plots that don’t fully play into the main narrative. There is a lot of ground (in several dimensions) to cover with this series, so even five seasons doesn’t feel like enough for the science fiction western saga.

With Flanagan at the helm, I feel like we are in good hands. His horror series on Netflix have raised the bar on the genre, especially The Haunting of Hill House and Midnight Mass, which are equal parts emotional drama and horror. Not only has he shown his merit as a horror filmmaker, but Flanagan has also already successfully tackled two different King novels: His take on Doctor Sleep didn’t go over well with critics, but his adaptation of Gerald’s Game (another King novel that seemed impossible to adapt) was just as terrifying as the book.

One of the worst things about 2017’s The Dark Tower was the lack of characters from the books. The villainous Man in Black, gunslinger Roland Deschain, and Jake Chambers were there, but as anyone who read the books knows, so many more great characters were missing: Along with Jake, Eddie Dean and Susannah round out Roland’s “ka-tet”—without whom he couldn’t fulfill his quest. And then there is the real MVP, Oy—a chatty creature known as a billy-bumbler, which looks like a mix between a raccoon and a dog. Why would you ever leave out Oy? Flanagan has the chance to right these wrongs and I cannot wait to see what he comes up with.

As of now, Flanagan says he has already written the pilot for his Dark Tower series, which he says is “one of my favorite things I’ve ever gotten to work on.” Flanagan and Macy also added that the series is being developed independently through their production company and separate from their new deal with Amazon. The studio previously produced and subsequently scrapped a pilot for a Dark Tower series spearheaded by former Walking Dead showrunner Glen Mazzara.

(featured image: Netflix)

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D.R. Medlen
D.R. Medlen (she/her) is a pop culture staff writer at The Mary Sue. After finishing her BA in History, she finally pursued her lifelong dream of being a full-time writer in 2019. She expertly fangirls over Marvel, Star Wars, and historical fantasy novels (the spicier the better). When she's not writing or reading, she lives that hobbit-core life in California with her spouse, offspring, and animal familiars.

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