No one working in film or TV today has had more success adapting Stephen King than Mike Flanagan. From the “unfilmable” Gerald’s Game to the supremely ambitious Doctor Sleep, a sequel to both King’s novel The Shining and Kubrick’s film, Flanagan has proven his Kingly chops. Following the news that Flanagan and his producing partner Trevor Macy have left Netflix for Prime Video (which coincided with the cancellation of The Midnight Club), Flanagan revealed that his next King adaptation. It’s a big one, folks, the pinnacle of King esoterica: The Dark Tower.
In a lengthy piece from Deadline, Flanagan and Macy revealed their plans. They hope to produce a five-season adaptation of The Dark Tower for Prime Video. The show would then conclude with two feature films. Lofty, innit? Prime, of course, has already shown its willingness to sink huge money into high-fantasy with The Rings of Power. Famously, that’s the most expensive show ever made. Flanagan has already written a pilot script and an outline for The Dark Tower.
King began The Dark Tower—a sprawling series of eight novels, a short story, and a children’s book—in 1982. The series mixed elements of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and westerns. It follows the exploits of Roland, a gunslinger in a feudal society. In this fantasy melange, cowboys are the analogue to Arthurian knights. Roland seeks the Man in Black, an evil SOB who is King’s ur-villain. The Dark Tower books also include numerous references and crossovers with King’s other novels, including Salem’s Lot, It, and The Stand.
A 2017 film adaptation of The Dark Tower starring Idris Elba was famously a massive flop. The books have been the subject of a number of never-realized TV adaptations for years and years. Flanagan has described The Dark Tower as his dream project. He and Macy secured the rights to the novels recently.
Flanagan and Macy’s final Netflix project, The Fall of the House of Usher, will premiere some time in 2023.