The Dark Tower: First Details of Amazon's Cancelled Pilot Revealed

Earlier this year came devastating news for fans of Stephen King as Amazon announced they had passed on the produced pilot for their television adaptation of his opus, The Dark Tower. At the time it was reported that Amazon felt the series "wasn't on the level" of their other larger genre programs that were in the pipeline, specifically Wheel Of Time and The Lord Of the Rings. Official details on the pilot episode of the potential series were never confirmed by Amazon beforehand, but in a new tell-all interview series showrunner Glen Mazzara has unloaded a ton of information on what happened in the pilot and what was being planned for later in the series.

Speaking on the latest episode of The Kingcast, Mazzara was very open about the entire pilot episode that was shot (previously reported to feature Michael Rooker, Jerome Flynn, and Joana Ribeiro in its cast), confirming that the series would have started with a young version of Roland Deschain and worked its way toward the events of the first book "The Gunslinger."

"The story of the pilot is basically Roland in the desert. The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed," Mazzara revealed. "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. 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."

He added, "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."

Mazzara also confirmed that the series was originally going to focus solely on the story of the young Roland Deschain while the feature films starring Idris Elba would focus on the adult version of the character. As we know now, that film series never got past its inaugural chapter, which freed up the television series to tell the entire story of The Dark Tower from King's eight novels.

“When we realized that the franchise was not viable, or not going to continue, we decided we could now lay out 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.”


The former The Walking Dead showrunner had even more to say about his plans for the series including plans for the first three seasons of the show and beyond. Listen to the full episode of The Kingcast to learn even more.

What do you think of this plot summary of The Dark Tower pilot? Sound off in the comments below and talk to me on Twitter about all things Dark Tower @TheSpencerPerry.