Stephen King's epic fantasy book series, The Dark Tower, will become a television show on HBO, current home of book adaptation Game of Thrones, according to producer Brian Grazer.
MTV reported that Grazer confirmed the partnership at a Tower Heist press event. Grazer was also a producer for Tower Heist, a new film unrelated to The Dark Tower.
Grazer will also release a full length film based on the series, which has sold over 30 million books, with another partner yet to be determined.
We're going to do that movie. We've lost $45 million out of the budget, he said. When people say no to you enough, then you have to lose money, which we've done without harming the scope of the film.
Actor Javier Bardem had been cast as the enigmatic main character, Roland Deschain, who is a cross between a gunslinging Clint Eastwood and a crusading knight. The series follows Deschain's quest for the Dark Tower, and the formation of a group of adventurers, called a ka-tet. It has a different feel than King's more prominent horror genres, drawing from medieval fantasy, spaghetti Westerns and science fiction standards like time travel.
Grazer and Ron Howard had planned to team with Universal Entertainment on a film trilogy and television adaptation, but plans were scrapped. Lost creators J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof had also been connected to the series as early as 2007, but eventually said they wouldn't be involved.
HBO has had recent success with another bestselling fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin, which was branded as Game of Thrones, after the first book of the series. Like Dark Tower, Game of Thrones is part of a seven-book series with long books in excess of 1,000 pages, complex plot elements and, as is often the case of HBO, sex and gore. Both series have large, rabid fanbases, and Game of Thrones was very well received by audiences and critics. One concerns over the series was the cost factor -- also a major obstacle that prevented Game of Thrones from becoming a three-hour film. Some story elements were scaled back and a few minor characters were cut completely.
It remains to be seen if HBO can pull two high-profile fantasy shows. But if nothing else, Tower fans are used to waiting -- Stephen King published the first volume in 1982, while the seventh and final book was not out until 2004. King is also working on another Dark Tower novel, entitled The Wing Through the Keyhole, which will take place chronologically in between the fourth and fifth books. It is set to be published in March 2012.