It’s still uncertain how high the long-awaited adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower will climb, establishing a multi-movie franchise with a TV arm fleshing out the world’s expansive backstory. That isn’t stopping MRC and writer Akiva Goldsman from rolling full-steam ahead, eying a 2017 production date with Idris Elba to briefly reprise his role in adapting King’s novel Wizard and Glass. Get the latest details!

Entertainment Weekly put forth an expansive update on the proposed Dark Tower series, one that suggests MRC intends to move forward on production of 10-13 episodes regardless of a network signing on to host them. The series will take place before the events of Nikolaj Arcel’s 2017 film, following a young incarnation of Idris Elba’s Roland Deschain, though the actor is apparently signed on for an appearance (along with Tom Taylor’s Jake Chamber).

Matthew McConaughey is not confirmed to appear as his Man in Black character, but “in King’s books this sorcerer often takes on different names and appearances … he may be inhabiting the shape of another actor.”

Goldsman himself would act as one of the show’s executive producers, along with Jeff Pinkner, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, with Arcel and co-writer Anders Thomas Jensen working on the script. As expected, however, another showrunner would oversee day-to-day operations. For those unfamiliar with the fourth, prequelizing novel, here’s how EW lays out Wizard and Glass:

Although written in the middle of the series, Wizard and Glass is primarily a prequel that features Roland and his ka-tet of fate-forged allies, including the boy Jake, listening to the story of the gunslinger’s past while preparing for the next leg of their journey.

In this framing device for the book, they are camped within reach of a “thinny,” which is a kind of aurora where reality has eroded and people who draw too close can be consumed like it’s a black hole. Roland tells his new friends of his first encounter with such a thing, unspooling a tale about being sent by his father on a mission to the Barony of Mejis, a distant seaside kingdom in the same dimension as his homeland of Gilead.

A potential second season would either move beyond Wizard and Glass to Dark Tower comics, or perhaps feature new storylines from Stephen King himself, but will The Dark Tower turn out the franchise-starter fans have been hoping for?

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