Friday, May 7, 2010

Stephen King's Dark Tower, a movie?!?

Hiah Authentic Geeks, I've got some cool, but scary news for you...

I stumbled across an article on the net that promises the following:
"Stephen King’s masterful fantasy series “The Dark Tower” is headed for theaters. As part of a deal being worked on at Universal (but not yet completed) the seven books which comprise the Dark Tower story will be condensed into three movies, in a script written by Akiva Goldsman and to be directed by Ron Howard."

Now, if you're like me and a Stephen King fan, then you'll definitely know the Dark Tower and the scope of this massive work.  The series stars Roland, the last Gunslinger, on his quest to find the Dark Tower in a world that has "moved on"; think post-apocalyptic but in a magical/mystical way where time and space bends, mutants roam vast deserts, and society has reverted to an almost feudal state.  Dark Tower is Stephen King's magnum opus, it combines nearly every story element he's ever played with over his entire career, it's a truly epic story; and it's entertaining beyond belief.   

But as was mentioned, Dark Tower is SEVEN books long, SEVEN.  Not only that, but each book, except the first one, tops off at a minimum of 500 pages with two of the novels topping 700 pages for a whopping total of 3712 pages for the entire series!!!  Now for anyone out there like me who has ever seen a movie that has been made from a book or book series you know the simple fact: BOOKS ARE ALWAYS BETTER THAN MOVIES.  This is not movie's fault, it just cannot be helped.  Books can take SO MUCH time to tell their stories, they have absolutely no time restrictions, they can be as massive as they want, while movies top off at about a 3 1/2 hours maximum before audiences start to get antsy; unfortunately, this in no way compares to the average length of a book.

So far, the only director to take a massive book series and make a decent film-adaptation has been the amazing Peter Jackson and his epic remakes of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy.  But Tolkien's books were not only smaller, contained lots of descriptions which can edited from the movie with good cinematography, but also had one film per book; and Jackson STILL was not able to put everything he wanted into the cinema releases of his films, even though each one topped the 3 hour range.  

Now Ron Howard, an incomparable director in his own right, wants to attempt to condense seven much larger books into a movie trilogy?  It just won't work, there's absolutely no way it could happen and still be anywhere near as satisfying as King's books, even if each film was 4 hours long! However, there are rumours that if the films do well then there will be a television series that follows the film series, this could be a saving grace because a good television series can last as long as a good novel and the films could cover the first two or three novels and let the television series finish off the book series.  Sadly, it doesn't look like this will be the case as King is currently writing an 8th Dark Tower novel that deals with events and characters that do not happen or appear in the first seven novels and it is not currently known if the television series will cover this novel or new material all together.

Ultimately, I feel this is bad news; wicked-bad.  Looking back at the history of movies and other media, movies have an incredible knack for KILLING their adaptive counterparts when the movies flop.  Judge Dredd was one of the best selling of Britain's 2000 A.D. comics until Stalone killed it with his horrible adaptation.  The Mask tells a similar story with Jim Carey.  Even films like the original Star Wars trilogy have been nearly ruined by their recent unplanned prequel events.  In short, these films threaten to take Stephen King's most worth while novels and bury them under a sea of cinematic crap that could ultimately destroy one of the best adventure/fantasy series in existence.  DON'T DO IT RON!!! LET THE MOVIES DIE PLEASE!!!!!!!!! - Big G -

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