Universal to produce three films and TV series based on Stephen King's 'The Dark Tower'

Stephen-KingImage Credit: Lee Roth/RothStock/PR PhotosUniversal announced today that it has acquired the rights to produce three films and an NBC series based on the seven novels, short stories and comic books from Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. Ron Howard will direct the first film and the first season of the TV show, which will be written by Akiva Goldsman (The Da Vinci Code).

“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,” said King, in a statement. “Ron, Akiva, Brian along with Universal and NBC have a deep interest and passion for the The Dark Tower series and I know that will translate into an intriguing series of films and TV shows that respect the origins and the characters in The Dark Tower that fans have come to love.”

More than 30 million copies of The Dark Tower have been sold in 40 countries. After the series of seven books was completed, a prequel of comic books based on one of the characters was also published.

“The worlds of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series are richly detailed, inter-locking and deeply connected,” said Goldsman in a statement.  “By telling this story across media platforms and over multiple hours—and with a view to telling it completely—we have our best chance of translating Roland’s quest to reach The Dark Tower onto screen.  We are proceeding with tremendous excitement, fidelity to the source material and, quite frankly, no small amount of awe at this opportunity.”

King is also a columnist for Entertainment Weekly.

Comments (222 total) Add your comment
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  • Angel2480

    Now can they PLEASE go ahead and cast Josh Holloway as Eddie????

    • ShotgunShogun

      Interesting choice…

    • Jason

      I just finished the series last year and that’s EXACTLY who I pictured as Eddie! He is PERFECT casting.

      • Peter Bentley


      • finally

        dude. love him but waaay to old to play eddie

    • finally

      i vote james mcavoy as eddie, he’s perfecttt

      • Peter Bentley

        Guess again!

      • finally


      • Lily



      Yes! Yes! Awesome idea! Josh Holloway would be great and I hear Stephen King was a fan of LOST.

      • Peter Bentley

        No, he hated Lost. Especially the bit about the plane crash.

      • Florence

        Actually King was a huge fan of Lost. He was even a consultant on several episodes. He wrote an article on exactly why he loved Lost.

    • Peter

      Josh Holloway’s far too old to play Eddie Dean.

      • Steven S

        Who’s Josh Holloway?

      • Heather

        Agreed about Josh (too bad too!) — as I recall Eddie is in his 20s. He COULD do cameos as Eddie’s brother though…

      • Lily

        OMG he would be awesome as Eddie’s brother!

    • Peter Bentley

      No. Sorry.

    • Len W

      Doesn’t anyone else think that Tom Cruise is the man for the job. He would be PERFECT as Eddie.

      • Kilgore Trout

        Too old. I pictured Milo Ventimiglia when I was reading the book, but that was a while ago. I think he’s too old now too.

    • John

      Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) is who I picture as the ideal Eddie.

      • Jessica36

        Eddie will be Anton Yelchin. Right age, right demeanor. Plus Stephen King likes to reuse actors for his various films. Anton was great in Hearts in Atlantis.

      • brizzle mckizzle

        jesse from breaking bad would b good but i always pictured justin long as eddie as i was reading this series.

    • Mags

      Maybe Josh Holloway as Eddie. Haven’t though much about casting that role. But I’ve always pictured Viggo Mortensen as Roland.

    • tee

      mmm . . . Josh is southern, blonde, and 40’s and Eddie is New York, dark hair, and 21. Other than that, perfect casting!

    • Perdita Semcasa

      Nope- Josh for ROLAND!

      • kevin

        i would rather see vigo mortensen as Roland.

  • Desmo

    So what parts of the story are going to be movies and what parts are going to be a part of the tv series? Also could this mean that they are finally actually going to make this happen?

    • Mole

      I would take this announcement as a big old “yes” on your second question, but as for the first question, I’m intrigued and very curious.

      • Rob

        I personally hope that they’ll make the first movie about the first three books, the second about the fourth book and the third about the last three books. Story wise that would fit nicely i think

      • Juno Watt

        I think they should make the cover notes into the trailer, that would be sooooo awesome! Can’t wait!!

  • Nick

    I don’t know about this, but I suppose if Uncle Stevie is satisfied with Howard, I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt.

    • richard baybusky

      Yeah,have some huge doubts about Ron Howard being the right guy for this. The guy hasn’t made a good film in YEARS!
      Hope Steve knows what he’s doing.
      Should have made this for cable with a really good director but i guess we’ll see what happens.

      • Quirky

        Frost/Nixon was a good Ron Howard movie. I think you’re only thinking about the Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons but I’m not sure if any director could have made that source material rise above standard pulp.

      • Sam

        Ron Howard has made some good, and sometimes great films, but I’m not sure if he has the gravity for this series. We need a Stanley Kubrick-like director for this. Ron’s a bit too much an optimist for this material. Also, there’s going to be a lot of creature/ special effects/CGI work needed for this. Ron hasn’t really worked in that realm much since the late 80’s. What’s Peter Jackson, Alfonso Cuarón, or Guillermo del Toro doing right now???

      • Steve

        The only man to successfully adapt three King pieces (Shawshank Redemption, Green Mile, The Mist) into film has been Frank Darabont. They have to include him! He can balance the drama, terror, epic scope, and humanity with such ease and precision.

    • Wayne Kerr

      Is Steven King really your uncle dude! That is so cool I’m going to wet myself. Mmm. Warm.

      • Kyle

        Stephen King frequently refers to himself in his EW columns as Uncle Stevie.

  • Crystal

    Too bad Hugh Laurie is already spoken for on House…he would have made a great Roland.

    • dandello

      I think you need a lobotomy.

      • JimVincent

        Then a lot of people do, because Laurie has a large following with DT fans. Plenty of people want him as Roland.

    • b

      maybe they need someone older, skinnier and Englisher

      • roy

        no more english people they ruin everything like harry potter and twilight. which were already ruined by the books but americans are way better actors

      • MCS

        Umm, Roy, you are aware that the Harry Potter books are set in England right? So, you want an entirely American cast? I can’t even fathom what you have said here. You do realize that there are parts of the world outside of America?

      • The Queen

        “No more english people”?! That’s pretty rascist. You need to put some deodorant on that attitude my man.

      • BlackIrish4094

        English isn’t a race.

    • JimVincent

      Hugh Laurie is the only person I see playing Roland. Someone make this happen!

    • kevin

      he would be a good choice but I think vigo mortensen would be a better one.

      • kevin

        or maybe even Michael Biehn.

  • Jay

    I LOVE the Dark Tower series. The best 7 books I’ve ever read (except for maybe song of Susanna, it was a bit anticlimactic)
    But 3 movies does not do these books any justice at all.
    I’ll admit they can take book 4 out of it and sprinnkle flashbacks here and there, but 3 movies?!?!?

    there will be massive holes.
    I dont know how they could pull it off, but I wish them the best

    • Mole

      I imagine that’s what the TV series will be for.

    • Kevin

      Uh… Wizard and Glass is the best book in the series. They can’t just get rid of it.

      • Greg

        I think he meant you could tell most of it in flashback form, ala Lost. Kind of a cool idea. That’s why I was hoping Damon and Carlton were going to do this… :( Give the Dark Tower the Lost treatment? That would have been cool. Hopefully this still will be. Josh Holloway as Roland! I know he’s too young but he starts out young…

      • Wilko

        Wizard and Glass was really atmospheric but I found it a little slow. The Waste Lands was the best for mine, though the train let it down a bit right at the end.
        Im thinking Halle Berry for Suzannah but maybe thats a bit obvious.
        How about John Turturro for Roland?

      • Kryssy

        I agree with Kevin….four is the best book in the series. But maybe, they should make the series completely about Roland’s younger years.

    • MichaelZ

      Movie 1 – Books 1-2, perhaps part of 3.

      Movie 2 – Books 3-5, cut 4 down to flashbacks as has been stated.

      Movie 3 – Books 6-7, 6 is rather short.. still a long movie.

      TV Series would likely be an expanded version of the comics. The first of which is the Mejis story. This would allow them to cut it out of the movies which would allow them to put as much in as they could. I always thought Book 4 would make a great miniseries.

    • Doctor I pooptem

      Personally, Wizard and glass was my favorite. It did move slow, but the good parts make me re-read it about once a season.

  • Jay

    …furthermore, the idea of a TV series kinda scares me. Unless it is totally unrelated to the movies, its only gonna make a confusing story, well…. more confusing

    • Jay

      And who will they get to play Steven King??? hmmmm?????

      • Rishabh

        Wild guess here, but maybe Stephen King?

  • AK

    Viggo Mortensen for Roland!

    Also, I think I kind of love Angel’s idea of Josh Holloway as Eddie.

    • naynay

      I’ve been thinking that since “Lord of the Rings’, he will make a great Roland.

    • Trill

      And Zoe Saldana as Suzanna!!!

      • Lily

        I could definately see that

    • dandello

      Holloway is forty-plus-years-old. How could he possibly play Eddie? Also, I get the whole correlation to the “sarcastic” bent to Sawyer and Eddie. But Holloway is nothing like the character.

      • Birdseed_101

        Do you mean you’d like to discard Kevin Bacon as a casting option? I wouldn’t throw it out. He could be great I think. He’s pretty good at dancing too. Mmmm Bacon.

    • fm

      I agree, but would also like to throw out Kevin Bacon as a suggestion. That’s who I imagined Roland looking like!

      • Birdseed_101

        Oops. Replied to the wrong comment. Bacon rocks!

    • maryb

      He would be perfect! That’s who I always thought of when reading.

    • Natascha

      I agree whole heartedly on Viggo as Roland….I don’t see Holloway as Eddie at all… I picture someone more like Milo Ventimiglia from Heroes as Eddie and Gabrielle Union as Susannah. The hardest to cast will be Jake. Hard to find an 11 year old that has that old soul feel. How about Paul Bettany for the voice of Blaine haha. He already has experience having been Ironman’s Jarvis :D

      • Rishabh

        The kid from the Sixth Sense would have been perfect. Too bad he’s older now.

  • Kevin

    Ron Howard is awful. Can’t believe King handed it to that hack (though I do love me some Willow).

    • Dw Dunphy

      Howard’s not awful (except with those DaVinci Brown adaptations) but he’s all wrong for this. Where the heck was Frank Darabont?

      • Chad

        My understanding was that Durabont had expressed an interest but King didn’t think he would be right for it.

      • MCS

        Darabont is the creator of the new AMC zombie series “Walking Dead” premiering this month! He is writer/director of several episodes.

      • Brian

        Darabont did “The Mist” which was just a horrible adaptation.

      • Jamesy

        The Mist was an amazing adaptation!

      • Lucy

        Too bad Darabont is not available! The Mist is a fantastic adaptation, so is Dolores Claiborne also from Darabont, he understands Stephen King.
        About the cast, Josh Holloway would be a great Roland, so would Vigo Mortensen or Timothy Oliphant. It requires a rugged man.

  • ollie

    i would have liked abc to do it instead b/c tv the stand and shining were great. i thought at one point jj abrams was going to do it but howard is a good choice i quess. i second viggo for roland and josh for eddie.

    • Peter J

      I think Aragorn should play Viggo

  • maerlyn8

    Viggo = Roland

    • Brian

      Viggo would be absolutely perfect. His performances in “Lord of the Rings” and “The Road” were incredible.

  • Lisa Maddox

    I’ve waited almost 30 years for this. Okay, I know nothing can compare to the fabulous world I’ve created in my mind but it will be a great adventure.

    • Jake

      I agree. No matter how bad it is, I’ve been waiting for this since I read the last page of 7, spanning 15 years of my life. At least this wait wasn’t as long as the wait for book 4…

  • detta

    Viggo Mortensen is too old, sadly. I’m not a huge True Blood fan, but that Bill guy looks a lot like Roland to m e … and yes, Holloway as Eddie. Nice. Now if only Wil Wheaton could go back in time and play Jack ;)

    • Laura K.

      Roland’s like 300 years old. He’s described as looking somewhere between 40 and 60 in the Dark Tower books. Viggo sounds perfect to me.

    • Wade

      Who is this Jack character?Surely you mean Jake….

    • Lucy

      Stephen Moyer is horrible and boring enough as Beeeelllll, puhlease!

    • KevintheBird

      No way is Viggo Mortensen too old. Roland is SUPPOSED to look old.

      …and if Gabrielle Union comes anywhere near this production, I will have a coronary attack.

  • Moorlan

    My vote for Roland is either Bruce Campbell or Tim Daly (in that order).

    • Moorlan

      I’m revising my choices. I just watched an ep of Dark Blue… Max Martini (from The Unit) would fit the bill perfectly for Roland.

  • David Taylor

    I was always hoping to see Karl Urban on the big screen as Roland, with Joseph Gordon Levitt as Eddie and Jada Pinkett Smith as Detta/Odetta. I’m sad Uncle Stevie settled for the small screen, and not even HBO for crying out loud. I hope I’m not as disappointed as I was with The Stand (seriously, Rob Lowe?).

    • Kevin

      3 MOVIES + a TV series. We get the best of both worlds.

      • Ryan

        I always thought a miniseries similar in format to John Adams would have been perfect. 7 episodes, of various “feature” lengths.

      • KevintheBird

        I agree, Ryan!!! That is exactly (verbatim, actually! =D) what I was hoping for too.

    • Steve C

      Mrs smith good call!

  • jp

    I really hope that actor Michael Sheen will be very much involved with King’s Dark Tower somehow. He is one of our best actors out there right now, has worked with both Ron & Brian in Frost/Nixon, is a big Stephen King fan and I’ve read many times that Dark Tower is one of his all-time favorite books. I’m rooting for him as one of the main characters or one of the villains!

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