I am not a major Oscar caliber Hollywood film guy, so maybe that’s why I just can’t see any way to make Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series actually work in film or on television without doing major, serious, catastrophic alterations to it.
Or maybe the Oscar caliber Hollywood film guys know just what alterations to make. After all, Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and Akiva Goldsman have stepped up to the plate and decided to adapt the sweeping, multi-volume, canon-crossing series into not just a film and not just a TV series but one of each.
The plan is to make a Dark Tower movie that leads into a TV series, which is unique in terms of being planned that way (plenty of movies have been turned into TV series, but very few big screen movies were intended as pilots (note: some TV series pilots were turned into big screen movies, like Battlestar Galactica, but that’s totally different)). There is no studio attached at the moment, but The Heat Vision Blog says it looks like it’ll be Universal.
Here’s a section of the piece of Heat Vision that intrigues me but also makes me wonder what the grander vision for The Dark Tower is:
The property’s expansive nature and direct connection to King’s other works make it one of the biggest, ripest franchise possibilities in entertainment.
See, that’s why I think it doesn’t quite work as a movie/TV show. The Kingverse can be viewed as semi-cohesive in print, but in film and on TV it’s a mess – and the King adaptations range from major hits to really obscure weird TV miniseries. There’s no way to get the recognition factor into a TV series that was there in print. This isn’t the Marvel Universe on film, where they’re building a continuity all at once. And that’s not even getting into the fact that King himself is a character in the story…
We’ll see. I’m intrigued to see the plans, but I still can’t help but think that the end game for this version of The Dark Tower will be virtually unrecognizable to fans of the books. Which, considering how bad the end game of the books were, could be a good thing.