M-O-O-N, that spells excitment,
According to boxofficemojo.com, The Dark Tower is set to hit theaters in 2013.
To say I am looking forward to this project wouldn’t quite cut it – if there is one story that stands above every other story I’ve ever read, it would be The Dark Tower by Stephen King. The experience of reading The Dark Tower was beyond anything I’ve read before, the unique mixture of Horror, Fantasy, Sci Fi, Time Travelling and the art of storytelling itself is held together by some of the greatest and (in the main character’s case) most complex/intriguing characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading about them.
Now the bad news first:
It is NOT directed by J.J. Abrahms and his team. Originally Stephen King left the rights for Dark Tower to J.J. Abrahms for a sum of 19 dollars (a very important number in the books) to turn it into a movie, but with Abrahms being pretty busy right now (Super 8 coming next year and Star Trek 12 in 2012) he dropped the deal.
Why would Abrahms be a perfect candidate for adapting Dark Tower?
Abrahms might not be the greatest director of all time, but he knows how to tell a story and get people interested in a story, he can sell his product and when you look at something like Dark Tower which demands to have at least 3 movies, you have to keep people’s interest.
Abrahms was the one who turned Lost from “people surviving a planecrash and doing island life stuff” to “people surviving a planecrash on an island where a smokemonster is hunting them and there’s a hatch that leads somewhere and people who are dead pop out” – now imagine how popular and interesting Lost would have been without Abrahms.
The same goes for Star Trek, he injected life in a franchise that was essentially dead and while there were some fanboys complaining and doing the usual angry fanboy stuff, Star Trek 11 was one of the most acclaimed Star Trek movies.
It had good acting, visual effects, exciting adventures, humour and stayed true to the essence of Star Trek.
J.J. Abrahms could have sold Dark Tower to audiences without selling out and then leave other directors to tell the rest of the story (like he did with Lost, but when we look at the final season of Lost we might get Abrahms back again…)
But… there is no point in further grieving about this decision, the guy to make Dark Tower will be Ron Howard.
The director of Apollo 13, Cinderella Man, A beautiful mind, Frost/Nixon and (one of my favorite Christmas movies) How the Grinch stole Christmas.
But… he also directed The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons.
While both adaptions more or less translated the book to the screen (in Da Vinci Code’s case almost page for page) he didn’t bring much new to the table, which resulted in average lackluster movies.
His oscar movies are serviceable but none of them really affected me that much (in Frost/Nixon’s case next to Benjamin Button it was the movie from 2008’s season which I forgot the quickest). But maybe I’m just one of these angry bitching fanboys so I won’t rant much longer.
The Dark Tower will be a movie trilogy.
Now we could scream out: what a trilogy? But The Dark Tower is about 8000+ pages (7 books), this will never work! They should do it the Harry Potter way!
There is one obvious reason: Harry Potter had the massive hype back up to justify 7 (and now 8) movies. Dark Tower is a very unknown brand to the public and therefore it doesn’t have enough weight to producers to warrant a 7 pictures deal, but when we think about adaptions like The Da Vinci code and Watchmen, adaptions who suffered from religiously following the source material, this might actually force creativity to readapt the story for the new medium.
Also the trilogy will also be expanded by a television series spanning 2 seasons:
The plan is to start with the feature film, and then create a bridge to the second feature with a season of TV episodes. That means the feature cast—and the big star who’ll play Deschain—also has to appear in the TV series before returning to the second film. After that sequel is done, the TV series picks up again, this time focusing on Deschain as a young gunslinger. Those storylines will be informed by a prequel comic book series that King was heavily involved in plotting. The third film would pick up the mature Deshain as he completes his journey. They will benefit from being able to use the same sets cast and crew for the movie and TV, which could help contain costs on what will be a financially ambitious undertaking.
If they manage to pull this of against all odds, this might actually be worthy of Dark Tower. Dark Tower is about how we tell stories and why we tell stories. It combines movies, comics, novels, myths into one big story about stories, so a unique story like this would demand a unique approach like the one Howard is planning, maybe he really can do it… let’s just hope that paragraph about storylines from the Dark Tower comics is an empty threat.
There is but one thing I’d like to point out:
Akiva Goldsman is writing the script
Goldsman wrote Cinderella Man a Beautiful Mind and both of Ron Howards Dan Brown movies… sounds ok, right?
Well he also wrote the screenplay for two other movies: