Amazon canceled their planned adaptation of Stephen King’s magnum opus The Dark Tower after filming the pilot. And today showrunner Glen Mazzara (The Walking Dead) revealed the three-season plan for the series.
Mazzara told The Kingcast: “The story of the pilot is basically Roland in the desert. The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed. In this version, he’s chasing Marten because Marten was with Gabrielle (Roland’s mother) and he’s vowed his revenge. In the books, (Roland) gets his guns to kill Marten, and then Marten sort of disappears from the narrative.
He continues: “So (Roland) chases Marten across the desert and ended up in Hambry. He meets Susan. In the pilot, it’s the Feast of the Kissing Moon and she’s being presented to the mayor and she meets Roland on the road. Roland goes into Traveler’s Rest. He has the scene where the Big Coffin Hunters trip Sheemie and Roland gets into a classic western stand-off. The ka-tet catches up and we have Cuthbert use the slingshot and he takes out one of the Big Coffin Hunters. They go into the square and as they’re arguing, Roland, explaining he’s there to find and kill Marten, Susan grabs him and they dance. They actually dance to a Flogging Molly tune, which I love. The Big Coffin Hunters come in and are chasing him through the square, but Roland sees Marten, so everything all collides in the end.”
He then reveals: “Season One ended with the death of Susan. In Wizard and Glass very quickly you go from the death of Susan to the death of Gabrielle, (Roland’s) mother. I felt that I needed a season to give me real estate so that Gabrielle’s death didn’t step on Susan’s and that it felt like an escalation. Roland fails to save Susan, but he actually shoots and kills his mother. In the book Gabrielle is not really a detailed character in a way that, say, Susan is, or even Rhea is. Gabrielle is really not fleshed out. She just doesn’t have as many pages attributed to her.”
And finally, he says: “So for Season 2, the war with Farson was building. I was maybe going to use the shapeshifter story (from The Wind Through the Keyhole) as part of season 2 and get to the death of Gabrielle and either the fall of Gilead there or the fall of Gilead would be the season three premiere. Very quickly there would be a last stand at Jericho Hill and by episode 3.03 or 3.04 I was going to have Roland stumble out into the desert, follow him into the desert, and then I was going to do a time-lapse so that maybe you actually age Roland and switch actors. Then you have a new Roland reset the show at the top of season three, then go into The Gunslinger and by the end of that season go into The Drawing of Three.”
He continues: “When we realized that the franchise was not viable, or not going to continue, we decided we could now layout the entire epic. Now we had a choice: do we go back and start with The Gunslinger? Do you start and tell the story in a linear way and then interrupt that narrative and have this large cutaway in your season 4 or season 5 to Wizard and Glass? That’s a viable option.”