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King's Dark Tower Series To Be Adapted For Film, TV

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the as-long-as-there-are-no-creepy-clowns dept.

Movies 238

Kozz writes "Universal Pictures and NBC Universal Television Entertainment have closed a deal to turn Stephen King's mammoth novel series The Dark Tower into a feature film trilogy and a network TV series, both of which will be creatively steered by the Oscar-winning team behind A Beautiful Mind and The Da Vinci Code. 'The plan is to start with the feature film, and then create a bridge to the second feature with a season of TV episodes. That means the feature cast — and the big star who’ll play Deschain — also has to appear in the TV series before returning to the second film. After that sequel is done, the TV series picks up again, this time focusing on Deschain as a young gunslinger.'"

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the last two books (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33535482)

The last two books are going to be kind of tough to put on the big or small screen...

Re:the last two books (0, Flamebait)

lgw (121541) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535598)

The last two books are going to be kind of tough to put on the big or small screen...

Not compared to making a movie of Running Man that was close to the story! That's one movie that won't be made in my lifetime, given [rot13 spoiler="ending"]Gur ureb syvrf na nvecynar vagb n fxlfpencre[/rot13].

I've thought that every movie ever made from a King book has been crap, far worse than the normal adaptation decay, but maybe that's just me.

Re:the last two books (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33535662)

Yeah... The Shining, It, Stand By Me, Shawshank Redemption, Green Mile... pure crap! What the fuck ever, douchebag.

Re:the last two books (2, Interesting)

c0d3g33k (102699) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535788)

Touche. People remember the bad adaptations, but there have been a number of excellent ones. Too bad hollywood's interest is high enough that much of their King adaptation work has been shovelware, the source material is certainly not at fault.

Re:the last two books (1)

JeffSpudrinski (1310127) | more than 4 years ago | (#33536012)

There are many bad adaptations, even with King himself directing...remember the horrendous "Maximum Overdrive"?

However...the two television adaptations of his works that were excellent were "The Shining" (the one starring Steven Weber as John Torrance, not Jack Nicholson) and "The Stand".

"The Stand" was brilliantly done, and while there were a few creative licenses taken, stuck extremely close to the brilliant novel he had written.

It took me three tries to read "The Stand" when I was a teenager. Every time I started to read it, I caught a cold and had to stop. (not much of a spoiler there...)

Just my $0.02.

-JJS

Re:the last two books (1)

T.E.D. (34228) | more than 4 years ago | (#33536604)

I actually liked Maximum Overdrive for what it was: A zombie-style horror movie with mechanical devices taking the place of the zombies.

Perhaps if I'd read the book I would have found it appalling?

Re:the last two books (1)

Nephilium (684559) | more than 4 years ago | (#33536090)

Just a note here... It was a TV mini-series adaptation (which the TV adaptations of King's work usually hold up well). While Stand By Me and The Shawshank Redemption were both based on novellas instead of novels.

I'd say The Shining (movie version), and Green Mile are both the exception, rather then the rule.

Nephilium

Re:the last two books (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 4 years ago | (#33536756)

The Langoliers was one horrible mini-series adaptation, but I think that was mostly because of the extremely bad special effects with regard to the langoliers themselves.

They used low-budget CG (TV quality) in a time when even big-budget CG was terrible for anything remotely large on-screen.

The rest of the show was OK - not fantastic, but not horrendous either.

Re:the last two books (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33536028)

The last two books are going to be kind of tough to put on the big or small screen...

Not compared to making a movie of Running Man that was close to the story! That's one movie that won't be made in my lifetime, given [rot13 spoiler="ending"]Gur ureb syvrf na nvecynar vagb n fxlfpencre[/rot13].

I've thought that every movie ever made from a King book has been crap, far worse than the normal adaptation decay, but maybe that's just me.

Crap? One of the best movies of all time is from a Stephen King short story you might of heard of - The Shawshank Redemption. Not to mention The Shining, Stand by Me, The Green Mile. Yes, there has been some crap (ie Maximum Overdrive) but all in all he has written many stories that have been made into great films. And while I've always wanted to see The Dark Tower series as movies, there's no way it will be done well - just too much story there.

Re:the last two books (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33536172)

The man in black fled across the desert and the Gunslinger followed.

Hell-motherfucking-yeah, bitches. Bring that shit on.

Re:the last two books (1)

localman57 (1340533) | more than 4 years ago | (#33536344)

If you like that, you should read the stuff that follows. It's nearly as good.

Re:the last two books (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33536642)

If you like that, you should read the stuff that follows. It's nearly as good.

Touché!

Bout. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33535486)

Fucking. Time!

It seems to me (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535492)

That even with the TV seasons thrown in it's just not enough time. It seems likely we'll end up with something that has the depth of the animated Lord of the Rings movie. Stephen King may not have the depth of Tolkein, but The Dark Tower deserves better.

This reads like (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 4 years ago | (#33536096)

This reads like, "we have a plan that cannot fail! let me outline how we will plan to suck all the life and joy out of King's story while generating the greatest profit possible in a series of alternating movies and made for TV movies^H^H^H^H 1 hour TV drama seasons".
 
  Stephen King has sort of thrown in the towel and is happy to let the visual media butcher his stories in the past, while people buy his the books to understand what the hell directors were trying to convey. I don't see this being any different this time around. There's an opportunity to tell this story in a series of 7 or 8 movies, or as a 7 season TV series, but alternating between the two is a recipe for disaster, as Serenity has taught us.

Excited (1)

dyingtolive (1393037) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535502)

I'm excited. This sounds like it will be the first thing on TV I'll have cared about in a long time. Hopefully. I'm trying not to get my hopes up yet, but I guess we'll see.

Just what we needed (-1, Flamebait)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535518)

A TV series with a plot line even more convoluted and confusing than Lost, with the added twist that you have to pay to see 2 movies to follow it! Am I the only one whose reaction to reading the books was "King, you REALLY need to cut down on the drugs!"?

Re:Just what we needed (5, Interesting)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535718)

If it proves popular I can't wait to see people's reaction to the ending (those that aren't familiar with it). It'll make everyone's disappointment in the Lost and Battlestar Galactica finales look like indifference. I know people who are still pissed off about everything that happens after the "don't read past this point" warning. Personally, I laughed out loud at the ending since it basically came down to with thing: "Ka is a wheel bitches! Deal with it."

Re:Just what we needed (1)

c0d3g33k (102699) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535894)

Indeed. My new rule is that good writers are separated from the bad (aka hacks) by their ability to devise a good ending to the story they started. Hint: There are few good ones, particularly in television. It's probably no accident that many writers in television today also contribute to the comics medium. I love comics, but they aren't exactly known for wrapping things up and declaring it done.

and then there is Chuck (1)

macbeth66 (204889) | more than 4 years ago | (#33536078)

The writers seem to wrap-up things very nicely at Episode 13 and then at the season finale. Basically because they are never sure if the show will be back. It makes them move things along. And no freakin' awful season long arc crap.

BTW, Season 4 premieres 9/20 in the States. Again, only 13 episodes were ordered.

Re:Just what we needed (1)

localman57 (1340533) | more than 4 years ago | (#33536398)

My new rule is that good writers are separated from the bad (aka hacks) by their ability to devise a good ending to the story they started.

Michael Criton is king of the hacks this way. He comes up with interesting starts and middles, then the end is always that the problem gets solved by some dues ex machina. It's like he read War of the Worlds, and based an entire career on that ending type.

Re:Just what we needed (1)

puto (533470) | more than 4 years ago | (#33536782)

Ahh,in case you did not know, he died two years ago. As far as hacks go he was a Harvard MD and a his background was based in hard science. Most people enjoy a happy ending with a problem solved. Not everything has to play out like a French movie.

Re:Just what we needed (1)

timster (32400) | more than 4 years ago | (#33536580)

That's funny, I just found a new rule that good Slashdot commenters are separated from the bad by their ability to see the world as shades of grey and fine distinctions, rather than dumping everything into buckets of "good" and "bad".

Also, the ending was perfect.

Re:Just what we needed (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535966)

Indeed - I can't say that I enjoyed the ending, but I can certainly see that it was the only ending possible. And *man* will people be pissed off if they end the movie trilogy the same way.

Re:Just what we needed (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 4 years ago | (#33536030)

Funny, I thought the ending was perfect. How the hell else would you have the series ended? Happily Ever After? Maybe Roland settles down with a nice lady and has a couple kids and an SUV?

Re:Just what we needed (3, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 4 years ago | (#33536216)

Don't get me wrong, the ending was perfect. The whole 7 book uber-novel is about two things, the journey to the tower and Roland's character development from heartless asshole bent on revenge to someone his companions could put trust in. From a literary standpoint, it's pretty clear that those two elements are meant to be connected, Roland only ever gets closer to the Tower when he puts his faith in others, helps others, sacrifices for others, etc. (spoiler) Since his character development wasn't complete (his obsession over the tower still overpowered his love for his companions) it doesn't make sense that he should reach the tower either. The idea that Roland has been living the events of the novels over and over again, each time gaining a tiny piece of humanity back (or maybe sometimes not even succeeding that much) is a very powerful idea from a literary standpoint. Of course, try telling that to people that feel they got cheated out of an ending that they read a few thousand pages to reach and they just don't seem to appreciate it.

Re:Just what we needed (1)

Kintalis (592836) | more than 4 years ago | (#33536126)

Heh, good point. My initial reaction was "Thank you Roland! But our princess is in another castle!"

I admit I was disappointed by the ending at first, but on thinking about it, it was probably the most sensible way for it to have ended. To the extent that sense applied to those books in the first place, at least. I otherwise enjoyed the books quite a bit.

Re:Just what we needed (1)

Kilrah_il (1692978) | more than 4 years ago | (#33536182)

I also loved the ending very much, both the first and the second (post-warning). Both could are logical endings to the series.

*** Spoiler Alert ****

A small point: IIRC (I don't have the book near me), in the "reincarnation" he has with him his friend's horn - so it isn't exactly a wheel, some small detail changed and it gives hope that things will end differently. Should we say "ka is a spiral"?

Re:Just what we needed (2, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 4 years ago | (#33536428)

See, I took at as implied that not only will Roland relive the events again, but that he has already lived them many, many times, each time earning (or failing to earn) a small piece of his former life (symbolizing his humanity) to take with him. Maybe the first time he didn't have his original guns, or his hat, or his coin, etc. Roland is doomed to repeat the cycle endlessly until he has enough of his humanity to value his friends over his search for the Tower, the items from his past are meant to remind him off all the people that he's lost due to his search for the tower and other mistakes. I suppose it's possible that he'll eventually do so, but in my imagination it will take dozens of repetitions to do so (even assuming he earns something each time); maybe "Ka is a wheel, but you have a choice to get off from it" would be more accurate.

I was just thinking about this (2, Interesting)

drewsup (990717) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535554)

the other day.. Jack Palance in his prime would have the best gunslinger. I cant think of anyone else today who could fill this role Either way, this will be a waaaayyyy bigger undertaking than The Stand.

Re:I was just thinking about this (1)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535730)

Stephen King has said Clint Eastwood's 'Man with No Name' was his model for Roland Deschain. Obviously unless they do some insane CGI that's not going to happen. My guess would be a little known actor would be the best pick for the role.

Re:I was just thinking about this (2, Insightful)

Beezlebub33 (1220368) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535852)

I agree that a little known actor would be good; I also think that such an actor is more likely to take the role, since it is a multi-year, multi-outlet commitment to the part. I also pray that they do not try to soften the character or pick someone who is at all soft and fuzzy.

On the other hand, as long as Shia LaBeouf stays the fuck away from the movie, I'll be happy.

Re:I was just thinking about this (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535880)

Clancy Brown could do it. He's about the right age, too, around 50 or so. Roland of Gilead was a bit younger than that in the books, I think, but given how hard his life was you'd expect him to look bit worse for the wear.

Re:I was just thinking about this (1)

Tobenisstinky (853306) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535970)

"Happy halloween ladies! aaarahahaha"

Re:I was just thinking about this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33536036)

"Roland of Gilead was a bit younger than that in the books"

Really? I thought he was supposed to be at least hundreds of years old (except the flashback book, of course).

Re:I was just thinking about this (1)

c0d3g33k (102699) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535948)

Clint could still pull it off.

Re:I was just thinking about this (1)

Fred IV (587429) | more than 4 years ago | (#33536384)

Viggo Mortensen could probably pull off Roland. I always thought of Palance as more of the man in black type. Clint should get a part somewhere to pay respect to how much of an influence his early work had on the series, but I can't see him wanting to sign up to do all three movies plus a miniseries as a major character.

Very Tricky Translation to Make (1)

ImprovOmega (744717) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535560)

There's so much material there though, how could you possibly adapt it even into 7-films without leaving newcomers behind?

I mean, the TV series piece will be helpful, but that's asking for a large time investment for someone that wasn't already a big fan of the books. I am cautiously hopeful though, and even if this is just something that ends up being for the fans it could be great fun for a season.

They did do a pretty good job a few years back translating Nightmares and Dreamscapes to the small screen *fingers crossed*

Never read (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535562)

I'm a big King fan, but I've never read this series...often wondered if it's worth getting into. Any opinions/advice/suggestions?

Re:Never read (1)

sscroggins (1018484) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535672)

Personally I think that it starts off great, has a pretty so so middle and a decent (though not amazing) end. Definitely read the first two, though. Very good.

Re:Never read (1)

tulmad (25666) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535738)

The fifth book was my favorite of the whole series.

Re:Never read (1)

Dorkmaster Flek (1013045) | more than 4 years ago | (#33536824)

Funny you should mention that. The fifth book has possibly my single favourite scene in the entire series when Roland does the rice dance.

Won't take long to form an opinion (2, Insightful)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535708)

I'm a big King fan, but I've never read this series...often wondered if it's worth getting into. Any opinions/advice/suggestions?

Take a risk on the first paperback or go to the library. My recollection is that unlike other books(*) you will get a sense of the story and style pretty quickly. If you like what you are reading keep going.

(*) As for book that don't really reveal themselves for a while I'd have to refer to Dune. Friends told me how great it was so I started reading. I pushed myself for the first third or so wondering what the hell the attraction was. Now while reading the second half I could not put the book down. Years later when I reread the book I loved the first half too. It was only after I had the big picture did I fully appreciate the rich and detailed social and environmental background information. This was all before the movie and miniseries so perhaps today fewer readers will stumble as I did.

Re:Won't take long to form an opinion (1)

localman57 (1340533) | more than 4 years ago | (#33536506)

I'd say take a risk on the first two. The first one is a quick read, but is very much his early writing style where the characters are kind of stark, black and white with detail purposefully omitted in the shadows. The second is more representive of the tone the rest of the books take, with a more indepth, colorful character development.

Re:Never read (2, Interesting)

Meostro (788797) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535752)

I think it's some of King's best work. It's worth reading at least one to see if you're into the series. The first one is harder to get into than the rest.

I read The Wastelands first. It reminded me a little of The Stand, but with more detail around Roland (main dude) and less background on what's going on in the world. It was interesting enough that I decided to go back and see what I'd missed.

Tried to read The Gunslinger and got bored after a little while - there are a few other characters, but it's mostly two dudes in the desert. The Drawing of the Three was more in the vein of Wastelands, and from there I blazed through each book as soon as it came out.

You may not realize it, but you've seen glimpses of the DT universe through most of King's books.

Re:Never read (1)

wytten (163159) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535756)

If you like Stephen King, and don't mind reading long serials while getting the feeling that nothing will ever be resolved to your satisfaction, I'd say go for it.
In my case I gave up after a book or two because I personally don't like the feeling that nothing will ever be resolved to your satisfaction.

Re:Never read (1)

ADRA (37398) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535760)

The first 3-4 books are absolutely amazing. If you like the Gunslinger (which shouldn't take that long to read) the other 3 will be fine. Books 5-7 are ok, but there were times for me that it definitely stepped out of the realm of wow and into something else entirely. That's not to say they were bad, just um different.

Re:Never read (1)

ooshna (1654125) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535764)

YES that is the only answer.

Re:Never read (1)

tulmad (25666) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535770)

Definitely pick up at least the first book. I was hooked after that one and had to finish the whole thing.

Re:Never read (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535810)

Thanks for the responses, everyone. I know what I'm loading up on my nook tonight!

Re:Never read (4, Insightful)

corbettw (214229) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535822)

"The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed."

If that first sentence doesn't grab you, don't bother with the rest of the book. If it does, then go for it; you'll never regret it.

Re:Never read (1)

Inner_Child (946194) | more than 4 years ago | (#33536034)

That sentence still gives me chills every time I read it, even now, 20 years after the first time I picked up The Gunslinger... If anyone's on the fence: If you've read his other work, you'll probably get a glimpse into it from Mid-World -- or a glimpse into Mid-World from it. It's not Tolkien, but it's very good. Unlike most people, I *loved* the ending, but YMMV.

Re:Never read (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535828)

You're not a King fan until you've read The Dark Tower series. It's his masterpiece.

Re:Never read (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 4 years ago | (#33536810)

The Dark Tower series was good, but I liked Insomnia & Black House just as much.

Re:Never read (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33535922)

I find it to be his best work. It is epic and all encompassing with characters he puts in a lot of his different novels.

Re:Never read (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33535932)

mayhaps you should read it, because if you don't mordrid will kill you... and she's A HONGRY!

Re:Never read (1)

Beezlebub33 (1220368) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535950)

The first book is great though it has a different feel from a standard King book. The rest are good, but uneven in their own way. After a while, they get downright weird. The best parts are when Roland (and the other travellers) are in his world. When he spends too much time in other places, it just doesn't work for me. The ending (or endings?) are good, and it wraps up the story IMHO, YMMV.

Re:Never read (1)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 4 years ago | (#33536086)

It is, but you have to understand King's Dark Tower series is his Magnum Opus, and half of his books [wikipedia.org] are integrated into the Dark Tower mythos in some way. Buick Eight, Eye of the Dragon, The Stand, Hearts in Atlantis, Salem's Lot and a bunch more are intertwined. It's pretty incredible.

Like I said in a post further down, it's good until book six, then does a left turn at Albuquerque. Still good, and you'll want to finish it, but does not live up to the hype. I think King pushed making the key and it didn't come out right.

Re:Never read (1)

Mad Hamster (870092) | more than 4 years ago | (#33536134)

Go for the original version of "The Gunslinger", not the revised one King published after otherwise finishing the series. Though the latter has more consistency with the other six volumes, the original version is told better and is a greater read. Oh, and if you're anything like me, prepare to be captivated, you'll want to read it all in one sitting.

Re:Never read (1)

localman57 (1340533) | more than 4 years ago | (#33536568)

Agreed. Read the original. More generally, read the edited verison of any of his books, not the unedited. The unedited sometimes have other interesting side characters, but he also tends to go all George Lucas where he needs someone else to tell him when Enough is Enough.

Yes (1)

NiteShaed (315799) | more than 4 years ago | (#33536150)

Especially if you're a big King fan. I don't want to give things away, but King references his other books quite a bit (more in the later parts of Tower), which I thought was a lot of fun. I would also recommend reading Hearts in Atlantis, The Talisman and Black House first if you haven't read those. Not necessary, but Dark Tower is more fun if you have.

One of the things that used to keep people away was that it seemed like it'd never be finished. Now that it has an ending, I'd definitely say take a look.

I disagree with the sibling posts though. Personally I liked the later books more than the early ones, but of course that's just a personal preference.

Re:Never read (1)

Dorkmaster Flek (1013045) | more than 4 years ago | (#33536784)

I agree with others who say take a chance on the first couple books. However I offer one additional bit of advice. Track down the revised version of the first book. It flows smoother, and a few plot elements are changed so they mesh with the later books properly. The first book was literally one of the first novels he wrote, and it shows in the original version. The revised version is far superior.

This has suck written all over it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33535564)

TV miniseries has to be the lowest form of entertainment. I'd rather watch the local junior high community theater production.

Re:This has suck written all over it. (4, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535606)

Band of Brothers called...they told me to tell you "piss off".

Re:This has suck written all over it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33535908)

Band of Brothers called...they told me to tell you "piss off".

Haw, pwned!

Re:This has suck written all over it. (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 4 years ago | (#33536360)

The Pacific was pretty damn good, too. The Pelileu airfield charge, Snafu tossing pebbles into the open head of a dead Japanese soldier and many other scenes really make it a miniseries worth watching and remembering, up there with much of Band of Brothers.

Re:This has suck written all over it. (1)

eln (21727) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535830)

On the contrary, I don't think networks do the miniseries thing nearly enough. When you have a finite work that wouldn't fit into a 2 hour movie, a miniseries is the perfect treatment for it. These days, the solution tends to be to either cut all the good stuff out and make an incomprehensible 2 hour movie or try to make the material into a multi-season series where you have to add tons of filler if it gets popular because the original source material was too thin or the planned story arc too short for that many episodes (see: Lost, also arguably the third season of Battlestar Galactica).

Just like with any format, there have been really great miniseries and some really tragically terrible ones. You can't say the entire format is bad because it can be used to make bad works though.

Re:This has suck written all over it. (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535984)

TV miniseries has to be the lowest form of entertainment. I'd rather watch the local junior high community theater production.

Yeah, it's right up there with "seasons" for story-based shows. Preposterous, nobody would want to watch that crap.

Encouraged (1)

al0ha (1262684) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535584)

I'm encouraged by the fact it is Ron Howard slated to direct; however that said, I think this initiative has no better than a 50/50 chance of being any good. It is quite impossible to duplicate the in depth pictures that King paints in your mind on the big screen. With the exception of The Shining, which was a pretty good screen adaptation, though of course pales on comparison to the book, all King screen adaptations have pretty much sucked. Need I mention The Stand? And that is only one book, good luck with Dark Tower Ron.

Do you ken filmslinger?

Re:Encouraged (2, Insightful)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535650)

So you're saying a picture may be worth 1,000 words, but not 100,000?

Re:Encouraged (3, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535684)

I dunno...The Langoliers was pretty good, despite (or possibly because) it's campy script and hammy acting.

Also...are you forgetting Carrie?

Re:Encouraged (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535866)

(or possibly because of)

its

Fixed.

Re:Encouraged (1)

ADRA (37398) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535938)

Shawshank Redemption, Stand By Me, and Green Mile are all on my somewhat short list of great movies. I personally liked Dream Catcher, but I can understand why some wouldn't love it. The stand was made as a 4 part mini-series and the book was 1200 pages, so yeah they cut corners. The dark tower series is around 3000? pages and being made as three movies and a series. That sounds like a lot more breathing room. More importantly though, this story was King's baby ever since he started writing. He won't let someone step in and make a crappy adaptation. He's been dealing with TV/Movies long enough to know what works and what doesn't.

Sigh... (2, Insightful)

pedantic bore (740196) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535616)

I give it until Blaine the Mono, and then the audience will be distracted and wander off and the project will be cut.

Well, maybe they'll jiggle the timeline a little and do Wizard and Glass first. That would actually make a decent movie.

follow the author's wishes (1)

rev_sanchez (691443) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535644)

Skip the last episode.

Re:follow the author's wishes (1)

Beezlebub33 (1220368) | more than 4 years ago | (#33536006)

I'm not sure what the author's wishes really are. I can't say that I trust what they write at the end of a book, telling you not to read the rest of it, when they went ahead and wrote the extra bit. If they didn't want us to read it, then he should not have written it. So, either it's a ploy or he's undecided about it himself.

Epic (or not)? (1)

grayn0de (1301165) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535664)

While I must say that I am pretty stoked about this news, I must also say that, while I understand the point of using a TV series as a bridge between feature films, I am a little dissappointed with the decision to go this route. Call me old fashion, but wouldn't it be more epic to have like 6-9 full length films? There is more than enough material in the books for that and IMHO the film adaptations should not stray from the books like most others. This project should be as epic as the book series.

Re:Epic (or not)? (1)

ADRA (37398) | more than 4 years ago | (#33536080)

/spoilers:

You

have

been

warned

King's got to be around to play himself, nay? With him being around 63, its hard to guarantee that he'll be around another 7 or so years to play his part in the films. By the rate that films are made and aired it could be another 12 years from now before we could see the final film.

Re:Epic (or not)? (1)

grayn0de (1301165) | more than 4 years ago | (#33536340)

King's got to be around to play himself, nay? With him being around 63, its hard to guarantee that he'll be around another 7 or so years to play his part in the films.

I don't think him getting to be 75 is terribly far fetched. Hard to guarantee, yes, but not impossible. Now, will he be coherent enough for cameos at 75? Tough to say.

By the rate that films are made and aired it could be another 12 years from now before we could see the final film.

Now THAT would keep it true to the books! Or perhaps more like 22 years? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dark_Tower_(series) [wikipedia.org]

Re:Epic (or not)? (1)

Beezlebub33 (1220368) | more than 4 years ago | (#33536144)

I disagree. There are lots of side stories, back stories, etc. Eddie's back story does not need to be fully told in the movies, but would be fine in a series. A series of stories set in Roland's world, adventures of the gunslingers, the battles between Flagg's army and the gunslingers, training of the gunslingers, etc. would be interesting in their own right. The connection to the movies would not be direct storyline, but filling in the rich world that King has envisioned.

Excited and Terrified (1)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535692)

Excited to finally get to see it on the big screen to see my imagination come to life. Terrified they will destroy it so badly that I will sulk away in horror.

Personally I thought it started coming off the rails in book six and book seven basically threw away the build of the first four books plus how much backfill from The Stand, Salem's Lot and Eye of the Dragon.

Re:Excited and Terrified (1)

ADRA (37398) | more than 4 years ago | (#33536108)

To be fair, he did write those novels and others with kernels of the gunslinger, not the other way around. You are right though. The series did start to languish near the end though.

Excited and scared (1)

rvaniwaa (136502) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535702)

The Dark Tower series is my all time favorite series of books and I have read them all multiple times. I worry about how it will adapt to both the big and little screen although the adaption of The Stand did fairly well. It is a huge story and I love it all (except for the last half of the last book).

the creative team is middle of the road (3, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535736)

we need wacky and out there for this material

ron howard: apollo 13, a beautiful mind, the davinci code

akiva goldsman: lost in space, batman & robin, i robot

eh

they are excellent filmmakers and producers and writers with a spectacular run of success with solid well-done pop fare and are well-regarded and appreciated

but they have strolled into psychedelic territory here

a story like the dark tower needs a stanley kubrick, a david lynch, a martin scorsese, maybe even a tim burton: a master of the theatre of the macabre and absurd

not these middlebrow crowd pleasing hollywood mainstream guys

for something like the dark tower, we want week old road kill roasted over an oil drum fire by a paranoid schizophrenic hobo. we don't want olive garden

Re:the creative team is middle of the road (2, Insightful)

dyingtolive (1393037) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535942)

I'd rather Dark Tower not get "Burtoned". The biggest problem with a Tim Burton film is that if you've ever seen 5 minutes of one, you can immediately identify any other movie he does in an equal amount of time. I'm not saying they're bad (except Nine), I'm just saying that his penchant for the surreal is 1-dimensional. Kubrick, Scorsese or Lynch would be interesting though.

Re:the creative team is middle of the road (2, Funny)

Inner_Child (946194) | more than 4 years ago | (#33536474)

Yeah, Kubrick would definitely be interesting, considering he's been dead for over a decade. I can see the headlines now: First Film Directed By Zombie Nominated for Oscar!

Re:the creative team is middle of the road (1)

dyingtolive (1393037) | more than 4 years ago | (#33536578)

I meant moreso willing to tackle the movie in the same way as him. This forces my next question: Would a award given for a film directed by a zombie have to be given posthumously, or would the zombie have to die first?

Re:the creative team is middle of the road (2, Insightful)

bigdan69 (1595069) | more than 4 years ago | (#33536776)

I'd rather Dark Tower not get "Burtoned". The biggest problem with a Tim Burton film is that if you've ever seen 5 minutes of one, you can immediately identify any other movie he does in an equal amount of time. I'm not saying they're bad (except Nine), I'm just saying that his penchant for the surreal is 1-dimensional. Kubrick, Scorsese or Lynch would be interesting though.

This, plus I don't think Johnny Depp would make a good gunslinger.

I feel another Rumming Man coming (1)

ooshna (1654125) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535754)

I feel that if the TV series are actually going to be part of the real story of the book it is going to be a raped and destroyed vision of the books. There is no way they can capture the the full story if they have to limit themselves to a pg-13 rating. There are way too many parts that when described in the book had you stuck unable to put it down. Unfortunately a lot of those parts will become watered down to the point of unwatchability if they are made for regular TV. Just imagine the fight between Roland and his teacher Cort. Or how crummy the CGI will be when he looses his fingers. Hell I'll be surprised if they do Blane the Mono any justice at all. Believe me I am all for a series of movies (done like Harry Potter one/two movies per book) or a TV series (if it was on Showtime or HBO) but I think it being on NBC will just cut the legs right out from under it.

Re:I feel another Rumming Man coming (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535802)

Or the Oracle. How will PG-13 deal with Roland being raped by a demon, who takes his seed, and then rapes Suzannah to impregnate her?

Re:I feel another Running Man coming (1)

ooshna (1654125) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535916)

Exactly even if they don't show the actual act itself it would go well beyond pg-13 to even just show the shadows and sounds.

GDI NOOOO! (4, Insightful)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535786)

If it's not done as a series of R-Rated movies, in the spirit of how Lord of the Rings was done, then I don't see how anything good can come of this....

The Dark Tower is my all-time favorite series of books, and I'm appalled to read this....

It would need 3-4 3-hour R-rated moves, and Clint Eastwood at 30 years old, to play Roland.

Re:GDI NOOOO! (1)

EggyToast (858951) | more than 4 years ago | (#33536516)

Funny, considering the LotR movies were rated PG-13.

Re:GDI NOOOO! (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 4 years ago | (#33536562)

I wasn't suggesting they were R-Rated movies. What I was trying to say was that at least LotR dealt with what was in the books. It didn't need to be R-Rated. However, doing Dark Tower on TV, I just don't see how it could be done in the spirit of the books.

The have forgotten the face of their fathers (1)

RiddleofSteel (819662) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535850)

Ugh, when JJ Abrams and the Lost writters were attached to this I had hope that they could actually do this thing justice. While Ron Howard is alright, really not overly impressed with him, akiva goldsman IS HORRIBLE. The guy completely sucks and guarantees this is going to be an abomination. Such a shame too because the book are amazing. As for the Movie to TV split, very interesting way to come at it, but only if the tv show is on HBO, wattered down regular tv is not going to cut it.

Re:The have forgotten the face of their fathers (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535878)

After seeing how Lost ended up, I'm GLAD those asshats don't have anything to do with Dark Tower.

Re:The have forgotten the face of their fathers (1)

RiddleofSteel (819662) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535988)

Well they wouldn't have a lot of leeway to rewrite the ending I would think, so nothing to worry about there. Also alot of people compared the endings to those two epic series. While I was really disappointed in the ending of Lost, I have to adminit they kept me riveted every week for 6 years and that says something.

The last few books stink. (1)

Gotung (571984) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535872)

The first three books were very good. Wizard and Glass was amazing. After that the series fell off a very sharp cliff.

This is one instance where I seriously wouldn't mind if hollywood completely re-wrote the story when doing the later half of the series.

Howard directing the TV series.... (1)

NiteShaed (315799) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535914)

TFA: It seems hard to fathom he'd direct a full season's worth of episodes, but that is the early plan, and who says they have to do 22 to create that bridge to the next film?
Well duh. They should obviously only do 19.

Canceled in Season 2 (1)

abe ferlman (205607) | more than 4 years ago | (#33536094)

With so many outstanding series were canceled after only two seasons, like Firefly, Deadwood, and countless others, is there any hope that the same might happen here? The first Dark Tower book was outstanding, and the next three were all right. The last few were bizzare self-indulgent crap where King appears to have simply transcribed his therapy sessions in the wake of his being hit by a van. The man has never written good endings, let's hope the studios do it for him this time.

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