Steven King's The Dark Tower is finally coming to the big screen. This summer, the twisted western is getting the major motion picture treatment. The movie, starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, is based on King's series of graphic novels, and fans of the series will be happy to find out that there is already a Dark Tower sequel in the works in the mind of director Nikolaj Arcel. However, just because Arcel has an idea for a sequel doesn't mean the potential franchise will follow the the events of the books.
The key to understanding what The Dark Tower sequel could look like is first understanding that the film is actually something of a sequel itself. "The hardcore fans of The Dark Tower series will know that this is actually a sequel to the books in a way," Arcel said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. "It has a lot of the same elements, a lot of the same characters, but it is a different journey." In fact, Arcel has described The Dark Tower as sort of the final installment in King's series, one that will finally bring Gunslinger Roland's (Elba) quest to an end. "Now we are allowed to tell that last journey," the director told IndieWire. "What is Roland's last journey through this adventure?" This might sound final, but Arcel is clear that there are still more stories to tell should the movie do well enough to warrant a sequel.
There are a few key characters from the original series missing from the feature film, most notably Susannah, and Eddie. And if a sequel gets the green light, Arcel has promised fans that they will be joining the franchise. "The best way to continue the series, if we are lucky enough to continue, would be with what is actually book two, because now the other characters start coming into the story," Arcel told IndieWire, adding that he would like to see more characters join in on the hero's journey.
Again: all sequels depend on the box office success of the original film. If, however, The Dark Tower proves disappointing at the box office, that doesn't mean the adaptation will be gone for good. A television show inspired by the series is currently in the works, with Arcel and Elba attached. Instead of being a sequel to King's novels, the TV show would actually be a kind of prequel to the film, focusing on Roland's journey before The Dark Tower. And unlike the movie, the television show would be more closely tied to the books, specifically the events of the fourth installment, Wizard and Glass. "In the movie, Roland is suffering tremendous loss. The most concrete, personal, existential heartbreak a character can have," producer and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman revealed to Entertainment Weekly. "If the movie chronicles his final reach toward hope again, the TV show is the loss of that hope."
Sequel or no sequel, one thing is clear: there is much more planned for The Dark Tower than just one summer blockbuster.