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– by Joseph Jammer Medina

Recent years have been pretty good in terms of Stephen King. Hulu had 11.22.63 and the upcoming Castle Rock series, The Audience Network has Mr Mercedes, and the big screen just saw the release of The Dark Tower and IT.

At this point, there’s a bit of a sore thumb in that lineup. Of those adaptations so far, The Dark Tower is undoubtedly the lowlight in recent memory. While the film didn’t cost a whole lot to make $60 million, its $19 million opening was more than a little disappointing. It ultimately made $110 million worldwide, and while that may be just enough to break even, Sony likely isn’t popping any champagne over it.

RELATED: Stephen King Speaks Out About The Dark Tower’s Future

But more than that, it was creatively slammed by critics for being a shallow and silly take on the source material. From day one, fans knew it would be a difficult property to adapt, and speaking with Vulture, author Stephen King highlighted the difficulty with adapting something like The Dark Tower into a film:

“The major challenge was to do a film based on a series of books that’s really long, about 3,000 pages. The other part of it was the decision to do a PG-13 feature adaptation of books that are extremely violent and deal with violent behavior in a fairly graphic way. That was something that had to be overcome, although I’ve gotta say, I thought [screenwriter] Akiva Goldsman did a terrific job in taking a central part of the book and turning it into what I thought was a pretty good movie. The TV series they’re developing now … we’ll see what happens with that. It would be like a complete reboot, so we’ll just have to see.”

As King mentioned, given the sheer number of pages in the series, it was a mammoth task (never mind the violence they had to omit). Rather than try and actually adapt those pages, they just picked from the lore and kind of spun their own little tale, utilizing all the different elements. While it didn’t work for everyone, there are a good number of fans who have expressed their happiness over that approach, which is worth something.

All in all, unless you’re willing to commit a whole lot of time and money, this likely is a property better suited for television. Let’s hope that with the show they’re developing now, they’ll be able to put out something that’s a bit more in line with the source material.

Did you have a chance to check out The Dark Tower? If so, what did you think of it? Let us know your thoughts down below!

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SOURCE: Vulture

  • Kronx

    If I look at it objectively, I’m actually okay with the approach they took. Introducing the world through a normal kid’s eyes is a great way to ease the audience into it.

    However, spending so much time with Walter sinks it for me. We needed 20 more minutes with Roland, and for Walter to be a mysterious malevolence revealed at the end to be a weird-looking space wizard. A temptation for Jake, a point to question what he’s been told up to that point.

    It felt a lot like Thor when I watched it. Like it wasn’t quite sure where it was going, and then it started clicking but dissolved into a final act of disappointment.

    Of course, a Hard R Netflix/HBO series would’ve been better. But you can say that for just about anything.

  • Moby85

    I think there’s a pattern here. Look at The Shining and IT amongst many others: Stephen King needs to be adapted as a hard R. Yes, other factors such as screenplay and cinematography go into it, but at the end of the day this is a writer of disturbing horror thrillers.

    I believe PG-13, which lets be honest is to try to spread a wider net to catch more audience, will do King a disservice. His core material has proven itself over 40+ years to be adaptable, and adaptable into classics, but I argue by straying from an R-rating with King adaptations, that in itself, is straying from the core material.

    • Kindofabigdeal

      What do you think I say when I go to the feed store in town, “Oh now Wally, give me a bag of that F-in pig feed and 10 pounds of that bitchly cow corn?” And the bank do I tell Mrs. Bollinger “Oh, here’s one big bastard of a check, give me some of your Christ-ing money?”

  • They should have started with the gunslinger.. great story arc.

    • Alonso

      Why the fuck do you care what women wear you fucking queen!

  • Behemothrex

    Hard to adapt, you got to be kidding me, the Gunslinger is one of the most simple plots in history, it could have been done like a Sergrio Leone western. Don’t give me that crap about it being hard to adapt, It’s just a huge story, nothing a capable team couldn’t handle. They just wanted a popcorn, make gobs of money, flick dumbed down for the masses.

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.