It's a great time to be a Stephen King fan.
The reboot of It hits theaters on Sept. 8. A new TV series for Hulu titled Castle Rock, based on King's stories, is in development from J.J. Abrams. And a semi-adaptation/sequel to what many consider his crowning achievement, The Dark Tower, will be released in movie theaters on Aug. 4.
Despite a beautiful poster, though, promotion for the eagerly awaited adaptation of King's fantasy series — which stars Idris Elba as Roland, an errant gunslinger looking to restore his world, and Matthew McConaughey as the villainous Man in Black trying to stop him — has been muted. A trailer has yet to drop, despite the movie debuting in less than three months. And so far, we've heard nary a peep about the movie's spin-off TV series.
That's right, TV series. Multiple. The original plan was to release a number of Dark Tower movies, each based on one of King's books, and fill the breaks in theatrical release with seasons of an interconnected TV show. Plans change, and as the movie morphed into a light adaptation of the books that also functions as a sequel to the story King told, the TV series changed, as well.
As of Sept. 21, the plan was to adapt "Wizard and Glass," King's prequel novel, and use some of the film's actors — specifically Elba and Tom Taylor (who plays a young boy from Earth named Jake Chambers) — as a framing device. But since then, there's been radio silence on the project.
When TVGuide.com caught up with producer Ron Howard on the red carpet for Nat Geo's Genius (which he produced) as part of the Einstein biography show's premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, we had to ask about the status of the project. And unlike Blaine the monorail from The Dark Tower books, Howard wasn't doling out riddles.
"Dark Tower is coming out this summer," Howard said. "It's a terrific movie directed by Nikolaj Arcel. And we are working on the television component."
Before you get too excited, the TV portion is far from a done deal. No networks have signed on to produce or distribute as of yet (despite fans stumping for HBO to fill the eventual Game of Thrones-sized hole in their schedule with Dark Tower). And at least as Howard tells it, there doesn't seem to be a firm plan in place as of yet.
"That's not a commitment on the television side," Howard continued, "but creatively, it could work very well, hand in hand with what we'd like the movies to be."
To translate: If the movie is a hit, there will be more interest in the TV show. And if they're both hits, that means more movies. And as always, the wheel of Ka (and the Hollywood pitch cycle) will keep on turning.
Genius premieres on Nat Geo on Tuesday at 9/8c.
Additional reporting by Shaunna Murphy.