We'll find out in just a few short days if Sony's long-awaited Dark Tower adaptation will be a hit or miss at the box office, but the studio already has plans in place for a trilogy, along with a TV series that will air between the movies. Even if The Dark Tower isn't a huge hit, it was made under a modest $60 million budget, which means a sequel is likely inevitable, and when that happens, Stephen King recently revealed he wants it to be an R-rated venture. Here's what the author had to say about the sequel, and how he understands why this first movie had to be PG-13.
"I understand the rationale behind the movie that is PG-13. I was totally signed off on that. I want as many people in the tent as possible, for all kinds of reasons. Part of it having to do with the dynamic between the Gunslinger and the boy. That's a father-son relationship. But I'd love to see the next picture be R. That's sort of where we're coming from now, and where the movie needs to go. PG-13 was the safe spot to go. When pictures were R, the studio execs would say, 'Well, we know that this is going to make 20% or 30% less money because we're going to exclude a prime tenderloin part of the moviegoing public.' I think that movies like Deadpool have changed that."
The author certainly makes a valid point, in his interview with CinemaBlend. Deadpool certainly opened the floodgates for more R-rated fare, with the early February release shattering box office records for highest R-rated opening weekend ($132.4 million) en route to becoming the highest grossing R-rated movie at the global box office ($783.1 million). Now, with that being said, not every R-rated movie will be able to tap into that potential, as proven by recent flops such as The House and Rough Night. And, since The Dark Tower isn't shaping up to become a box office blockbuster, the studio may be hesitant to cut out any potential audience member, if the first movie doesn't break the bank.
Still, it's possible that the R-rated nature of the story could be told in another medium. It was recently confirmed that Idris Elba will return as The Gunslinger in an upcoming Dark Tower TV series, which just brought on Glen Mazzara as the new showrunner. However, that show will reportedly focus on a younger version of Roland Deschain and his group, although Idris Elba will be featured as the adult Gunslinger, along with Dennis Haysbert as Roland's father, and Tom Taylor as the young Jake Chambers. If this series eventually lands on a pay cable outlet like HBO, it would be much easier to pull off an R-rated series, although there is no indication as of yet that the producers are eyeing an R-rated series.
When The Dark Tower was happening at Universal, the plan was to release a movie trilogy, with seasons of a limited TV series airing in between the movies. Since this sprawling adaptation shifted to Sony, Media Rights Capital (MRC) has come aboard to co-finance the series, with this week's report on new showrunner Glen Mazzara revealing that the producers, which include Ron Howard and Brian Glazer, are eyeing a straight-to-series order on a cable network or streaming service, eyeing between 10 and 13 episodes per season. Hopefully we'll find out more on The Dark Tower 2 and this upcoming Dark Tower TV series in the very near future.