Ritchie Cunningham’s Dark Tower plans revealed

Ron Howard is planning an unprecedented TV/Film adaptation of Stephen King’s “The Dark Tower”.

The brave but exciting plan is for the directing/writing team of Howard and Akiva Goldsman to do not only a trilogy of films, but have a TV series going on simultaneously.

Deadline reports, ”Ron Howard has committed to direct the initial feature film, as well as the first season of the TV series that will follow in close proximity. Akiva Goldsman will write the film, and the first season of the TV series. Howard’s Imagine Entertainment partner Brian Grazer will produce, with Goldsman and the author.”

“The Dark Tower” is a series of books by King about a “Gunslinger” and his quest toward a tower whose nature the books call both physical and metaphorical. Among the characters featured in the book is King himself.

Howard, who worked with Goldsman on “A Beautiful Mind” and the “Da Vinci Code” films, was inspired by Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” series.

“What Peter did was a feat, cinematic history,” Howard told Deadline. “The approach we’re taking also stands on its own, but it’s driven by the material. I love both, and like what’s going on in TV. With this story, if you dedicated to one medium or another, there’s the horrible risk of cheating material. The scope and scale call for a big screen budget. But if you committed only to films, you’d deny the audience the intimacy and nuance of some of these characters and a lot of cool twists and turns that make for jaw-dropping, compelling television. We’ve put some real time and deep thought into this, and a lot of conversations and analysis from a business standpoint, to get people to believe in this and take this leap with us. I hope audiences respond to it in a way that compels us to keep going after the first year or two of work. It’s fresh territory for me, as a filmmaker.”

Here’s the cunning part :

“The plan is to start with the feature film, and then create a bridge to the second feature with a season of TV episodes”, says the site. “That means the feature cast—and the big star who’ll play Deschain—also has to appear in the TV series before returning to the second film. After that sequel is done, the TV series picks up again, this time focusing on Deschain as a young gunslinger. Those storylines will be informed by a prequel comic book series that King was heavily involved in plotting. The third film would pick up the mature Deshain as he completes his journey. They will benefit from being able to use the same sets cast and crew for the movie and TV, which could help contain costs on what will be a financially ambitious undertaking.”

“We will certainly be looking to maximize both creative and fiscal opportunities by creating one enterprise that encompasses TV and movies,” Goldsman said. “Some of the shooting will likely encompass both platforms, and that has never been done before. It’s thrilling, we feel like kids in a candy story.”

No word on whether Howard plans on retaining the services of the cowboy from a 1989 film he directed for “Dark Tower”: