The Dark Tower: Mike Flanagan officially working on series adaptation of Stephen King saga

Genre filmmaker Mike Flanagan (Gerald’s Game, Doctor Sleep, The Haunting of Hill House, etc.) recently told us that an adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower saga was his dream project, and that he and his producing partner Trevor Macy are “going to keep pushing to try and make (The Dark Tower) happen until someone stops them.” Now Flanagan and Macy have revealed to Deadline that they have secured the rights to the Dark Tower books and are developing a series adaptation. Looks like Flanagan might have the chance to make his dream come true!

Last week, it was announced that Flanagan and Macy’s company Intrepid Pictures had signed a multiyear series deal with Amazon Studios, moving on from their previous deal with Netflix. This stirred up speculation that the deal could bring the Dark Tower rights into Flanagan’s hands, as a previous attempt at turning the stories into a series had been set up at Amazon with The Walking Dead‘s Glen Mazzara as showrunner. A pilot was shot, but Amazon chose not to order the series. Speaking with Deadline, Flanagan said that Intrepid Pictures actually secured the Dark Tower rights before they finalized the Amazon deal.

Predating our deal with Amazon, we acquired the rights to The Dark Tower, which if you know anything about me, you know it has been my Holy Grail of a project for most of my life. We actually have those rights carved out of our Amazon deal, which doesn’t mean that they can’t or won’t get behind it at some point — you don’t know. But that’s something we’ve been developing ourselves and are really passionate about finally getting it up on its feet at some point.

As for the current status of the adaptation, Flanagan said, “I wrote a pilot, we view it as a as a series that’s going at least five seasons. And having lived with this project as long as I have, I have an enormous amount of it worked out in my brain. But I have a pilot script I’m thrilled with and a very detailed outline for the first season and a broader outline for the subsequent seasons. I think eventually, if we’re able to get it going, there are some other writers I want to fold into that process whom I’ve worked with before; I think they would be really fabulous for a very small, intimate writers room where we can continue to break it. I’ll tell you, more than half of my life, I’ve closed my eyes and been able to watch a lot of this play out, I’ve dreamed about this. That first shot which comes right off at the first incredible sentence of the first book, The Gunslinger, I’ve had that image just rattling around in my head since I was an undergrad. It’s going to have to get out of there eventually, I really need to get it out of my head. The pilot script is one of my favorite things I’ve ever gotten to work on. It’s been surreal working on that. So we’ve been floored and grateful that Stephen King trusts us with such an undertaking, something so precious to him, and we hope to find the right partners to realize it.

Intrepid was able to get the Dark Tower rights because Flanagan sent Stephen King “a very, very detailed outline of what I wanted to do with it. And it was in response to that, that he gave us the rights. A project like this, I wouldn’t want to be involved in it at all If we were taking it in a direction that was going to be blasphemous to the Stephen King material, but he’s been very, very supportive and very excited about what we’d like to do with it.

Flanagan went on to say that he envisions the five seasons of the Dark Tower series being followed by two feature films, but he doesn’t want to get too far ahead of himself. The focus right now is on getting the series up and running.

Are you glad to hear that the rights to The Dark Tower are in the hands of Mike Flanagan? Share your thoughts on this news by leaving a comment below.

Many of Stephen King’s stories and novels are connected to The Dark Tower in some way, but the Dark Tower series itself consists of The Gunslinger, The Drawing of the Three, The Waste Lands, Wizard and Glass, The Wind Through the Keyhole, Wolves of the Calla, Song of Susannah, The Dark Tower, and the short story The Little Sisters of Eluria.

The Dark Tower

Source: Deadline

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.