Universal Pictures and sister company NBC Universal Television Entertainment have massive plans to adapt The Dark Tower, the sprawling series of horror-fantasy novels by Stephen King. Up first is a Dark Tower feature film, the first in a planned trilogy. Ron Howard will direct, Javier Bardem will play Roland Deschain. Then NBC will premiere a Dark Tower television series to bridge the gaps between films. Deadline reports Mark Verheiden has signed on to co-write and executive produce the series with Akiva Goldsman (Fringe).
Prior reports suggest the first TV season serves as a prequel. After the release of the second film, Bardem will take over the role for the second season. Verheiden’s resume is steeped in genre fare: Smallville, Battlestar Galactica, Heroes, Caprica. More recently, Verheiden was co-executive producer on the alien invasion series Falling Skies, which premieres June 19 on TNT.
Read a synopsis for the Dark Tower series after the break.
In the story, Roland Deschain is the last living member of a knightly order known as gunslingers and the last of the line of “Arthur Eld”, his world’s analogue of King Arthur. The world he lives in is quite different from our own, yet it bears striking similarities to it. Politically organized along the lines of a feudal society, it shares technological and social characteristics with the American Old West but is also magical. While the magical aspects are largely gone from Mid-World, some vestiges of them remain, along with the relics of a highly advanced, but long vanished, society.
Roland’s quest is to find the Dark Tower, a fabled building said to be the nexus of all universes. Roland’s world is said to have “moved on”, and indeed it appears to be coming apart at the seams as mighty nations have been torn apart by war, entire cities and regions vanish without a trace and time does not flow in an orderly fashion. Even the Sun sometimes rises in the north and sets in the east. As the series opens, Roland’s motives, goals and age are unclear, though later installments shed light on these mysteries. [Wikipedia]