Idris Elba doesn’t know what the current status of The Dark Tower TV series is. The Dark Tower is an epic fantasy novel series from Stephen King, which follows the last gunslinger Roland Deschain on his quest to reach the titular tower. The series ran for eight books and has a devoted fanbase that spent decades eagerly awaiting a film adaptation. Given the expansive nature of the universe though, mounting a faithful movie was always going to be tricky.
Numerous attempts were made to adapt it, with Ron Howard famously trying to mount a joint film and television franchise with Javier Bardem playing the lead. In the end, director Nikolaj Arcel directed 2017’s The Dark Tower with Elba as The Gunslinger and Matthew McConaughey as his mortal enemy The Man In Black. Sadly, despite the level of hype the film proved to be a critical and commercial disappointment, grossing a modest $110 million worldwide. Before the movie was released, a TV series starring Elba was announced - though talk of that potential series has gone quiet in recent months.
In an interview with ScreenCrush, Elba admitted he has no idea what the current status of the show is. Stephen King previously suggested The Dark Tower show would be a complete reboot, but when asked about his thoughts on this, the star confessed he’s not up to speed:
You know what? I didn’t know Stephen said that. I don’t know, actually, where it lies. I must figure this out, I don’t know where it lies. I’m unfortunately the last to know at this point.
Elba’s comment echoes his previous statements on the future of the franchise, which currently appears to be on hold. Despite Elba’s hope for a Dark Tower movie sequel, the film’s underperformance makes that seems unlikely. Given the number of characters and storylines from the books, it almost makes more sense for The Dark Tower to become a TV series instead. One of the main critiques of the movie was the short runtime, and that the darkness and violence of the books had to be reduced to suit a PG-13 rating.
Despite The Dark Tower being something of a disappointment, Stephen King has had a terrific year elsewhere. IT became the highest-grossing R-rated horror movie of all time, Netflix produced acclaimed adaptations of Gerald’s Game and 1922, while Mr Mercedes was renewed for a second season. There are a lot more King projects on the way too, including TV series Castle Rock, a remake of Pet Sematary and IT: Chapter 2.
Hopefully, a Dark Tower TV series will become part of that line-up in the months ahead.