Amazon is looking for a big tentpole show and in doing so they scooped up the rights to not one fantastical epic book series in Lord of the Rings, but also Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. The plan was that the Idris Elba led film would kick off a three movie franchise, with seasons of television on Amazon filling in between. Then the movie bombed and the rest of the films got scrapped and… Amazon is still making the show?
Evidently, we’re in line for yet another attempt (remember Ron Howard) to make this thing work and Roland and his ka-tet are getting full recast and reboot for the TV series. Variety reports that Jasper Pääkkönen and Sam Strike are cast in the pilot playing The Man in Black and Roland Deschain respectively. We still don’t know that much about the show, but it is supposedly going to be more faithful than the film, which tried to cram a lot from all the books into very little time. The plan is still to tell the story of how Roland became a Gunslinger and the beginning of the fall, so basically Wizard of Glass.
Strike is a bit of odd casting for me as he’s a bit younger and bit too babyfaced for The Gunslinger I’ve always had in my head, but he’s had good turns in shows so maybe he can pull it in. Pääkkönen, lord of the umlauts, is right in line for Marten/Man in Black, though.
Look, there’s a fantastic, long-running, genre-bending show to be made out of The Dark Tower, but I don’t know how anyone is ever going to pull it off. You’d need a committed budget to a slow burn story that won’t grab folks right away. Maybe starting at the beginning is a good way since that will set the groundwork for the awesome concept of an Authorian Western but I’m still skeptical we will ever see something truly great based on one of the best book series ever written.