Mike Flanagan discusses ‘dream project’: Stephen King’s The Dark Tower

The Dark Tower
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The mind behind Midnight Mass and a couple of King adaptations has been talking about his dream project: taking on Stephen King’s magnum opus, The Dark Tower.

Whenever Mike Flanagan talks about tackling Stephen King, interest levels rise. As well as giving us some of the best horror television we’ve had in years, Flanagan has already done a sterling job with two King film adaptations: Gerald’s Game and Doctor Sleep. Whilst the former released on Netflix, the latter, a sequel to The Shining, launched in cinemas and despite being well-made, failed to set the box office alight.

That’s something of a shame, because there’s arguably nobody out there better suited to adapting King’s work than Flanagan. Anybody out there who is disappointed by the proposed remake of King’s vampire yarn, Salem’s Lot seemingly falling into development hell, fear not. All you need to do is go and watch Midnight Mass, a King-inspired horror series that is never less than excellent.

Given that the Stephen King adaptation ‘renaissance’ that we’ve enjoyed over the last five years seems to have peaked, we wonder if any studios will be willing to put their hands in their pockets and spend big on adapting the author’s work, and that goes doubly so for his epic fantasy saga, The Dark Tower, especially considering just how badly the 2017 version starring Idris Elba fared.

Nevertheless, that’s the series of novels that Flanagan has his heart set on adapting, something he’s been talking about to IGN whilst promoting his new series, The Midnight Club:

“What it would look like? It would look like the books… It would be a black screen, and the words ‘The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed’ would come up on silence, and you’d hear the wind, and we’d gradually fade up to this Lawrence Of Arabia-esque landscape with a silhouette in the distance just making his way across the hardpan. And we would build it out from there in order to the end.”

Fans of the books will certainly be thrilled by just how faithful Flanagan’s opening sounds, an he goes on to assert how he’d plan to be true to the novels in just about every way possible, something the doomed 2017 version never really attempted to do.

Although we’d take an adaptation of The Dark Tower in whichever format it arrived in, we can’t help thinking that Flanagan’s ongoing relationship with Netflix makes that the most likely avenue for the filmmaker to realise his ambitions. With its flagship title, Stranger Things set to end soon, the streamer is clearly looking for expansive series such as The Sandman to fill the gap and The Dark Tower would be one such possibility.

Whether it happens remains to be seen, but we’re keeping things crossed that it does. Should it come to fruition, would you rather see it as a series of films, or in a long-form, big-budget episodic format on a streaming platform? Let us know in the comments below…

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