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The Dark Tower TV Series Enlists Former Walking Dead Showrunner for the Journey

Glen Mazzara will executive-produce the Stephen King adaptation

Liam Mathews

The Dark Tower movie opens Friday, and it at this point it remains to be seen how it does financially and how much the movie's box-office fortunes will affect the likelihood of the in-development Dark Tower prequel TV series making it to production. But Sony is moving forward and bringing out the big guns: the studio is bringing on former Walking Deadshowrunner Glen Mazzara to oversee the project, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

"I've been a Stephen King fan for decades and the opportunity to adapt The Dark Tower as a TV series is a great honor," Mazzara told THR. "The events of The Gunslinger, Wizard & Glass, The Wind Through the Keyhole, and other tales need a long format to capture the complexity of Roland's coming of age -- how he became the Gunslinger, how Walter became the Man in Black, and how their rivalry cost Roland everything and everyone he ever loved. I could not be more excited to tell this story. It feels like being given the key to a treasure chest. And oh yeah, we'll have billy-bumblers!" (Billy-bumblers are raccoon-like creatures that appear in the book series.)

The series, which is still in early stages and does not have a network attached or a set number of episodes, will be based on Stephen King's novel Wizard and Glass, the fourth book in his Dark Tower series, which is tells the origin story of the gunslinger Roland Deschain. The Dark Tower movie stars Idris Elba, Dennis Haysbert and Tom Taylor are slated to appear, with Elba and Taylor likely to show up in scenes that serve to frame the story of the show, which is about Roland's adventures in a land called Mejis when he was a young man. Wizard and Glass is widely considered the best book of the series.

Still, the TV series is considered a separate entity from the movie. It will be interesting to see if the movie --which is getting mostly negative reviews after a troubled path to the screen -- leaves audiences wanting more enough to justify the series.

It's also an interesting coincidence that Mazzara is being tapped for a Stephen King adaptation, considering King's long working relationship with Frank Darabont, whom Mazzara replaced on The Walking Dead. Darabont directed three movie adaptations of King stories -- The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile and The Mist -- long before his ill-fated turn working on The Walking Dead. But King is not involved in the production of the series, and the Mazzara-Darabont connection is coincidental. Mazzara is also attached to a Sin City series adaptation.