Top 10 Reasons You Should Be Excited for The Dark Tower

Stephen King's THE DARK TOWER is a massive epic series of novels that has been translated into different forms of media but is only now making it's way to the big screen after a long stint in development hell. Fans of the adventures of Roland Deschain, The Last Gunslinger of Gilead know how exciting it is that the trailer for Nicholas Arcel's film has finally debuted but many of the uninitiated are probably wondering what the fuss is all about. With that in mind, here is our ranking of the ten reasons you should be excited for THE DARK TOWER.

#1 - An epic 35 years in the making

After Stephen King's horrific accident in 1999, it seemed like we may not find out how the quest of Roland would end. But, King surprised us all when he wrote the final 3 novels in the series and gave us the conclusion of this amazing literary adventure. Since then, he has added another novel, multiple new comic book stories that add to the back story, and an online game called Discordia that advances the story even further. The films, which have King's seal of approval, look to enhance that legacy even further. With everything out there to absorb in this tale, it is exciting to realize that a larger audience is about to discover one of the best tales of all time.

#2 - Pop Culture Connections

Harry Potter, Clint Eastwood, THE WIZARD OF OZ, SEVEN SAMURAI, and Romeo and Juliet. While these may seem like random references, they are but a few of the massive number of stories and films that Stephen King has connected to THE DARK TOWER. I am not sure how they could possibly get all of the clearance needed to feature these in the feature films but like King's other novels, these classic stories and movies are built into the narrative of THE DARK TOWER. To say how or why would be a major spoiler but trust me that you will be pleasantly surprised to learn that Stephen King is as much of a fanboy as we are.

#3 - It is connected to virtually every Stephen King novel

When delving into THE DARK TOWER books, you have to prepare yourself for more than eight novels. Yes, the main series is comprised of seven main novels and a spin-off of sorts but there are also dozens of connections to other Stephen King novels. Most prominently The Stand, Salem's Lot, It, The Shining, The Talisman, and Insomnia connect to THE DARK TOWER in ways that are apparent from the trailer for THE DARK TOWER. While you should read THE DARK TOWER novels in order, you will get a lot more out of them if you read all of King's other books, too.

#4 - It is like STAR WARS meets THE LORD OF THE RINGS

Like STAR WARS and THE LORD OF THE RINGS, THE DARK TOWER has a huge fan base who have been clamoring to see this movie get realized. Like both of those iconic series, THE DARK TOWER centers on a rogue hero who bands together with a team (or ka-tet in DARK TOWER parlance) who are destined to save multiple worlds. There is humor and tragedy mixed in but the full team (whom will not be seen until future films) is one of the most memorable in literature and rank alongside the creations of George Lucas and J.R.R. Tolkien.

#5 - It is not just a Western

THE DARK TOWER is a dense series that shifts between being a Western to a science fiction or fantasy adventure. There is horror (lots of it) in the form of monsters and vampires as well as romance and drama. Stephen King has long said the series was inspired by spaghetti westerns and that is certainly where the story begins, but it soon shifts into a wide array of genres that make the series wholly unique.

#6 - Everyone has been trying to make this movie

From J.J. Abrams, Carlton Cuse, and Damon Lindelof to Ron Howard, THE DARK TOWER has seen it's fair share of creative forces try to get this movie made. For almost two decades, we have been teased with the potential to see THE DARK TOWER as a series on premium cable to a big budget tentpole and even a combination of both. Both Russell Crowe and Javier Bardem have been attached or rumored for the role of Roland Deschain only to have the sheer scale of the project buckle beneath it. You don't often get that type of dedication to a project if it doesn't have potential.

#7 - This is not your traditional book adaptation

THE DARK TOWER has had a long road to the big screen. The consistent delay has been difficulty in finding a way to translate the epic scale of Stephen King's eight novel series onto the big screen. Because of the density of the material, multiple screenwriters and directors failed to realize the story until Nicholas Arcel came on and elected to make THE DARK TOWER into a sequel. Without getting into spoilers, THE DARK TOWER serves to continue where the last novel in the series left off and present a continuation and reboot of the story that also operates within the same narrative. It may sound confusing but it is a bold way to tell the same story without affecting the original tale.

#8 - Idris Elba finally gets his showcase

Elba has been a fan favorite for years and delivered stellar turns on TV series like Luther and The Wire (and a brief stint on The Office). On the big screen, he has been great in PACIFIC RIM and has long been bandied as a potential James Bond successor. But, with THE DARK TOWER, Elba finally gets the leading man role in a potentially long running franchise that could define him as a leading man. If the trailers are any indication, Elba is about to make a lot of King fans very happy with his portrayal of the last gunslinger.

#9 - A massive world(s) to explore

THE DARK TOWER film appears to be set primarily between Roland's world, known as Mid-World, and our Earth. Readers of the books know that the Tower itself is a lynchpin that connects various dimensions. Because of that, the Tower is represented as a monolith in Mid-World and looks like a rose on Earth. This also opens up the narrative to travel into very distinct and unique looking settings that shift the tone of the story from fantasy to science fiction and beyond.

#10 - It is unlike any other series out there

THE DARK TOWER culls from a long line of genre series (more on that later) but it is because this saga comes from the pen of Stephen King that makes it so unique. King has an incredible gift for crafting multi-dimensional characters, hero and villain alike, and those that populate THE DARK TOWER are some of his best. These are very flawed characters and if we get the chance for sequels that introduce fan favorites like Eddie Dean and Susannah, audiences are going to be very excited about what comes next.

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