It's been the biggest will-they, won't-they of Stephen King's career, but The Dark Tower series took another giant step toward becoming a reality with the news that it has found a director.
The chosen one is apparently Nikolaj Arcel, who is in talks to rewrite and direct the first film for Sony Pictures Entertainment, who picked up the project after it failed to happen with both Universal and Warner Bros.
Arcel is noted for co-scripting the Swedish version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and has also directed A Royal Affair - which was nominated for the 2013 Oscar for Best Foreign Film. He is also due to direct an adaptation of Don Winslow's novel The Power of the Dog, as well as Daphne Du Maurier's novel Rebecca. He is seemingly a huge Stephen King fan and is intimately acquainted with The Dark Tower series.
Related: Take our Ultimate Dark Tower Quiz
The opening movie is due to centre on the The Gunslinger, the first of eight books that Stephen King wrote between 1982 and 2012 which comprise what he has described as his 'magnum opus' - a pretty special accolade given the number of classic books that he has written over his long career. When Warner Bros originally dropped the series, he stated that, "The Dark Tower, to me - and I’m not unbiased because I’m the writer on this thing - but to me it looks like gold on the ground waiting to be picked up."
The existing script has been co-written by Akiva Goldsman (Cinderella Man) and Jeff Pinkner (Lost); presumably Arcel will be fine tuning this to his demands.
As well as this movie series, a complementary TV series is also in the works from MRC, with Brian Grazer, Goldsman, Ron Howard, Eric Huggins and King himself involved; however, it is unknown how the material will divide between this and the movie franchise.
Once Arcel is in place attention will then turn to who will played the lead, gunslinger Roland Deschain. Javier Bardem and Russell Crowe have previously been linked, but who knows what the new director's thoughts will be: watch this space.