Just when you thought Stephen King was becoming slightly less relevant as of late, Universal announced today that it has acquired the rights to Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. They have an agreement for a film trilogy and an NBC series based on King’s critically acclaimed series.
Ron Howard (Apollo 13) has signed on to direct the first film, as well as the first season of the TV show. Also announced as head writer was Akiva Goldsman, best known for writing The Da Vinci Code.
The films and television series will have a wide range of material to pull from as King has written seven novels, short stories and comic books. The Dark Tower has sold more than 30 million copies and has been sold in over 40 countries. After the completion of the original series of seven books, a prequel series of comic books based on one of the characters was also published.
In the story, Roland Deschain is the last living member of an order known as gunslingers and the last of the line of “Arthur Eld”, his world’s King Arthur. Politically organized along the lines of a feudal society, it shares technological and social characteristics with the American Old West, but is also a world of fantasy and magic. No word on how the story will progress and whether the films and television series will have intertwining linear story lines throughout.
In his statement regarding the deal, King said, “I’ve been waiting for the right team to bring the characters and stories in these books to film and TV viewers around the world.” The strange part of this statement is that he originally sold the rights to the property to J.J. Abrams’ company for a whopping sixteen dollars. Unfortunately, Abrams did nothing with the rights.