Dark Tower director defends movie's short runtime

Recently it was announced that the runtime for the upcoming Stephen King adaptation – THE DARK TOWER – was clocking in at only 94 minutes. That left fans of the book and anyone else following the movie with a crooked look on their face, believing this was a sign the movie would feel rushed and two-dimensional. But director Nikolaj Arcel has spoken up and defended the length, saying how it’s all part of the plan.

Speaking with Slashfilm at Comic-Con, Arcel stood by the runtime, saying this movie is not about cramming in all the details, but about merely introducing the characters and the world so that they can expand in other vehicles:

The good news here…the reason why many fans are worried about the run time is that they think we are trying to do everything in this film. Which we are not. This is ideally the first film. This is an introduction to the world and the characters. It’s not meant to be all the novels and we’re just trying to cram everything in there. So that’s one thing. And the script was really lean and tight. When I got on board, the script was very short, very lean. That’s one of the things that attracted me to it. I said “This is smart.” You start with a lean, mean story and you don’t try to cram everything in there. You just build the basic ideas. And if people enjoy it and if they like this world and these characters, we can start expanding.

The “Dark Tower” series of novels is King’s most epic literary undertaking, spanning eight massive, thick stories. The idea is to spread the grand story out across both TV and movie platforms, with producer Ron Howard working hard on developing it all.  There's no word yet on when we could see the show, or when other movies are coming, as Sony is likely waiting for results from this first movie.

To me, this all seems like a transparent effort to turn a beloved book series into a multimedia cash cow. That may not sound like a revelation, I know, but something about that runtime seems like this movie is meant to simply act as a taste of the series, giving you just enough to make you want to watch the show and go see the movies in order to experience full story. I get wanting to be lean. Other blockbusters could embrace that lesson. But is that enough time to introduce the world and tell a complete story with rich characters? That notion is what worries me, and though I hope they succeed I fear this idea of wanting to be quick and simple, all in hopes of getting people to come back for more, will rob the film of any depth. What will be a shame is if the movie doesn’t live up to expectations, plans are canceled, and all we’re left with is a 90-minute shell of what could’ve been.

THE DARK TOWER arrives August 4.

Source: /Film



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