Years ago, before director Nikolaj Arcel took over the Dark Tower movie adaptation and actually started making progress on the thing, Ron Howard was developing a version of the project that would’ve involved three movies and a pair of limited-run TV shows that would fill in the blanks between the films. As risky as any adaptation of a long-running series of books with a dedicated fanbase is, though, this plan was pretty much as bananas as it gets. He was expecting studios (and viewers) to be on board with a huge investment in both time and money, and the end result would be movies and TV shows based on some books that are so crazy that Stephen King himself appears as a character at one point.
Give or take one huge departure from the books, Arcel’s current take on the material seems a little more conservative—at least in the sense that he’s not just assuming people will want to see a bunch of movies about a cowboy chasing a wizard through a fantasy world. Now, though, in a turn of events that seems even more surprising than the existence of a Dark Tower movie in the first place, Entertainment Weekly is reporting that producer Akiva Goldsman and production company MRC are still planning to make a companion TV series that will fill in some blanks from the movie. Plus, Idris Elba and Tom Taylor—who are starring in the film as Roland Deschain and Jake Chambers—are on board with the show, suggesting that they’re actually serious about getting it made. No distributor or networks are involved yet, both of which are very important, but EW suggests that Netflix seems like a strong possibility given the existing relationship it has with MRC (which makes House Of Cards).
As for the show itself, Entertainment Weekly says it will be based on the fourth Dark Tower book, Wizard And Glass, which primarily revolves around an extensive flashback involving a young Roland falling in love and going on an adventure with his friends. The plan is for the show to use a framing device in which Roland tells this story to Jake, with the younger version of his character being played by someone who isn’t Idris Elba. Also, while the movie isn’t strictly sticking to King’s books (see that aforementioned huge departure), the show will reportedly have “much more fidelity to the story as King wrote it.”
Finally, MRC has also put together yet another teaser image, this one featuring a map of the places Roland visits in his prequel adventure along with a quote from Wizard And Glass: