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Dark Tower director says the TV show will be a direct adaptation of the books

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A new story Variety suggests that production of the Dark Tower movie has been even more troubled than some people might think, with test screenings supposedly going very poorly and studio executives personally stepping in to recut the film, but director Nikolaj Arcel and the executives in question deny that anything out of the ordinary went down. The Dark Tower saga is weird and complicated, after all, so it would make sense that condensing it into a movie would also be weird and complicated. Either way, Arcel still seems confident in his film, to the extent that he still thinks the TV series prequel/side-story thing is still going to happen.

It’s been about two months short of a year since we last heard about real movement on the Dark Tower TV show, which was when the movie’s producers explained that the show would use a framing device with Idris Elba’s adult gunslinger telling a story to Tom Taylor’s Jake about his life as a young gunslinger (the plot from there would largely follow that of the book Wizard And Glass). Now, Arcel has suggested in an interview with IndieWire that the show is still happening and that—unlike the movie, which is changing one major thing from the books—it will be “totally canon.”


Arcel says that he was involved in writing the pilot and planning the basic arc of the first season, and he says it’s “very closely adhering to Wizard And Glass” and parts of The Gunslinger, right down to direct quotes and characters being portrayed “exactly as they are” in the books. The plan is still for Elba and Taylor to appear in the show in some capacity, but though Matthew McConaughey’s Man In Black does play a role in the story, “there’s no word” on if he’ll be in the show as well. (The Man In Black is known for using many different names and faces, though, so it would be very easy to write around his absence.)

It still seems too early to say that the Dark Tower TV show will definitely air somewhere at some point, but the people working on it are confident that it will happen at least.