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Stephen King says that The Dark Tower won't exactly be by the book

05.18.2016

the dark tower, stephen king

THE DARK TOWER is one of those projects that I feel as if I've been covering and following forever. Once upon a time, I was really excited about the ambitious vision Ron Howard had for adapting Stephen King's work between feature films and miniseries... and those plans feel as if they were in place lifetimes ago. THE DARK TOWER has morphed and changed over the years and... look... it's finally in production, and we'll be getting a film early next year. But it might be a little different than what fans are expecting. 

Stephen King himself recently appeared on Anthony Breznican's EW podcast to discuss the shape THE DARK TOWER has taken as a movie... and suffice to say, you aren't going to be getting a by-the-book adaptation of the series.

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.

Now it appears Akiva Goldsman's script does do quite a bit of jumping around, combining elements of several of THE DARK TOWER novels into this first movie (there still is no guarantee of more than this film being made just yet), and while fans may not be happy about that because it's not the books, sometimes changes have to be made in order to made the transition work from page to screen. King believes fans will be fine with what's been done, because, at the heart of THE DARK TOWER is the very work they have rallied around for years. 

King is willing to offer an olive branch to the enthusiastic hopefuls who have their fingers crossed this will turn out okay in the end, and it has to do with how the film ultimately begins. 

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.

Now, if THE DARK TOWER opens and you get something different from that, then go ahead and be instantly concerned... but for now, King is saying all the right things to ease the troubled minds of THE DARK TOWER fans who are fearing the worst way too early in the process. 

THE DARK TOWER opens in theaters on February 23, 2017.

Source: EW

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7:02PM on 05/19/2016

Good

I don't know if the commenters have amnesia or just don't know much about Stephen King movies, but on average, the closer they are to the book, the worse they are. So this is good news
I don't know if the commenters have amnesia or just don't know much about Stephen King movies, but on average, the closer they are to the book, the worse they are. So this is good news
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7:05PM on 05/19/2016
That`s why The Mist worked.The ending was changed .
That`s why The Mist worked.The ending was changed .
6:57AM on 05/19/2016

Not on board...

Let's see..."combining elements of several of THE DARK TOWER novels" sounds horrible to squeeze into one movie. For pity's sake, they are 700 pages each! Peter Jackson had to spread The Hobbit (250 pages) over three freaking movies. Oh, and there is the entire abandonment of the critical racial elements between Roland and Susannah that you've decided to just shit upon.
Let's see..."combining elements of several of THE DARK TOWER novels" sounds horrible to squeeze into one movie. For pity's sake, they are 700 pages each! Peter Jackson had to spread The Hobbit (250 pages) over three freaking movies. Oh, and there is the entire abandonment of the critical racial elements between Roland and Susannah that you've decided to just shit upon.
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9:21AM on 05/19/2016
"critical racial elements"? Come on, I get the racial issues are in play between Roland, Eddie, and Susannah, but it's hardly the crux of the story. And it's not even central to the plot progressing forward. I get that changing the race of these characters affect that aspect of the story, but do you really think the entire story will fall apart because this one thing that is not central to the plot moving forward is absent?

And comparing the adaptation of The Dark Tower to The Hobbit is
"critical racial elements"? Come on, I get the racial issues are in play between Roland, Eddie, and Susannah, but it's hardly the crux of the story. And it's not even central to the plot progressing forward. I get that changing the race of these characters affect that aspect of the story, but do you really think the entire story will fall apart because this one thing that is not central to the plot moving forward is absent?

And comparing the adaptation of The Dark Tower to The Hobbit is such an overreach. Peter Jackson could have easily adapted the entire book into one movie for The Hobbit. To stretch it out into three films was a choice he made (as well as studios) to squeeze more money out of the franchise. I'm not saying squeezing all of the Dark Tower into one movie will work, it's just a bullshit comparison.
9:05PM on 05/18/2016
I think that was obvious when Elba was cast as the lead.
I think that was obvious when Elba was cast as the lead.
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9:13PM on 05/18/2016
Just because a black man is playing the lead character doesn't necessarily mean that the whole thing will be different than the book.

It will, obviously, but the color of an actor's skin has nothing to do with changing the story. Idiot.
Just because a black man is playing the lead character doesn't necessarily mean that the whole thing will be different than the book.

It will, obviously, but the color of an actor's skin has nothing to do with changing the story. Idiot.
9:50PM on 05/18/2016
fullmetalscarp: That's not fair to call him an idiot, especially when you're kind of wrong.

There's a huge racial storyline, and it involves both Eddie and Roland being white with Susannah being black. So either they're going to make Eddie also black (which they aren't) and make Susannah a racist white woman instead of a racist black woman (which they might do), but either way the story IS changing because of it.
fullmetalscarp: That's not fair to call him an idiot, especially when you're kind of wrong.

There's a huge racial storyline, and it involves both Eddie and Roland being white with Susannah being black. So either they're going to make Eddie also black (which they aren't) and make Susannah a racist white woman instead of a racist black woman (which they might do), but either way the story IS changing because of it.
11:29PM on 05/18/2016
Calling it a huge storyline is quite the overstatement. Yes, it played a part soon after the drawing, but was by no means the thrust of the story. Changing this aspect of the story has no bearing on the broad events that take place, nor the more important relationship between Eddie and Susannah, which develops over a much larger percentage of the books than the racial conflict does.
Calling it a huge storyline is quite the overstatement. Yes, it played a part soon after the drawing, but was by no means the thrust of the story. Changing this aspect of the story has no bearing on the broad events that take place, nor the more important relationship between Eddie and Susannah, which develops over a much larger percentage of the books than the racial conflict does.
3:02PM on 05/19/2016
Eh, I'd say that the relationship between the three main characters is pretty huge, and it's definitely fundamentally altered.

It plays a part throughout the entire series. It's a gigantic part of Susannah's character (literally 2/3 of her personalities) and her relationship with Eddie. The conflict doesn't just stop at the end of Drawing (or even Wastelands), and informs who she is the whole way. I'm not claiming it's the most important part of the story, but it is AN important part of the
Eh, I'd say that the relationship between the three main characters is pretty huge, and it's definitely fundamentally altered.

It plays a part throughout the entire series. It's a gigantic part of Susannah's character (literally 2/3 of her personalities) and her relationship with Eddie. The conflict doesn't just stop at the end of Drawing (or even Wastelands), and informs who she is the whole way. I'm not claiming it's the most important part of the story, but it is AN important part of the story and the characters.

And, it's been changed because . . . there are no good actors that look like Roland and suit the story? I find that really hard to believe.
6:51PM on 05/18/2016
"There are other worlds than these."
"There are other worlds than these."
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4:23PM on 05/18/2016
We'll see.
We'll see.
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