Mike Flanagan and Trevor Macy have secured the rights to Stephen King’s “The Dark Tower” books with hopes that it can be developed into a TV series…
Mike Flanagan has long dreamed about adapting Stephen King’s epic story “The Dark Tower” and now he’ll finally get his chance.
Flanagan and his partner Trevor Macy, who make up Intrepid Pictures, have secured the rights to King’s books with hopes that they can develop it into a multi-season TV series. While the pair just recently inked an overall development deal with Amazon, “The Dark Tower” rights were actually obtained separate from that partnership so Flanagan and Lacy will have the ability to bring the series to any potential partner down the road.
“Predating our deal with Amazon, we acquired the rights to The Dark Tower, which if you know anything about me, you know it has been my Holy Grail of a project for most of my life,” Flanagan told Deadline. “We actually have those rights carved out of our Amazon deal, which doesn’t mean that they can’t or won’t get behind it at some point — you don’t know.
“But that’s something we’ve been developing ourselves and are really passionate about finally getting it up on its feet at some point.”
Flanagan has partnered with King on two previous films — “Doctor Sleep” and “Gerald’s Game” — but acquiring the rights to “The Dark Tower” was beyond his wildest dreams.
To date, Flanagan says he’s already written a pilot for the first episode with visions for a multi-season arc that would allow the story to be told from beginning to end. Past attempts to adapt “The Dark Tower” — including a rather forgettable film from 2017 — have never been able to get off the ground but Flangan and Macy have produced numerous hit series for Netflix including “The Haunting of Hill House” and “Midnight Mass,” which means they have a track record that will likely draw interest from numerous studios.
“I wrote a pilot, we view it as a as a series that’s going at least five seasons,” Flanagan revealed. “And having lived with this project as long as I have, I have an enormous amount of it worked out in my brain. But I have a pilot script I’m thrilled with and a very detailed outline for the first season and a broader outline for the subsequent seasons. I think eventually, if we’re able to get it going, there are some other writers I want to fold into that process whom I’ve worked with before; I think they would be really fabulous for a very small, intimate writers room where we can continue to break it.
“I’ll tell you, more than half of my life, I’ve closed my eyes and been able to watch a lot of this play out, I’ve dreamed about this. That first shot which comes right off at the first incredible sentence of the first book, The Gunslinger, I’ve had that image just rattling around in my head since I was an undergrad. It’s going to have to get out of there eventually, I really need to get it out of my head. The pilot script is one of my favorite things I’ve ever gotten to work on. It’s been surreal working on that. So we’ve been floored and grateful that Stephen King trusts us with such an undertaking, something so precious to him, and we hope to find the right partners to realize it.”
Getting the rights to “The Dark Tower” was a huge deal for Flanagan but that only came about after he pitched his idea for a series to King himself, who then signed off on handing over his intellectual property to Intrepid Pictures to then begin developing the books into a possible TV show.
“This happened because I sent him a very, very detailed outline of what I wanted to do with it,” Flanagan said. “And it was in response to that, that he gave us the rights. A project like this, I wouldn’t want to be involved in it at all If we were taking it in a direction that was going to be blasphemous to the Stephen King material, but he’s been very, very supportive and very excited about what we’d like to do with it.”
As ambitious as the TV series adaptation of “The Dark Tower” sounds, Flanagan added that’s not all he has in store if he gets to develop the series the way he wants.
“To be honest, the way that I have seen it breaking out is five seasons of television, followed by two stand-alone features,” Flanagan said. “But I think our priority has been trying to get the television side of it going first. We’re not going to put the cart too far ahead of the horse on such a challenging project, but that I think is the perfect way to do it.”
Right now, Flanagan and Macy are just in the early stages of development but given their new partnership with Amazon, it seems entirely possible that the Jeff Bezos owned company would possibly fund that project after already investing a huge amount of capital into the “Lord of the Rings” series that’s already streaming on the Prime Video.
Of course, Flanagan still has one more project left at Netflix as well with his adaptation of the Edgar Allen Poe story “The Fall of the House of Usher,” which has completed production and now just awaits a debut date.
Beyond that, Flanagan is also hard at work on developing new series ideas for Amazon but it’s obviously his passion project will remain “The Dark Tower,” especially now that he owns the rights.