After Ron Howard flirted with the idea of directing the adaptation of Stephen King‘s fantasy series “The Dark Tower” at both Warner Bros. and Universal with the goal being three movies released alongside an interconnected television series, the project fell apart and has now landed in the lap of Sony. Now it appears they’ve finally settled on a helmer to direct the first film in the series, which will apparently still include a completementary TV series.
According to Deadline, Nikolaj Arcel will direct The Dark Tower for Sony, telling the first part of the story following the path of the last gunslinger, Roland Deschain of Gilead, and his search for titular Dark Tower.
Akiva Goldsman and Jeff Pinkner co-wrote the current draft of the screenplay, which begins with the first book in King’s seven book series, “The Gunslinger” telling of the first meeting of Roland and his protege Jake Chambers. The likes of Javier Bardem and Russell Crowe have previously flirted with the idea of playing Roland, but for now no cast is attached.
If Arcel’s name is unfamiliar, not only did he co-write the Swedish version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo he went on to direct the Oscar-nominated feature A Royal Affair starring Mads Mikkelsen (“Hannibal”) and Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina). He is also attached to direct an adaptation of Don Winslow’s novel “The Power of the Dog” and to DreamWorks and Working Title’s adaptation of Daphne Du Maurier’s novel “Rebecca”, which has been previously adapated for the screen as Alfred Hitchcock‘s Best Picture Oscar-winner.
Perhaps with Arcel aboard and Sony working on this deal alongside Media Rights Capital we’ll finally get King’s epic story on the big screen. It will be interesting, however, to see where the television counterpart lands as I would hope someone like Netflix would step in, giving the project more freedom than anything a network would allow.