The Dark Tower TV series is not moving forward at Amazon, according to Deadline, which reports that the studio decided to pass on the pilot as it felt that it was not up to par with the other big-budget genre series (such Wheel of Time and The Lord of the Rings) coming to the streaming service. Per the outlet, Dark Tower production company MRC is now shopping the pilot around to other studios.
The show was set to star Sam Strike (Nightflyers) as gunslinger protagonist Roland Deschain, Jasper Pääkkönen (Vikings) was reportedly set to play the villainous Man in Black. Deadline reports that the cast also included Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead), Jerome Flynn (Game of Thrones), and Joana Ribeiro (The Man Who Killed Don Quixote).
While the series was originally planned to tie into the 2017 film, Stephen King later explained in an interview with Vulture that that was no longer the case: “The TV series they’re developing now … we’ll see what happens with that. It would be like a complete reboot, so we’ll just have to see.”
Amazon’s The Dark Tower would have instead adapted Wizard & Glass, the fourth book in the King series, which is set decades before Roland begins his quest. This would have been an origin story of sorts for the gunslinger.
Glen Mazzara, who previously helmed The Walking Dead season 3, was tapped as showrunner, while Stephen Hopkins (Predator 2, A Nightmare on Elm Street 5) was set to direct the pilot. Akiva Goldsman, who produced and co-wrote the film adaptation, was an executive producer, along with Jeff Pinkner, Ron Howard, and Brian Grazer. Nikolaj Arcel, who directed The Dark Tower movie, and screenwriter Anders Thomas Jensen wrote a script for the pilot and were also executive producers.
It’s no so surprising that Amazon has decided to pass on the series. After all, the movie was almost universally panned by critics and it only made $113 million globally, which was considered a massive flop for a blockbuster starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey. The franchise is damaged goods, to say the least. And like the film before it, the TV series will likely have a difficult time finding another studio to make it. While there’s always hope, especially when it comes to a King adaptation, there might be other worlds than these for studios to explore.
We’ll keep you updated as we hear more.