After numerous false starts, an adaptation of Stephen King’s epic saga, The Dark Tower, is coming our way. Sony is intent on adapting the 8 novel series into a film franchise, with the first of the bunch expected to arrive in cinemas on January 13th, 2017. It’s been rumored for a couple months now that the series would be toplined by the likes of Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, both of whom were finally confirmed today. Elba will be playing saga hero Roland Deschain, with McConaughey essaying the role of the villain “Man in Black“.
The project is deep in pre-production at the moment, with filming expected to began in about seven weeks time. Now that things are close to the starting line, details are finally rolling out on the film. A large chunk of information was released today, courtesy of an interview with author Stephen King and the film’s director/writer, Nikolaj Arcel (A Royal Affair), today with EW.
It’s a great interview and goes a long way towards explaining the headspace that everyone is in when it comes to adapting the rather gargantuan source material. It also sounds like they won’t be afraid to change things…
“[The movie] starts in media res, in the middle of the story instead of at the beginning, which may upset some of the fans a little bit, but they’ll get behind it, because it is the story,” King says.
As someone who loves the books, flaws and all, shaking things up is probably a good idea. There’s no way to do a 100% faithful adaptation, nor would I want them to. Much like Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter before it, The Dark Tower films need to occupy their own space. If the filmmakers can strike a similar balance and remain true to the story and characters, while also charting its own course on occasion, then I’ll be over the moon. That’s assuming, of course, that audiences latch onto this saga and we don’t end up with an incomplete franchise…
For now, The Dark Tower is one movie, with only the possibility of more.
“Other people have tried fantasy spectacle. Sometimes it works, sometimes it works really well when it’s based on a series of books, like The Hunger Games or Harry Potter, and sometimes it doesn’t,”King says. “What I have to go back to is this: We have Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, two great actors. You’ve got a great production team and Akiva Goldsman as the primary script writer. The team is in place, so we’ll hope for the best.”
Fingers crossed! There’s a lot of potential in this franchise and I’d love to see them knock it out of the park. I’m insanely curious to see the rest of the cast come together in the next couple months. For now, all we have are the aforementioned Elba and McConaughey, as well as Abbey Lee (Mad Max: Fury Road) in the role of ‘Tirana’.
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