This is according to a just-posted Deadline interview with Ron Howard and Brian Grazer. Which, actually, I had totally forgotten this was the original plan. The interview primarily focuses on Howard and Grazer’s Beatles documentary that’s coming out on Hulu on the 15th this month and their 30-year movie partnership, but at the end, they actually get into some pretty interesting Dark Tower bits, including reconfirming the planned sequels and Dark Tower TV series, and who else they considered for the role of The Gunslinger, before Idris Elba won the role. Also, SPOILERS are lurking, so you have no one to blame but yourself if you continue reading and get punched in the kidneys by a spoiler.
The Plan for the Dark Tower TV Series and Sequels
OK. So, rather than be a jerk and make you wait, I’m going to lead with the most interesting pull from the interview. Deadline noted that the original idea was for three movies and a TV series that would happen between them, and then asked how that idea had evolved as the movie has come together, to which Howard replied:
“It hasn’t, really. We’re developing the television part, now. We don’t know what platform it will be on at this point, but we’re developing the content in hopes for more movies that will cover the epic and the characters involved.”
Not only is that awesome, it’s epicly awesome. I mean, they’re actually working on a movie and TV series that (it sounds like) will feed off each other. And they picked an incredible series to try the experiment with. I really, really hope this happens. It would be kind of incredible to see how the project shifted between mediums, especially if they kept the creative crew and cast intact.
The Horn of Eld
Now, the appearance of the Horn of Eld in the movie was already confirmed by the upcoming film’s director, Nikolaj Arcel, which we covered in a previous article you can find here:
But, Ron Howard shared a little more detail on how they reached the decision to include the horn.
“I read all the novels and we broke them down. He presented this idea to Stephen King, and this is insider material you might not get, but it was about introducing the Horn of Eld into the very first story. [Akiva Goldsmnan] knew it would allow us to use elements of the novels in a new combination that would give us the latitude to be true to the essence of the novels, but also rebalance and refocus the narrative in a cinematic way.” He added that that put together a team of researchers, made up of Dark Tower fans, with one purpose, “We wanted to restructure the novels to be most cinematic and Stephen King agreed completely and understood the journey we were on immediately and supported it.”
Who Almost Got Cast as the Gunslinger
Speaking about the earlier days of the process, Howard dropped this bit about who almost was cast in the role of the Gunslinger:
“Back then, we came close to making it with Javier Bardem at one point.”
Now, I’m a big fan of Elba in general, and for this role specifically, but Bardem could have made a pretty dynamic Gunslinger as well.
Regarding casting Walter (the Man in Black) Howard says that Matthew McConaughey was always in the front of their mind, and it was a dream come true when he agreed to the role. “You never know what to expect next from the Walter character. Matthew mixes that with an undercurrent of impending violence and danger, in a very watchable way.”
So, there you have it. Ron Howard, at one point, considered directing the movie, but he’s a busy man, with the imprending release of Inferono, his upcoming adaptation of Seveneves and a host of other projects.
Still, it’s good to know that Howard and Grazer, who definitely know how to put together good movies, are still part of the Dark Tower team. I can’t wait to see what happens with the sequels and Dark Tower TV series.