Stephen King’s ‘The Dark Tower’ Series: ‘The Gunslinger’ Heading For The Big Screen

In a much-awaited move, The Dark Tower series by popular author Stephen King is heading for the big screen, with the first in the series to feature the story of The Gunslinger.

Stephen King has been in the media a lot lately, with the Inquisitr recently reporting the release date for the miniseries adaptation of the exciting time travel book, 11/22/63. That novel tells the tale of a teacher who travels back in time via a portal in a local diner in an attempt to stop the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy.

Even more recent was the news of the big screen adaptation of the ultimate horror novel, It, featuring the terrifying character, Pennywise the Clown.

Now there is even more good news for Stephen King fans, as the long-anticipated big screen version of one of The Dark Tower series of novels is going ahead. In what is anticipated in being a series of movies, the first will tell the story of The Gunslinger, the initial tale in the fantasy series of novels.

Stephen King
[Image via Flickr by Libu Balakrishnan / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]

According to Venture Capital Post, The Dark Tower is set for release at the same time as the horror movie, Friday The 13th, making for an interesting duo in the movie theaters at the beginning of 2017.

Reportedly, Stephen King has signed over the rights to a majority of his horror and fantasy works, including some of the novels in The Dark Tower series to the publisher, Scribner. So far, King has given Scribner the rights to four of the books in The Dark Tower series, and those rights cover every format in which the book can be published.

As per Den of Geek, details of the upcoming film project are few, other than the announcement that The Dark Tower is finally going ahead under Sony Pictures, and that it will be released on the same date as Friday the 13th.

The first installment in what is hoped to be a planned franchise is about The Gunslinger, and covers the initial book beginning of the tale of gunslinger, Roland Deschain, as he heads out on his search for the mythical Dark Tower, in an attempt to preserve his dying world.

Stephen King
[Image via Flickr by DASHBot / Fair Use]

The story has a fantasy/science fiction/horror/Wild West theme, and is set in an alternative universe called Mid World. As the series progresses, connections are made with our own world, drawing people from New York City and other areas into Roland’s desolate, post-apocalyptic world to aid him in his quest.

It has taken King many years to complete the series, with several years going by between each novel. Stephen King was inspired by the Robert Browning poem, “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came,” and, in fact, included the full text of that poem in the appendix of the final volume in the series.

King has described the The Dark Tower series as his “magnum opus,” which started with the novel The Gunslinger and finally culminated in the eighth volume of the series, The Dark Tower, in 2012.

As for possible stars of the upcoming film The Dark Tower, there was at one stage talk bandied about that the great Spanish character actor Javier Bardem was approached for the lead role of Roland Deschain.

Bardem would, indeed, suit the part well, although most fans of the novels might possibly choose a young Clint Eastwood as the perfect man for the job. However, since then, development of the movie has taken a break and whether Bardem will actually be courted for the role by Sony remains to be seen.

There has been mention that Russell Crowe and Idris Elba would be involved somewhere along the line, and the film is set to be directed by Akiva Goldsman, who will also write the film, along with Danish director Anders Thomas.

While nothing further is known at present, The Dark Tower is set for release on January 13, 2017.

[Photo via Flickr by Kelly Teague / CC BY-SA 2.0]