Man, I was crazy for Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series. I’m old enough to remember when it looked like King would never finish it, which was before we were all sorry that he did. The days when the arrival of a new book in the series was a moment of wonder and excitement. I made it up through Wizard and Glass with that excitement intact, but by the end of that book everything just felt… off. Wrong. Like the story of Roland that King had started had been lost, perhaps in the author’s journeys up his own asshole.
For a while JJ Abrams and Damon Lindelof were working on – or at least talking about working on – an adaptation of the series. Now Abrams tells MTV News that he and Lindelof have given up on it. “The ‘Dark Tower’ thing is tricky,” he said. “It’s such an important piece of writing. The truth is that Damon and I are not looking at that right now.”
This apparently follows up on something Abrams told USA Today in October, which I missed at the time: “After working six years on ‘Lost,’ the last thing I want to do is spend the next seven years adapting one of my favorite books of all time. I’m such a massive Stephen King fan that I’m terrified of screwing it up. I’d do anything to see those movies written by someone else. My guess is they will get made because they’re so incredible. But not by me.
My theory: Abrams finally got to the final two books, where The Dark Tower really just goes off the rails before finally inserting Stephen King himself as a character. Kurt Vonnegut rolled his eyes. Then died.
Anyway, the series drops off in a big way, and the metatextual aspects of it – King connects his entire body of work to The Dark Tower, even bringing in characters from other books – would never translate. Once again, ask Kurt Vonnegut, who lived long enough to see Breakfast of Champions become a movie.
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