After having the opportunity of successfully adapting two of Stephen King’s acclaimed novels Gerald’s Game and Doctor Sleep, it seems like horror filmmaker Mike Flanagan would like to work again on another film adaptation from King’s wide and rich bibliography. During the recent Fantasia International Film Festival (via Syfy Wire), when asked about his dream project, the 42-year-old director revealed that he would love to have the chance to take on King’s The Dark Tower novel series which has proven to be a difficult piece to adapt to the screen.
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“I’ve got the answer that most Stephen King fans are going to have,” Flanagan said. “The Dark Tower is forever going to be the story I wish I could tell. That would be the Holy Grail. I mean, talk about an adaptation challenge… So many very talented people have poured so much time and heart and soul and blood, sweat, and tears trying to crack that.”
Described as a sci-fi western horror story, The Dark Tower novel series is consisting of eight books titled The Gunslinger, The Drawing of the Three, The Waste Lands, Wizard and Glass, The Little Sisters of Eluria, Wolves of the Calla, Song of Susannah, and The Dark Tower which were published from 1982-2004. It also spawned a short story titled The Wind Through the Keyhole which released in 2012.
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After two failed attempts from J.J. Abrams and Ron Howard, Sony Pictures was finally able to greenlight a film adaptation which hailed from Danish filmmaker Nikolaj Arcel. However, despite boasting Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba as its leads, the 2017 film had still earned negative reviews and was a box office disappointment. In 2018, Amazon Studios acquired the rights to the novels and was planning to develop it into a TV series. However, earlier this year, they ultimately decided to cancel the project.
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Mike Flanagan previously dipped his toe into the world of King with the 2017 adaptation of his 1992 novel Gerald’s Game for Netflix, which received rave reviews from critics and audiences alike, and continued with the big-screen adaptation of the 2013 sequel to The Shining, Doctor Sleep, which despite receiving strong reviews was considered a box office disappointment, grossing only $72.3 million on a $45 million budget, squashing follow-up plans.