Mike Flanagan Is Adapting Stephen King’s The Dark Tower As A Series

Mike Flanagan

by Ben Travis |
Updated on

Stop everything, Flana-fans: it’s happening. If you’ve followed the work of Mike Flanagan in recent years, you’ll know he’s particularly handy with a Stephen King adaptation. (See: Gerald’s Game and Doctor Sleep.) You’ll also probably know that he’s a master of long-form storytelling, and has long wished to tackle King’s sprawling novel saga The Dark Tower, a multi-stranded tale often thwarted and botched in previous attempts to bring it to the screen. In a new Deadline interview, Flanagan confirmed the news everyone’s been waiting for: he’s officially working on a series adaptation of The Dark Tower under his Intrepid Pictures banner.

Now, this coincides with various shifting spheres in Flanagan’s world – he recently ended his deal with Netflix (set to close out with his upcoming The Fall Of The House Of Usher series), and has set up a new deal at Amazon. He does note, though, that Intrepid acquired The Dark Tower separately to his deal at Amazon – so it’s not set in stone that it’ll be an Amazon series. “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,” he 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 stated that his version of The Dark Tower would span across five or more seasons, plus two feature films – and he’s already written a pilot script which is “one of my favourite things I’ve ever gotten to work on”. In the interview, he stated: “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.”

Since King was so impressed with Flanagan's adaptations of Gerald’s Game and Doctor Sleep (no mean feat, given the author’s famous hatred of Kubrick’s The Shining), he has the creator’s full support. “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 realise it,” says Flanagan, confirming that he set up the rights deal by clueing King in on an extensive plan for how he’d approach the adaptation. “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.”

Get ready, Gunslingers – we could finally be in for The Dark Tower adaptation the material has always deserved, once the right home for it is found. In Flanagan we trust.

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