Ron Howard Discusses THE DARK TOWER Casting and reveals that the TV series will be 6 hours long

Director Ron Howard recently showed up on the Howard Stern Show to talk about his new comedy The Dilemma. While he was on the show he revealed a few more tidbits of information regarding his adaptation of Steven King's classic book series The Dark Tower.

So here's the plan for the adaptation for those of you who don't already know. They will start everything off with a feature film, from there they will create a bridge to the second feature with a full season of TV episodes! We will then see the second film hit the big screen, and after the sequel is released we will see another season of The Dark Tower on TV. This season will focus on Deschain as a young gunslinger. The storylines will be taken from the prequel comic book series that King was heavily involved with. Then we will get the third and final film which will pick up with a mature Deshain as he completes his journey.

During the interview Howard talks about the TV series being only six hours long, the actors being considered for the lead role, and a few other little details.

I don’t know if it’s going to happen or not, but I’m developing with Akiva Goldsman, the guy who wrote A Beautiful Mind and Cinderella Man, a version of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series of fantasy stories And there is an element of it, if everything goes as planned, that we would like to do on tv. So we want to do part of it big screen, and then a lot of the character stuff — because Stephen King’s stuff is so interesting and fascinating, and instead of trying to wedge it into a movie, let the movies be adventure and action.

He was then asked if the TV series would  air on premium cable, such as HBO or Showtime he said,

I can’t go into the specifics of it, but NBC/Universal is doing it, and I think they’ll be able to look at all of their television networks and see where it belongs.

So it's safe to say it will end up on NBC or one of it's affiliates like the SyFy channel. He goes on to say that he would also be directing the TV portion of the adaptation, and addresses the casting rumors of Javier Bardem and Viggo Mortensen being the front-runners for the lead character Roland. When those names were brought up, Howard said,

And there are other names on the list… but we’re still early on in the development of it, but there are other people also being considered. They (Bardem and Mortensen) are both artists, and so are some of the other people we’re thinking of. But this is the situation. They have to see, in this case, that we’re using both mediums to really tell a story and [commit for years]

Howard then explains that the TV series being developed will be more like a six hour special. The director eventually is confronted with a die hard fan of the Dark Tower series, and Howard responds with how he hopes to make a solid adaptation of Kings work. 

In a way it’s Stephen King’s life work. He’s woven those characters in and around so many stories…  Hey look, there is always a risk when you adapt something and books are challenges. But I think a movie idea is there. And if I have my way, and if everything goes according to plan, which is of course a big if, we’ll be doing movies, we’ll be doing television, and all of that isn’t just [to make money] but all of that is to be as comprehensive as possible.The idea of doing part of it on the big screen and part of it on television is to try to include absolutely as much of the books, and even the graphic novels, as possible.

I have faith that Howard will give us the best adaptation of The Dark Tower series as possible, and I hope it all goes according to plan.

Do you have any thoughts on what Howard had to say?

Here’s a synopsis of The Dark Tower book series:

The series incorporates themes from multiple genres, including fantasy fiction, science fantasy, horror and western elements. They describe a “Gunslinger” and his quest toward a tower whose nature the books call both physical and metaphorical. King has described the series as his magnum opus. Besides the seven novels that compose the series proper, many of his other books relate to the story, introducing concepts and characters that come into play as the series progresses.

In the story, Roland Deschain is the last living member of a knightly order known as gunslingers and the last of the line of “Arthur Eld”, his world’s analogue of King Arthur. The world he lives in is quite different from our own, yet it bears striking similarities to it. Politically organized along the lines of a feudal society, it shares technological and social characteristics with the American Old West but is also magical. While the magical aspects are largely gone from Mid-World, some vestiges of them remain, along with the relics of a highly advanced, but long vanished, society. Roland’s quest is to find the Dark Tower, a fabled building said to be the nexus of all universes. Roland’s world is said to have “moved on”, and indeed it appears to be coming apart at the seams—mighty nations have been torn apart by war, entire cities and regions vanish without a trace and time does not flow in an orderly fashion.

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