It wasn’t too long ago that the proposed The Dark Tower film + TV proposal had fans salivating over seeing one of their favorite Stephen King properties brought to screens both big and small. What wasn’t to like? Ron Howard directing, Javier Bardem being courted to play King’s titular Tower character, and Roland’s adventures finally being realized in filmed format. Hile, gunslinger!
Unfortunately the proposal was deemed too ambitious (read: costly) by Universal and Warner Bros. studios. While Media Rights Capital was last reported as in the running to get the project off the ground, Collider now reports that Chief Creative Officer Ted Sarandos talked to Ron Howard about bringing The Dark Tower to Netflix. This bodes well for fans of Mid-World roamers Roland, Eddie, Jake, Susannah and Oy the Billy-Bumbler should talks with Media Rights Capital fall through. Even more interesting is the success of Netflix’s current original programming bet on the Kevin Spacey starring House of Cards combining with the resurrection of Arrested Development to spur Sarandos to speculate that such talks with Howard may continue, given the anticipated success of Development and the relationship already presumably being forged with Howard given his association with the Bluths as narrator of the popular show.
These are very interesting times to live in as a TV and film fan. (And a Dark Tower fan as well.) Many would agree with Collider’s speculation of Dark Tower Netflix content being limited to the proposed television component, as funding for three feature films may be out of the realm of possibility for the streaming and DVD delivery company. But imagine the lead-in those films would make to Netflix exclusive Tower episodic content; one would be inclined to believe that subscription rates would definitely benefit. Watching this story develop will be of particular interest not only to Dark Tower fans but to everyone who is paying attention to how original content is migrating from network and cable offerings to the internet airwaves.