Many Stephen King fans are delighted that an adaptation to his famous Dark Tower series is being adapted to films. SA fans are probably even happier that it is being done right here in our very own Cape Town. No doubt the film will come under scrutiny though as fans will base their opinion of the film based on how true it is to the books and not necessarily on whether it is a good movie or not. It’s a plague that hits all popular book adaptations, especially comic book adaptations.
So, from the get-go, you should be warned that The Dark Tower film will not be a straight up adaptation – and that comes from none other than Mr. Stephen King himself. In speaking with Sirius XM, King warned that there are changes to the film, but that he believes fans will get behind the story in the end:
It starts sort of in medias res, in the middle of the story instead of at the beginning, which may upset some of the fans a little bit. But they will get behind it, because it is the story.
If you are a fan of the series and have been picking up on the casting announcements of characters that don’t even appear in the first 3 books, then you were probably expecting this anyway. They are going to be making some amendments to the timeline, with the initial first draft written by Akiva Goldsman rumoured to include elements of The Gunslinger, The Drawing Of The Three, The Waste Lands, Wolves Of The Calla, and the final novel in the series, The Dark Tower. If this is the case, it will certainly be a huge remix with regards to the story as they try and tie in as much of the epic sprawling series’ story line into one film. Its an interesting approach, but it would be costly and difficult to make the stories separately – though I have no doubt they will leave many aspects of the story open for potential sequels if the films is a success.
That’s not to say that King isn’t insistent that some things stay the same, especially the start of the film in particular:
I expect that the movie will start where the books start. Y’know, “The man in black fled across the desert, and the Gunslinger followed”. I think that nails it right in place for people…I’ve been pretty insistent on that, and I think everyone’s onboard with it.
He also went ahead to reveal some details on the plot for the film through a tweet though, which I’ll unpack below, that could further expand on these rumours and potentially make them even better – so no need saying SPOILER ALERT! Please read at your own risk – failure to do so may result in severe disappointment when watching the film and although its tempting, you can’t blame Nick for everything.
Seriously, I’m not joking about the spoilers part…
The Dark Tower is close, now. The Crimson King awaits. Soon Roland will raise the Horn of Eld. And blow. pic.twitter.com/rqGSKM3dWL
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) May 19, 2016
So that horn you see in the picture, that’s the Horn of Eld and the words “last time around” are superimposed on it. Unless King is messing with us (and he certainly could be), the suggestion here seems to be that the movie adaptation of The Dark Tower is actually a continuation of the book series rather than an adaptation, following Roland on one of his later attempts to reach the tower.
/Film broke the news and describe what they believe this could mean:
The seventh and final book in the Dark Tower series concluded with Roland the Gunslinger reaching the Dark Tower, facing the villainous Crimson King, climbing the tower and… realizing that this is not the first time he’s completed this quest. In fact, he’s reached the Dark Tower many times, only to be sent back to the start of his journey by Gan, the godlike being that uses the tower as his physical form. And then Roland is shot backwards in time, back to the start of the first book in series, without any memory of having made the journey in the first place. The only difference is that he is now carrying the Horn of Eld, the family heirloom that he had abandoned at the Battle of Jericho Hill years earlier. The implication is that something has changed. This time, the journey may be different and Roland’s quest may actually reach a satisfactory conclusion.
So essentially what this all means is that the film may actually show Roland doing everything just right, finally getting the opportunity to hang up his revolvers for good. This would certainly provide the film makers with a reason to deviate from the source material and include elements from all the books in one. In the book series it is implied after all that each of Roland’s journeys to reach the Dark Tower have been different from each other and this one could be no different. To know if there is any truth to this rumour, we will probably have to wait for promotional pictures to be released and see if they have Idris Elba’s character wearing the Horn of Eld or not.
Its all speculation and personally I’m not convinced about it, but it would certainly make for an interesting change and actually make the film part of the book series, instead of just adapting them. This would actually be the best way to alter the details of the story and still please fans. But if it doesn’t happen, remember it was only a rumour in the first place…
The Dark Tower is currently in production in Cape Town and stars Idris Elba as the Gunslinger and Matthew McConaughey as the Crimson King.
What do you make of these rumours? If you’re a fan, are you disappointed that the story will possibly be split across all the books?
Last Updated: May 23, 2016