Stephen King Says ‘The Dark Tower’ TV Series Will Be a ‘Complete Reboot’

Stephen King says that the upcoming The Dark Tower TV series will be a complete reboot.

King spoke with Vulture this week about a variety of topics, primarily the three film adaptations of his books that were made this year: The Dark TowerIt, and Gerald’s Game. The idea behind The Dark Tower was to transition from a film version into a TV series, but the movie was a disappointment for the studio, and now it sounds like the TV series will be a totally different thing if it still happens at all.

“The TV series they’re developing now…we’ll see what happens with that,” King told Vulture. “It would be like a complete reboot, so we’ll just have to see.”

Idris Elba in a black leather duster looking out over rocks

Idris Elba in The Dark Tower | Columbia Picture

The Hollywood Reporter reported back in August that the plan was for the Dark Tower TV show to depict a younger Roland. A different actor would play him, but Idris Elba would still appear in the series in order to bookend things and establish that it’s the same character from the movie. Dennis Haysbert and Tom Taylor, who played Ronald’s father and Jake in the film respectively, were also set to appear in the show.

In other words, the TV series was being described as a fairly traditional prequel, with the main two characters from the film appearing in a limited role and with it being made clear that we are just watching a younger version of Ronald. Now, however, Stephen King is describing the show as a “complete reboot,” which doesn’t sound anything like the plan that was previously described. Although The Hollywood Reporter did note that the TV series was to stand on its own, it didn’t sound at all like a “reboot,” a term generally reserved for something that resets that continuity and discards previous entries.

Idris Elba and Tom Taylor in The Dark Tower

Idris Elba and Tom Taylor in The Dark Tower. | Columbia Pictures

It would not be surprising if the Dark Tower TV show is being rethought after the failure of the feature film. The movie grossed only $50 million in the United States, which was tremendously disappointing for Columbia Pictures, although it made some more money overseas and wasn’t a complete catastrophe because the production budget was so low. It was also critically reviled, receiving a dismal 16 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Given the negative reception among both critics and most fans, perhaps the Dark Tower TV series now is being distanced from the movie, although it’s possible that King just meant it’s a “complete reboot” more in that it will be a “retooling” and that it won’t directly continue from the ending of the film.

Last we heard, the Dark Tower TV show was to begin production in 2018. It has a showrunner in The Walking Dead‘s Glen Mazzara, but no network has picked it up.