The Dark Tower TV series is moving forward. As the first in a planned series of films based on the Stephen King books is set to open domestically Friday, The Walking Dead alum Glen Mazzara has been confirmed as showrunner and will oversee the companion series that’s currently in development through Sony Pictures TV and MRC. Deadline broke the news in an extensive King piece during San Diego Comic-Con, which also revealed that Elba is committed to participate.

The series was announced as part of a package deal between Sony Pictures and MRC in 2015, aimed at building a franchise around the books.

The Dark Tower series is independent from the film and will take place many years before the events depicted in the film, Deadline has learned. Based largely on Wizard and Glass, the fourth book in the series, and flashbacks from The Gunslinger (book 1) the series will focus on Roland Deschain’s origin story – how he first became a gunslinger and got his guns, his first conflict with the man in black, his first love and his first mission as a gunslinger. Akiva Goldsman, who co-wrote the film adaptation, and Imagine Entertainment, a producer of the film, will executive produce.

Mazzara served as executive producer/showrunner of AMC’s The Walking Dead from 2010-2013 taking over for Frank Darabont. His other TV credits include Damien, Crash, The Shield and Life.

Sony/MRC feature The Dark Tower stars Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba. Based on the eight-book series of the same name published between 1982 and 2004, the film pulls themes and story threads from all of the tomes. The screenplay is by Goldsman & Jeff Pinkner and Anders Thomas Jensen & Nikolaj Arcel. Goldsman, Ron Howard and Erica Huggins are producers.