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The Theoretical Dark Tower Films (SPOILERS)
#1
AThey've announced a date, mid January of 2017, and that suggests they'll be casting this bad boy pretty soon. I'm fairly excited at the possibility, even though I can't really imagine anyone ever pulling this off. Spoilers to follow...

Seriously, I'm rereading (well, audiobooking) them again right now. Just getting into the last stretch of Drawing of the Three. And they're wonderful! I'm actually quite excited to revisit the last three, which I've only been through the one time, because I'be heard they play much better the second time through. But my goodness, this is an adaptation that seems impossible. How exactly do you bring Detta Walker to the screen? On the one hand, it's a great three roles for a great actress, but how exactly do you make that stereotype make sense in a two hour movie?

There's tons of that stuff. This first movie, proposed as an adaptation of the first book, involved the hero murdering an entire town, then letting his symbolic son die, and when he catches the villain, they just have a conversation about existential reality. Tough sell for your six film franchise, or however many.

Maybe that's the explanation for the January release. Maybe, if they keep these things small enough, they can do the whole thing profitably. Mid budget, niche audience. Like the Resident Evil series, but considerably more ambitious from a narrative perspective.
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#2
Quote:

Originally Posted by Arjen Rudd View Post

They've announced a date, mid January of 2017, and that suggests they'll be casting this bad boy pretty soon. I'm fairly excited at the possibility, even though I can't really imagine anyone ever pulling this off. Spoilers to follow...

Seriously, I'm rereading (well, audiobooking) them again right now. Just getting into the last stretch of Drawing of the Three. And they're wonderful! I'm actually quite excited to revisit the last three, which I've only been through the one time, because I'be heard they play much better the second time through. But my goodness, this is an adaptation that seems impossible. How exactly do you bring Detta Walker to the screen? On the one hand, it's a great three roles for a great actress, but how exactly do you make that stereotype make sense in a two hour movie?

There's tons of that stuff. This first movie, proposed as an adaptation of the first book, involved the hero murdering an entire town, then letting his symbolic son die, and when he catches the villain, they just have a conversation about existential reality. Tough sell for your six film franchise, or however many.

Maybe that's the explanation for the January release. Maybe, if they keep these things small enough, they can do the whole thing profitably. Mid budget, niche audience. Like the Resident Evil series, but considerably more ambitious from a narrative perspective.

Well with Detta Walker they are just going to turn it into good vs bad personality. I imagine most of the racial stuff will be left alone aside from referencing the fact that she is from a time when open racism was the norm.



The first movie I can imagine will play out the same but there will be a fight between Roland and the man in black.  Roland will defeat him and then they will have that conversation. That wouldn't exactly ruin the ending.....but mishandling Jake would. If Jake sin't dropped as a sacrifice for the tower then not only does it fuck up that movie but the rest of the run. That is such a huge moment.

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#3

Oh, they'll certainly do it. I just wonder if that won't turn off enough of the potential audience to stop this thing dead in its tracks as a franchise. You want to launch six movies, you'd probably rather not end the first one with the hero killing a child. And every other character in the movie, pretty much. Seems like a tough sell!



Which is why I'm hoping the January release means they're keeping these things on the spare size. It's the only way they'll be allowed to do them right. If they're trying to do something with the bleak, R-rated tone of Game of Thrones, that's bodes much better than trying to emulate any of the other recent major franchises. Moderate budget means they might be able to make these for adults.

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#4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjen Rudd View Post
 

 If they're trying to do something with the bleak, R-rated tone of Game of Thrones


I wouldn't get used to that. I can see that rating changing quick. I can't imagine an R rated 7 movie franchise anymore. This should be on pay cable, period.

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#5

Probably. It makes a hell of a lot more sense that way.



I know the original Ron Howard plan was to do a weird film and TV joint franchise, but I just assumed that the only way to do that would be to tell all the Gilead stuff over a couple seasons with an entirely different cast. I actually really liked that idea. But it still leaves a lot of questions as to how they intend to turn the present day(ish) stuff into a series of films. So many adaptation choices that require a strong conceptual understanding of the whole thing. How do you handle the Stephen King character? How do you deal with Jake aging? Doctor Dooms throwing snitches? The butterfly effect of changes could just turn the narrative into swiss cheese.



I've heard the idea that they should give Roland the Horn of Eld at the beginning, which seems like a great idea.

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#6
AI would imagine that translating this series from the printed page to another medium requires that you also translate the bits about the characters discovering that they are fictional. Does Ron Howard have any enemies that he'd like to slander on screen?
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#7

A complete rewrite of the series' end wouldn't be amiss either.



"EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE"

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#8
AYou can keep the parallel worlds element and lose the meta aspects. See Fringe. And that show also deals with losing a child and secrets.

Tone is super important. I kinda want to the wtf approach of Coscarelli and Phantasm, but that's not very mainstream. Game of Thrones meets Walking Dead is a good benchmark, but much more feasible on cable for obvious reasons mentioned.

There's an audience, but platform is super important.
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#9
Quote:

Originally Posted by Arjen Rudd View Post
 

Probably. It makes a hell of a lot more sense that way.



I know the original Ron Howard plan was to do a weird film and TV joint franchise, but I just assumed that the only way to do that would be to tell all the Gilead stuff over a couple seasons with an entirely different cast. I actually really liked that idea. But it still leaves a lot of questions as to how they intend to turn the present day(ish) stuff into a series of films. So many adaptation choices that require a strong conceptual understanding of the whole thing. How do you handle the Stephen King character? How do you deal with Jake aging? Doctor Dooms throwing snitches? The butterfly effect of changes could just turn the narrative into swiss cheese.



I've heard the idea that they should give Roland the Horn of Eld at the beginning, which seems like a great idea.



Yeah most of that stuff won't make it which im ok with. Seriously don't need to see doctor doom and sneetches. Come up with original designs for the wolves and their weapons. Jake aging..........not sure.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Reasor View Post

I would imagine that translating this series from the printed page to another medium requires that you also translate the bits about the characters discovering that they are fictional. Does Ron Howard have any enemies that he'd like to slander on screen?

I actually didn't love all the Stephen King bullshit and I don't believe they were technically fictional. More like King was fed them from a higher power and he wronte them some bullshit. Honestly getting rid of all that shit would be great. Wouldn't hurt the story one little bit.

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#10
Quote:

Originally Posted by Lightning Slim View Post
 

A complete rewrite of the series' end wouldn't be amiss either.



"EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE"


Yeah that end is going to get changed big time, I would bet everything on that. Honestly I would be fine with Roland walking into the Tower and cut to black.

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#11
AThey gotta keep the very end!
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#12
Quote:

Originally Posted by Arjen Rudd View Post

They gotta keep the very end!

Nope, it will NEVER happen.

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#13
AThat's like the whole reason to do these! I bet you five internet bucks they keep it.
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#14
Quote:

Originally Posted by Arjen Rudd View Post

That's like the whole reason to do these! I bet you five internet bucks they keep it.

You are on! I say that of course knowing full well that not only will the first film possibly not get made but the seventh film certainly won't.

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#15
AI never say never. When I was a kid I was beaten up for watching Conan the Barbarian (by future GoT fans), zombies were for weirdos and superheroes were either in the funny books or on your pajamas.
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#16
Quote:

Originally Posted by Lightning Slim View Post

I never say never. When I was a kid I was beaten up for watching Conan the Barbarian (by future GoT fans), zombies were for weirdos and superheroes were either in the funny books or on your pajamas.

Yes but this is......I don't know.

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#17
ASure you do! It's LOTR meets Deadwood meets Sliders! Starring Clint Eastwood!
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#18
Quote:

Originally Posted by Lightning Slim View Post

I never say never. When I was a kid I was beaten up for watching Conan the Barbarian (by future GoT fans), zombies were for weirdos and superheroes were either in the funny books or on your pajamas.

It's almost like nerds is king and bullies is pumping our gas now!

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#19
ANah. I just meant that insatiable desire for entertainment plus boundless capacity for personal hypocrisy means everything is still on the table.
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#20

Speak on that.

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#21
AFor extra credit, sir?

Fandom is not as siloed as it once was. Everything can get made in some form or another. I'm not saying somebody will sign off on a multi-picture, but it's no longer possible to say any property is too big, too dark, too weird, too whatever to find its way onscreen.
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#22
AMore than anything else, I wonder how this story can be told without the Marvel-style interconnectivity that was such a vital part of the series (particularly in regards to the whole notion that this universe exists as part of Stephen King's imagination)? How can you tell this without THE STAND, IT, INSOMNIA, SALEM'S LOT, among others....?
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#23

I think those connections, in the end, didn't really do much to help the overall thing. Having a context for Flagg is cool, but the constant readers will already have one. I can't imagine anyone thinking it was a good idea to include Patrick Danville, at least in his present form.



The whole thing will require a ton of adaptation. It can still be about everything its supposed to be about without going crazy meta. They could even include the character of Stephen King if they wanted, without dealing with the other stuff.

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#24
AAgreed on everything you said, largely because I feel the series goes off the (mono)rails after THE WASTELANDS (by far my favorite).

I guess my point is that so many details have to be altered or omitted to remove connections that I wonder if you 're not losing the heart of King's overall design; and if so, what's the point?

Personally, I advocate a tv series or nothing at all (though preferably the latter).
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#25
AFather Callahan needs to stay IMO.
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#26
ABut he'd end up with a backstory invented for the sake of dramatizing the story. In that case, why bother?
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#27

They could use the same backstory he already has. Eddie's got his backstory. Susannah's got one. Roland's got one.

Callahan fought monsters in his world. Monsters are a big part of the narrative. Why would they have to change it? Just don't say specifically that he's from a BOOK.

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#28
ACallahan's backstory is great, but is exactly the sort of thing you cut from a movie. You can imply the whole thing in thirty seconds.

I'll be shocked if we ever even get to Callahan.
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#29

Well, The Stand is also in development.  They're going to have to at least address how the same villain with the same name is in both stories.  Are we going to have two different actors playing Flagg or just one?

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#30
AThe idea that Callahan discovers he's a fictional character from a novel makes it harder to neatly remove.
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#31

There are two aspects of parallelism going on in The Dark Tower series: the idea of alternate realities, and the idea of storytelling.



As early as the first book we get the concept of worlds side by side, but it's not really until The Wolves of the Calla that the idea of King's characters come to life is introduced. Even then, it's ultimately explained that King is not creating these characters, but channeling their existence from other worlds into his writing.



You can still keep the broad idea of Mid-World being a reflection of archetypes with the Wizard of Oz stuff and things like Dandelo's house being like the witch in Hansel and Gretel.



But really the crux of the story is Roland gathers his Ka-Tet, saves the Rose in the vacant lot by protecting Calvin Tower and creating the Tet Corporation, stops the breakers from destroying the beams and then making it to the Tower.



The meta-aspects would be missed, but in movie form I believe something would be lost anyway. Kind of like how I doubt the Thursday Next novels could really be done justice onscreen. The parts when she's literally traveling between pages, how would that even be realized?



For shits and giggles, here's an article I recently wrote about King, with a bit of discussion on how he portrays himself in The Dark Tower series


https://litreactor.com/columns/academia-...ephen-king

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#32

Oh, and Flagg doesn't need to be Flagg. He's Walter or Marten or Maerlyn. In The Waste Lands he refers to himself as Richard Fannin. Considering Flagg is a name King came up for him later, I don't think it's necessary, and a wink wink with an RF name at some point is all you need.

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#33
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bartleby_Scriven View Post
 


As early as the first book we get the concept of worlds side by side, but it's not really until The Wolves of the Calla that the idea of King's characters come to life is introduced. Even then, it's ultimately explained that King is not creating these characters, but channeling their existence from other worlds into his writing.



Which struck me as having the worst of both worlds, really.  You'd already broken the internal reality of the story, and calling "psych" on it dilutes whatever meta-wankery charge you can get out of that, but ultimately can't do much to unring that bell.

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#34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post
 


Which struck me as having the worst of both worlds, really.  You'd already broken the internal reality of the story, and calling "psych" on it dilutes whatever meta-wankery charge you can get out of that, but ultimately can't do much to unring that bell.


That's the thing. I like Callahan's story a lot, but it could've worked as a standalone novella. Cut him out and the main plot still chugs along: Roland and the Ka-Tet have to win the trust of the Calla and protect them from the Wolves. In Song of Susannah Jake would need another traveling companion when he's bouncing around New York, but that could be easily combined with Roland and Eddie looking for Calvin Tower in Maine.



Once you cut out the meta aspect you actually free up the books to flow better. I'm thinking we'd never get seven movies, but more like a trilogy or four-part series. Here's how I'd do it:



The first book could stand alone, but Drawing of the Three and The Waste Lands could easily be combined and instead of having a cliffhanger with Blaine the Mono it would include how they beat him from the beginning of Wizard & Glass.



Have the flashbacks from Wizard & Glass either relegated to that rumored television series, or bifurcated across the entire series. The "thinny" parts in Kansas from Wizard & Glass could be combined with Lud in The Waste Lands.



Then a movie that would adapt The Wolves of the Calla pretty closely, as it's the most straightforward plot in terms of conflict and resolution, but have it end with Susannah giving birth to Mordred. The last movie would be the defeat of the Breakers and the trek to the Tower. Give Jake the drawing powers of Patrick Danville and have him make it to the Tower, but perhaps he's killed by the Crimson King at the last second.



Do I sound like a Hollywood exec?

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#35

I know it wouldn't happen, especially since he's not an actor, but if they did get into the whole meta-King thing later in the story, it would be cool if they cast Joe Hill.

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