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Stephen King's 'The Dark Tower:' Just How Much of This Is There?

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Stephen King's industrial-sized magnum opus, "The Dark Tower," has so far spanned seven books (with an eighth on the way) and 28 years.

If that's not daunting enough, now it's about to take up even more pop culture space, as Universal has announced an ambitious and unprecedented plan to adapt the series for both film and television… simultaneously.

We know what you're thinking: say what!? But it's true. Universal is planning a trilogy of films, with the first set to be directed by Ron Howard with a script by Akiva Goldsman.

You may recall that, along with producer Brian Grazer, this is the same team that previously won Oscars and blew up the box office with "A Beautiful Mind" and "The Da Vinci Code," so it's no surprise the trio will also be producing "The Dark Tower" trilogy as well.

So where does television come in? The first season of the show – which will also be written by Goldsman for NBC – will spin out of the first movie in order to more fully explore the characters and the universe.

"The worlds of Stephen King's 'The Dark Tower' series are richly detailed, inter-locking and deeply connected," Goldsman said in a statement. "By telling this story across media platforms and over multiple hours – and with a view to telling it completely – we have our best chance of translating Roland's quest to reach the Dark Tower onto screen. We are proceeding with tremendous excitement, fidelity to the source material and, quite frankly, no small amount of awe at this opportunity."

Howard agrees.

"By using both the scope and scale of theatrical filmmaking and the intimacy of television," Howard said, "we hope to more comprehensively do justice to the characters, themes and amazing sequences King has given us."

No word yet on potential casting or when the film or the TV show will debut, but that's okay. After all, with an announcement this mind-blowing, we can probably all use the time to put our brains back in our skulls.

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