After spending five years on television as the morally questionable detective John Luther on Luther, Idris Elba is heading back to television for a spinoff series based on Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, which is being adapted into a film.
Sony and production company MRC are going ahead with a 10-13 episode first season spinoff of The Dark Tower being released next year, according to Entertainment Weekly. The television series will be based on the fourth novel in King’s Gunslinger series, Wizard and Glass, with a proposed premiere date of sometime in 2018. That date, according to the magazine, will coincide with the debut of The Dark Tower on cable.
While the film will focus on gunslinger Roland Deschain (Elba) and his search for a dark tower that will stop his world from being destroyed, Wizard and Glass will focus on a younger version of Deschain. The show will act as an origin story for the character and Sony is bringing on a younger actor to play that version of Deschain.
The older version of Deschain — played by Elba — and his young acquaintance, Jake Chambers — played by Tom Taylor — will serve as the framing device for the show, according to Entertainment Weekly. Matthew McConaughey, who plays the Man in Black in The Dark Tower, is in negotiations to join the show, but isn’t locked in. Even if McConaughey decides not to join the series, however, his character will appear in the series via a different actor.
Depending on how successful the series is, Sony and MRC are interested in exploring further seasons. Although the production company and studio still don’t have a distributing network at this time, the MRC is likening it to Game of Thrones and is looking for a premium cable or streaming service to partner with in order to make the show they want to. MRC is the production company behind House of Cards, so it has a history of working with Netflix, but is apparently looking into all avenues.
The Dark Tower, which will kick off the new Stephen King extended universe, hits theaters Feb. 17, 2017.