Horror master Mike Flanagan adapted two of Stephen King’s works, Gerald’s Game in 2017 and King’s The Shining sequel Doctor Sleep in 2019. However, even in his non-King writing, Flanagan often demonstrates his fascination with the Maine writer, whether it’s simply conveying in his writing King’s love of the intersection of ordinary people and creeping, corrupting evil, or more explicit references such as the cover art. illustrated version of The Gunslinger, the first book in King’s extensive Dark Tower series, appeared in Flanagan’s Night Owl Club.
In a recent interview with IGN, Flanagan made it clear that he’s not a casual fan of The Tower, describing the film adaptations of seven of King’s novels that mix westerns, fantasy, science fiction, and just about every other idea and concept that ran through King’s head between 1982 and 2004 as your “Everest”.
Of course, The Dark Tower has already been adapted for film adaptation once: in 2017, a disastrous film version of Nikolai Arcel’s books was released in cinemas. Flanagan is careful not to be too judgmental about the film version, but still says he thinks the film’s structure, which eschews King’s fantastical and dark opening in favor of a long sequence set in “our” world before Idris Elba’s Roland, is a mistake.
Flanagan says “his” The Dark Tower will be a much more accurate adaptation of the books, including King’s very good opening line:
The first scene would be a black screen and the words “The man in black was running through the desert with the gunslinger following him” would appear in silence, the wind would be heard, and we would gradually move into a Lawrence of Arabia style landscape with a silhouette in the distance just plowing through path on solid ground. And we built everything in order, from beginning to end.
If anyone can persuade, say, Netflix to try something as ambitious as this, it will be Flanagan – who has created a lot of hot ideas for the streaming company over the years, and with a consistency rarely seen in the streaming space.