There was an unusual question in the exit survey for The Dark Tower this weekend, with moviegoers asked whether they were interested in a Dark Tower TV series. It was included in the survey by MRC, which is set to co-produce the series with Sony TV. The result was that 83% of The Dark Tower film audience indicated that they were definitely/probably interested in a TV series.
The Dark Tower movie topped its opening weekend despite coming in under expectations at $19.1 million, which would translate into as many as 4-4.5 million interested in a TV series out of the pool of viewers who went to see the film in its opening weekend.
“That is incredibly encouraging; what it shows is that there is a very big, excited audience for the show,” said MRC co-CEO Modi Wiczyk.
The viewer approval for the movie, which drew mixed reviews from critics was in the 70%+, lower than the percentage of viewers interested in a TV series. “People who have seen the movie are interested in a TV series whether or not they liked the movie; even if they didn’t like the movie, they were not turn off by that,” Wiczyk said.
Admitting that this is “uncharted territory” in terms of connecting film and TV in one franchise, “the success of the film has no correlation to whether the show will be successful or not, it has to stand on its own,” Wiczyk said, noting that the performance of Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. performance is not tied to how The Avengers movies do. “All it means is that there is a receptive audience, so if you deliver something good, you’re in good shape.”
A TV veteran, The Walking Dead alum Glenn Mazzara, is spearheading The Dark Tower series, which will take place many years before the events depicted in the film, focusing on Roland’s origin story- how he first became a gunslinger and got his guns, his first conflict with the man in black, his first love and his first mission as a gunslinger.
Stephen King, on whose books the movie and the TV series are based (the TV series will draw mainly from “Wizard and Glass,” book 4, and flashbacks from “The Gunslinger,” book 1), is closely involved.
The project, executive produced by the movie’s Akiva Goldsman and Imagine, is in very early stages of being taken out as MRC is starting to engage U.S. networks.