They're really doing it. They're really making a film/tv adaptation of The Dark Tower series.
I'm not even sure I can form coherent thoughts regarding this development, but I shall try.
I want to jump for joy and flail about in fangirlish glee over the fact that after years of quasi-development someone finally got their mitts on the rights to the Dark Tower series and is tackling it in a logical way: films AND television.
My opinion has always been that the series would be an awesome spectacle on the big screen, but would have to be a larger undertaking than even The Lord of the Rings... which might be impossible. I've since held that the way to 'do it right' would be to divide the series into a few short-run series 'seasons' on HBO, Showtime, Starz... one of the pay cable channels where they can be as violent and sexy and profane as King wrote and also have the budget to pull off all the fantastic elements. It looks like we're trying to strike a balance between the two, and I wish Universal success and hope it does not bankrupt them.
Here's what I AM excited about:
Including Roland's backstory via what's touched on in The Wizard and The Glass and expanded on in the comic series.
Covering, hopefully, the entirety of the series in a format that allows the inclusion of all the good stuff (of which there is much).
Something on such an epic scale that provides me with years of something to obsess over an geek out about (much like The Lord of the Rings trilogy).
Roland Deschain 'in person' as an actual physical being. 'Nuff said.
Here's what's potentially terrifying:
Poor casting choices. Howard's very hit and miss with this. Something it's great, sometimes there's someone awesome on tap and they get turned down in favor of someone not nearly as right for the role. In this situation, for this series, I will go all kinds of fangirl apeshit if the right people are not found for Roland (young and old), Eddie, Susannah, Jake, Flagg, or Callahan. And Uncle Stevie better be Uncle Stevie.
Forcing CGI where other alternatives would be better placed. This is a general fear I have of late, but especially when it comes to epic fantasy/horror/adventure... of which this is all three.
Ron Howard. I'm sorry, but the man is an emotional dead weight when it comes to filmmaking. He's got good ideas and executes technically cool films... sometimes... but they can be be the dullest, most unemotional movies ever. If that happens to this series, there are going to be a ton of pissed off King fans gunning for him and Universal. I mean, we're not talking about The Dark Half or Desperation here... or even 'Salem's Lot. This is the magnum-frigging-opus of King's career -- his LotR, his Narnia, his Golden Compass series as only King could envision.
I truly am excited at the prospect of this project; I'm just worried about the execution. So if anyone out there has the power and needs any kind of consultant on how to make this series emotionally engaging, well cast, and not made of suck, I'm here.
(Sidenote: I saw the trailer for Priest -- comments to come -- can we please work Paul Bettany and Karl Urban into this Dark Tower mix?)