On 13 February 2007, IGN Movies reported that the adaptation was in the works, though whether it is for a movie or a television series was at the time unknown. J. J. Abrams, co-creator of the television show Lost, was supposedly attached to produce and direct.
On 26 February 2007, Entertainment Weekly reported that Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof, who co-created Lost with Abrams, had optioned the Dark Tower series from King for a reported nineteen dollars, a number that mysteriously recurs throughout the series. According to issue #923 of EW, King "is an ardent supporter of the desert-island show and trusts Abrams to translate his vision" into a film franchise with Lindelof being "the leading candidate to write the screenplay for the first installment."
On 3 July 2009, Adam Benzine of C21 Media interviewed Lindelof, who revealed that he and Cuse had indeed optioned the rights to the The Dark Tower, but that he was wary about committing to such an ambitious project: "The idea of taking on something that massive again after having done six seasons of Lost is intimidating and slightly frightening, to say the least." King also reported that he had turned down long-time collaborator Frank Darabont, creator of such films as The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption, after he had asked to do the film.
Multiple mock trailers have appeared on YouTube. For instance, the official Grand Prize winner of Simon & Schuster's American Gunslinger contest – "Roland Meets Brown" by Robert David Cochrane – can be found there. In the 2007 film adaptation of The Mist, based on King's novella, the main character of David Drayton can be seen painting a movie poster that depicts Roland Deschain in the center, standing in front of a trans-dimensional Ghostwood door, with a rose on one side and the Dark Tower on the other.
On 2 May 2009, Scificool reported that Abrams and Lindelof would most likely begin adapting the series when Lost concludes in 2010. On 8 May 2009, Digital Spy reported that Christian Bale was rumored to be the top contender to play Roland.
On 8 September 2010, Universal Studios and NBC Universal Television issued a press release indicating that Ron Howard will direct the film. Howard will also direct the first season of a television series intended to bridge the narrative gap between Gunslinger and, presumably, Wizard and Glass.