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Why Amazon's Next Fantasy Juggernaut Will Be Its Biggest Series Yet

Amazon's Prime Video has made some cool moves in the streaming service game, from reviving beloved sci-fi show "The Expanse" to creating a host of original shows like "The Boys." Still, while it has built a catalog of enticing content, the thing Amazon seems most interested in is finding its own "Game of Thrones." The classic HBO fantasy series may not have quite landed its ending, but it was still a massive overall success story, and Amazon Studios has taken more than one stab at creating something similar.

From an impressive adaptation of Robert Jordan's "Wheel of Time" to "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power," Amazon has been on a quest to create the most fantastic fantasy series out there. Now, the company may finally have found what it's been after. In Mike Flanagan's new project, "The Dark Tower," the company has the potential to finally acquire its biggest fantasy show. In fact, "The Dark Tower" could very well become Prime Video's biggest series so far, period. 

The Dark Tower is a perfect storm of a fantasy story

By sheer length and complexity alone, "The Dark Tower" is easily horror legend Stephen King's seminal work — which, considering that King's back catalog features genre juggernauts like "It," "The Shining," and "The Stand," is no mean feat. "The Dark Tower" is also the most dense and difficult King work out there, and often far removed from the horror genre he's usually associated with. In fact, its sprawling story doesn't adhere to any single fantasy genre either, existing instead in a complicated, compelling multi-world mess of its own. Its universes stretch over seven numbered novels, a prequel novella, a late-addition mid-story book, and a heap of tie-ins and additional material. It's full of characters from and references to King's other works, as well as a whole bunch of original characters and lore. 

Daunting and difficult as that may seem, "The Dark Tower" actually has everything you can ask from a fantasy series. There's a fascinating protagonist and numerous interesting supporting characters, as well as a cavalcade of chilling villains spearheaded by King's infamous multi-novel mayhem maker, the Man in Black. Its starting point — a crumbling magical Old West universe known as Mid-World — is a unique location and a good spot to establish the story's central beats. Gunslinger Roland Deschain's stubborn quest to reach the titular Dark Tower is a compelling, slowly unfolding mystery, which goes to wilder places than most fantasy works would even dream of, and is packed with cool Easter eggs for King fans. "The Dark Tower" also comes with a pretty amazing ending, and contains numerous big beats that will no doubt make Red Wedding-level waves if and when they make it in the live-action adaptation.

Cooked correctly, these ingredients should produce a series that can't help but tower over the competition. Still, as the 2017 movie starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey readily proves, "The Dark Tower" is by no means an easy epic to adapt. Can Mike Flanagan do the impossible and give us a live-action "The Dark Tower" that doesn't walk all over the source material?  

Mike Flanagan is the perfect person to make this series

Luckily for fans, it's entirely possible that there's no person alive who's more fitting to adapt "The Dark Tower" than Mike Flanagan. Known for his moody Netflix projects like "The Haunting" anthology and "Midnight Mass," he's also a prolific filmmaker who has adapted no less than two excellent adaptations of King's stories — both of which act as proof of his suitability to tackle the horror master's work.

2017's psychological, actor-driven small-scale horror drama "Gerald's Game" boasts a terrific 91 percent Tomatometer rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but an even better example of Flanagan's Stephen King prowess is his adaptation of "Doctor Sleep." The visually masterful horror thriller manages to be a sequel to both King's "The Shining" and Stanley Kubrick's somewhat different movie adaptation, while crafting a dreamlike identity of its own. If you're familiar with "The Dark Tower" series, "Doctor Sleep" and several other Flanagan projects have a very peculiar vibe that may very well mesh nicely with the complexities of King's magnum opus. King himself certainly rates Flanagan's work, as the writer's had some high praise for "Midnight Mass."

The Dark Tower is Flanagan's dream project

Even more important than Flanagan's filmmaker and showrunner accolades is the fact that he loves, loves, loves the source material. Per Deadline, "The Dark Tower" has been his ultimate dream project for a long time, so it's fitting that he now gets to work on the project and make sure the series includes all the important stuff. He certainly has the runtime to do so, since "The Dark Tower" is set to unfold over five seasons and two movies. What's more, the property's rights sit with Flanagan and Trevor Macy's Intrepid Pictures, so they're free to develop as they see fit. And develop they have done, seeing as Flanagan already has a pilot script and outlines for the five seasons. 

While "The Dark Tower" doesn't appear to be a direct part of their deal with Amazon Studios, Flanagan and Macy are both open to making the show with Amazon — and let's be honest, it's very hard to imagine the juggernaut skipping an opportunity like this, especially now that Flanagan has made the jump from Netflix to Amazon. With the rights of "The Dark Tower" in Flanagan's capable hands, and Amazon no doubt peering interestedly behind his back, there's a strong possibility that the series will make its way to Prime Video, where it should make a massive impact upon arrival. As such, the fans shouldn't have to worry about that, and can move on to speculating about other things ... like, say, the casting.