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In a dream come true, Mike Flanagan announces he's adapting Stephen King's The Dark Tower

Horror auteur Mike Flanagan's long-held dream to adapt The Dark Tower was granted by Stephen King

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Mike Flanagan to adapt Stephen King's The Dark Tower
Mike Flanagan; Stephen King
Photo: Jon Kopaloff; Joe Kohen (Getty Images)

It’s a new era for horror auteur Mike Flanagan, who recently made the jump from Netflix (where he has one final project on the horizon) to Amazon Studios. In a new Deadline interview, Flanagan and Intrepid Pictures production partner Trevor Macy discuss their decision to leave one streamer for another, but they also drop another exciting bombshell: Just as Flanagan has always dreamed, they are working on an adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower.

This is not—it should be noted—a development under the new Amazon deal. While the company could end up partnering on the project, Intrepid Pictures obtained the rights directly from King after Flanagan sent the author “a very, very detailed outline of what I wanted to do with it.” What he wants to do with it is “five seasons of television, followed by two stand-alone features,” though they’re “not going to put the cart too far ahead of the horse on such a challenging project.”


Flanagan describes the opportunity as “my Holy Grail of a project for most of my life,” explaining that it’s “something we’ve been developing ourselves and are really passionate about finally getting it up on its feet at some point.”

“I wrote a pilot, we view it as a as a series that’s going at least five seasons. And having lived with this project as long as I have, I have an enormous amount of it worked out in my brain,” he shares. “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.”


The filmmaker teases that the pilot is “one of my favorite things I’ve ever gotten to work on,” adding that they’re “floored and grateful” for the support from King (whose work they previously adapted with Gerald’s Game and Doctor Sleep) and that they “hope to find the right partners to realize 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,” Flanagan passionately adds. “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.”