UPDATE: Danish director Nikolaj Arcel will indeed direct the first in Sony’s “Dark Tower” series, with Anders Thomas Jensen (writer on Susanne Bier’s “Brothers”) set to co-write the script with him– working, perhaps, from Akiva Goldsman and Jeff Pinkner’s version of “The Gunslinger”? Arcel also recently wrote a Robert F. Kennedy script that Matt Damon will star in for Warner Bros. MRC, meanwhile, is developing a complementary TV series based on “The Dark Tower” (per Deadline).
EARLIER: You may not know Nikolaj Arcel, the Danish filmmaker who wrote and directed 2013 foreign Oscar nominee “A Royal Affair,” and penned the original Swedish “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” But you will soon.
Deadline reports that Sony Pictures Entertainment, which signed on earlier this year to finance a “Dark Tower” franchise, is circling Arcel to direct and rewrite this massive genre project that will involve condensing — or expounding upon — the eight novels in King’s celebrated, quasi-Western, sci-fi fantasy opus.
There’s already a script out there, co-written by Akiva Goldsman and Jeff Pinkner, for “The Gunslinger,” King’s first novel in the series that follows titular lone warrior Roland on his mythic trudge to find the mysterious and cosmically powerful Dark Tower. But it is believed that Arcel, more often a writer than a director, will take his own crack at these pages. And who will play gunslinger Roland? Russell Crowe was once a strong contender.
“The Dark Tower” has been passed around for nearly a decade, with JJ Abrams originally attached to direct for Universal before it went to HBO for a possible miniseries, then to Universal, and now to Sony. Author King has been along for this ride, and has long hoped for “The Dark Tower” to be made despite usually keeping a tight ship when it comes to where and how his projects land.
King recently supported filmmaker Cary Fukunaga’s proposed two-part adaptation of the novel “It” for New Line, which now has shelved that project.