Stephen King's The Dark Tower is hitting the big screen and the small screen.
The movie adaptation of King's epic fantasy series will be released in theaters on Feb. 17, 2017. The movie was conceived as one part of a larger franchise, and on Wednesday (Stephen King's 69th birthday), The Dark Tower's production company, MRC, announced plans to adapt the fourth book in the series, Wizard and Glass, as a spin-off TV series.
Entertainment Weekly reports that MRC has committed to making the series, which will be between 10 and 13 episodes, depending on how the scripts and story arcs play out. It will begin shooting in 2017 for release in 2018, around the time The Dark Tower becomes available for home viewing.
No network is attached yet, but the producers plan to place at it a cable network or streaming service due to the story's TV-MA content. MRC makes House of Cards for Netflix, so there's a relationship there, but an official home for the Dark Tower show has yet to be announced.
Idris Elba, who stars in the movie as the gunslinger Roland Deschain, is attached to the series, as is Tom Taylor, who plays Jake Chambers. They will appear in the frame narrative through which the story of Wizard and Glass is told.
Wizard and Glass is a prequel of sorts to the rest of the Dark Tower series, and tells the story of young Roland's exile to Mejis (Roland's homeworld Mid-Earth's equivalent to Mexico), his romance with the beautiful Susan Delgado, and the test of the bond with his friends Cuthbert Allgood and Alain Johns. The actors who will play the teenage Roland and his friends have not yet been cast.
Matthew McConaughey, who plays the villainous Man in Black in the film, may appear in the show, but as the Man in Black takes many names and forms, he may not need to. The character will definitely appear in some form. The Dark Tower's director, Nikolaj Arcel, and co-writer, Anders Thomas Jensen, are helping develop Wizard and Glass, but a different showrunner will reportedly be brought on to manage day-to-day operations. If the first season is a success, the second season might adapt the Robin Furth-penned Dark Tower comics, which continue the story of young Roland.