Doctor Sleep Director Wants To Adapt Stephen King’s The Dark Tower

The Dark Tower

Stephen King’s many novels have been adapted countless times for TV and film. Some have been lasting triumphs (hello The Shining), others most certainly haven’t. One that fell firmly into the latter category was a 2017 adaptation of his cross-genre epic The Dark Tower. The movie, which starred Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, compressed 8 books worth of material into a flimsy 90-minute studio job.

Clearly then, the opportunity to make a definitive screen version of the series remains open, and there’s no shortage of would-be suitors. In fact, in a recent interview with Syfy, horror filmmaker Mike Flanagan voiced his desire to make a Dark Tower adaptation, describing it as the “Holy Grail.”

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.”

Flanagan has already had experience with King projects, of course, most recently applying his talents to last year’s Doctor Sleep, so it’s not inconceivable then that he’d be in a position to helm another. However, as he acknowledges in the interview, doing so would be an unenviable task. The Dark Tower has proven particularly difficult to realize on screen, with 2017’s failed movie and an unmade Amazon TV show the most public near-misses to date.

There are at least some reasons to be hopeful, though. As far as cinema goes, Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter remain unbeatable blueprints for adapting multi-book sagas. Alternatively, TV may be the more natural fit, and the form can be a very fertile environment for quality in 2020. Production values in the best shows are now at a cinematic standard. With the requisite resources (a lorry-load of cash would do), and a director as passionate as Flanagan, who’s to say a new Dark Tower couldn’t get it right?