Mike Flanagan's Adaptation Of Stephen King's Dark Tower Series Deserves The Dream Deal Netflix Just Gave To 3 Body Problem

 The Gunslinger Book cover Stephen King.
The Gunslinger Book cover Stephen King.

Be excited, Constant Readers! In less than a week, Stephen King’s You Like It Darker will be arriving in stores everywhere, and fans will be able to devour 12 fresh tales of terror from the genre master. Before we get ahead of ourselves, however, there is plenty to discuss from the world of King that has unfolded in the last seven days, and The King Beat is here to catch you up!

In this week’s column, we have an exciting update about the upcoming The Stand-centric collection The End Of The World As We Know It, and Gerald’s Game/The Life Of Chuck’s Kate Siegel has shared an unexpected choice as her favorite Stephen King novel – but first, I want to discuss the recent renewal of 3 Body Problem on Netflix and how a similar deal from another streamer or studio would be a dream for Mike Flanagan’s developing adaptation of The Dark Tower series.

Roland Deschain on cover of The Dark Tower
Roland Deschain on cover of The Dark Tower

3 Body Problem Just Got A Seemingly Open Ended Deal From Netflix To Complete Its Story, And I Very Much Want That For The Dark Tower

When Netflix announced yesterday that they were renewing the sci-fi series 3 Body Problem, the news arrived with some interesting language. The press release didn’t say that the show was getting one more season or two more seasons or eight more seasons; instead, it merely said that the series “will continue with all-new episodes to take viewers through the full journey of this epic saga.” Within reason, there is the suggestion that the streamer is dedicated to keeping 3 Body Problem going as long as it takes for filmmakers David Benioff, D.B. Weiss and Alexander Woo to properly finish adapting the Remembrance Of Earth's Past trilogy by author Liu Cixin (of which The Three-Body Problem is the first book).

Despite the recommendation that Stephen King offered last week, I haven’t yet had the opportunity to watch 3 Body Problem – but the news piqued my interest for two reasons. The first is the realization that David Benioff and D.B. Weiss theoretically won’t be in a position to rush the ending of the sci-fi series as they did with Game Of Thrones. The second is that the deal from the streamer is exactly what I want to see Mike Flanagan get in the development of his Dark Tower adaptation.

It comes down to a single word: commitment. At this point, Constant Readers would probably feel fortunate to simply get a single season of a Mike Flanagan-scripted/directed TV series that is exceptionally faithful to its source material (theoretically bringing to life The Gunslinger and some if not all of The Drawing Of The Three)… but it would be awful to then see the adaptation of the western/fantasy/sci-fi epic end there via cancelation. After all, those two books in the grand scheme don’t even have all of the protagonists joining forces on the quest for the Dark Tower (that doesn’t happen until The Wastelands).

Anything short of adapting all seven main novels in the series would feel incomplete, and any proper live-action treatment of Stephen King’s magnum opus is going to need freedom from a streamer/studio to unfold at its own pace – not forcing sacrifices and shortcuts that will dim Flanagan’s vision. Being a realist and someone who has been professionally writing about the entertainment industry for over a decade, I understand that is asking for a whole hell of a lot, but after seeing Netflix’s commitment to 3 Body Problem, I do find myself with a microscopic bit of hope that a similar deal could lead to The Dark Tower adaptation that fans have spent nearly 20 years waiting to see.

Trashcan Man (Matt Frewer) in The Stand
Trashcan Man (Matt Frewer) in The Stand

The End Of The World As We Know It: New Tales Of Stephen King’s The Stand Has Been Completed, And We’ll Hopefully Get To Read It Soon

This year is stacking up with news about exciting King-related goodies. You Like It Darker is coming out next week, there are three upcoming Stephen King adaptations that have completed production, and before too long, we’ll be getting release date news about The End Of The World As We Know It: New Tales Of Stephen King’s The Stand.

I first wrote about this special new collection back in October when the project was first announced and received the stamp of approval from Stephen King. Edited by Christopher Golden and Brian Keene, the book features contributions from a variety of authors with a story to tell set in the world of The Stand – King’s beloved novel from 1978 about a world ending plague called Captain Trips. The End Of The World As We Know It doesn’t have an official release date yet), but Keene announced on Twitter this week that it is finished:

As noted on Brian Keene’s official website, The End Of The World As We Know It: New Tales Of Stephen King’s The Stand includes stories from a number of notable writers, King buffs and creatives including Paul Tremblay, Richard Chizmar, Bev Vincent, and Wayne Brady. Stay tuned for more updates about this amazing project – which a Q&A on Keene’s site says will be available for Constant Readers at some point in 2025.

Kate Siegel as Theo in The Haunting of Hill House
Kate Siegel as Theo in The Haunting of Hill House

Gerald’s Game’s Kate Siegel Names Her Favorite Stephen King Book, And It’s An Unexpected Choice

Rose Madder is a Stephen King book that I would classify as underrated. It’s never been adapted in live action, and King himself has even taken some shots at it – penning in On Writing that it and Insomnia are "stiff, trying-too-hard novels" – but it’s also a story that generates a lot of unsettling and grounded terror to go with splashes of the fantastical. Underrated as it may be, however, every title in the King canon has its supporters, and a notable one in Rose Madder’s case is actor/writer Kate Siegel.

Siegel, who is married to writer/director Mike Flanagan, is a dedicated Constant Reader who will soon be featured in her second Stephen King adaptation (The Life Of Chuck, following her role in Gerald’s Game), and she recently took to her personal Twitter account to answer a fan question about her favorite King book. She name-dropped The Talisman and Black House – two books that the author co-wrote with Peter Straub – but she highlighted Rose Madder as her number one:

My favorite Stephen King book is actually Rose Madder, which is a fantasy-ish, female escapist story. I really like the intersection of Stephen King and fantasy. I think it's really good. I love Black House and The Talisman. What else do I love? I just really like it when he gets into those wild worlds where things aren’t what they seem.

A book that pairs quite well with both Gerald’s Game and Dolores Claiborne, Rose Madder tells the story of Rosie Daniels, a woman who one day makes the impetuous decision to up and leave her abusive husband, steal his bank card, and hop on a bus to the Midwest. She is able to start putting together a new life for herself, but her violent, misogynistic ex happens to be a police officer who uses his skills and resources to track her down. Rosie doesn’t have much to defend herself… but she does find herself in possession of a portal to another world after she pawns her wedding ring and acquires a magical portrait of a woman in a rose madder gown.

Reflecting on the book, Kate Siegel could actually do an amazing job playing Rosie Daniels in an adaptation, and given her passion for the material, perhaps it could even be a project she targets as a directorial debut? While she is best known for her work in front of the camera – appearing in just about every Mike Flanagan film and television project in addition to shows like The Time Traveler’s Wife and Hawaii Five-0 – she got her first screenwriting credit co-writing the script for the fantastic 2016 home invasion thriller Hush.

You can watch Kate Siegel discuss her love of Rose Madder and other fantasy-driven Stephen King books in the Twitter video below:

Kate Siegel will theoretically next be seen in the aforementioned adaptation of The Life Of Chuck, which completed production at the end of last year, but the film does not yet have a release date.

You Like It Darker by Stephen King cover
You Like It Darker by Stephen King cover

Recommendation Of The Week: “Laurie”

If you presently find yourself buzzing with excitement and counting down the minutes until May 21 and the arrival of Stephen King’s You Like It Darker, allow me to offer you some literary methadone to ease your jonesing. Of the 12 stories in the new short story omnibus, five are previously unpublished, two originally came out as e-books, three were featured in magazines/journals, and one was included in a different collection. The twelfth story in that tabulation is “Laurie,” which was first published for free on Stephen King’s personal website in 2018 and still remains available to read.

Lloyd Sunderland, a retiree living in Florida, is the protagonist of the story, and the eponymous Laurie is a Border Collie-Mudi puppy who is gifted to Lloyd by his older sister following the death of his wife. He initially resents having to take care of the animal, but he grows to love the dog after a few months. This new relationship has the effect of returning vigor to his life – but his love of Laurie also pulls him into a dangerous situation that threatens in it.

That wraps up this edition of The King Beat, but I’ll be back next Thursday here on CinemaBlend with a fresh column digging into You Like It Darker and all of the other big headlines from the world of Stephen King. Meanwhile, you can read by series Adapting Stephen King: a chronological examination of every King adaptation made for film and television.