EW: Unlocking the film version of Stephen King's The Dark Tower

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OldDarth

Well-Known Member
Jul 10, 2006
730
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Canada
cat in a bag - I agree with your assessment. The core of the story is still there. Simply casting McConaughey as Martin necessitates story changes. You don't hire a big name actor and then have him flit Sauron-like from LOTR at the edges of the frame. The movie creators needed to create a story line that gets him actively present. So having him in charge of the Breakers makes sense.

And any storyline that increases Jake's importance can only be a good thing in my books.

So far in turning this into a movie, the extensions of the storyline seem logical and consistent.
 

Robert Gray

Well-Known Member
Thank you for that but no apology is necessary, it's all good. I am not feeling well and worried about a bunch of real life stuff and I was being too touchy. I apologize for that.

You weren't being too touchy. I was being too literal. It wasn't my intention to imply anything. It was an honest question, but I can certainly see how it came across. I do owe you an apology. Sometimes I forget that text does not adequately convey emotion or a question mark. I am very literal, so if I ask you something, I'm really asking. When I'm being snide, it is hard to miss. In this case, I was snide by accident and for that I am sorry. I do think we profoundly disagree on the core of the story though. We will have to agree to disagree. I am a firm believer that both God and the devil are in the details. What you described as the core of the story above is most certainly not a story. It is an idea. As an aspiring writer, I can tell you that is exactly how you start. You say to yourself one day, "I should write a story about this knight on a quest to defend a tower. It will be a long journey and involve all the people he meets."

Do you see my point? That isn't a story. That is the barest bones of an idea. Stories are about people, i.e. SPECIFIC people and the details that make their lives and quests stand out from all the rest. Without a doubt, history (and fictional history) is full of knights. It is the details that makes Roland THE Knight. I know I sound like I'm making a mountain out of a molehill, but I'm really not. There is a reason Stephen King's stories resonate with us. You can walk into any bookstore and find WALLS of stories about knights (modern, archaic, futuristic) and we don't know their names, nor do we really care. That is because they are, by in large, vaguely drawn cartoons following the quest of the day. It isn't the quest. It isn't the monster. It is the people we care about, and people are defined by specific context. Change the context, change the story.
 

Moderator

Ms. Mod
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Jul 10, 2006
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This quote from the director says all there is to say about why this adaptation is not the same story that we read (and a departure that Stephen is completely on board with):

“The hardcore fans of The Dark Tower series will know that this is actually a sequel to the books in a way,” Arcel says. “It has a lot of the same elements, a lot of the same characters, but it is a different journey.”
 

Robert Gray

Well-Known Member
This quote from the director says all there is to say about why this adaptation is not the same story that we read (and a departure that Stephen is completely on board with):

“The hardcore fans of The Dark Tower series will know that this is actually a sequel to the books in a way,” Arcel says. “It has a lot of the same elements, a lot of the same characters, but it is a different journey.”

I know it is, but I don't have to like it. I'll admit my bias right up front. I don't think a different story should be translated to the screen before the original gets a chance. I just take issue with the idea that this story is, at its heart, the same. I don't think so. Granted, I am making assumptions and they may yet make an a horse's rear end out of me when the film comes out. I'd be happy to eat crow, overjoyed in fact. I want that so much I wish my track record of predictions was a lot worse.
 
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Moderator

Ms. Mod
Administrator
Jul 10, 2006
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Maine
I know it is, but I don't have to like it. I'll admit my bias right up front. I don't think a different story should be translated to the screen before the original gets it chance. I just take issue with the idea that this story is, at its heart, the same. I don't think so. Granted, I am making assumptions and they may yet make an a horse's rear end out of me when the film comes out. I'd be happy to eat crow, overjoyed in fact. I want that so much I wish my track record of predictions was a lot worse.
Of course you don't, but continuing to point out that this isn't the books isn't going to change it either. :smile2: It's not what a lot of people wanted but I think the production company truly has the story's essence in mind and is trying to be respectful of that. We aren't going to see a 100% faithful adaptation of the books (when do we ever) because that's not the path of the beam for this journey. ;)
 

cat in a bag

Well-Known Member
Aug 28, 2010
12,038
67,827
wyoming
You weren't being too touchy. I was being too literal. It wasn't my intention to imply anything. It was an honest question, but I can certainly see how it came across. I do owe you an apology. Sometimes I forget that text does not adequately convey emotion or a question mark. I am very literal, so if I ask you something, I'm really asking. When I'm being snide, it is hard to miss. In this case, I was snide by accident and for that I am sorry. I do think we profoundly disagree on the core of the story though. We will have to agree to disagree. I am a firm believer that both God and the devil are in the details. What you described as the core of the story above is most certainly not a story. It is an idea. As an aspiring writer, I can tell you that is exactly how you start. You say to yourself one day, "I should write a story about this knight on a quest to defend a tower. It will be a long journey and involve all the people he meets."

Do you see my point? That isn't a story. That is the barest bones of an idea. Stories are about people, i.e. SPECIFIC people and the details that make their lives and quests stand out from all the rest. Without a doubt, history (and fictional history) is full of knights. It is the details that makes Roland THE Knight. I know I sound like I'm making a mountain out of a molehill, but I'm really not. There is a reason Stephen King's stories resonate with us. You can walk into any bookstore and find WALLS of stories about knights (modern, archaic, futuristic) and we don't know their names, nor do we really care. That is because they are, by in large, vaguely drawn cartoons following the quest of the day. It isn't the quest. It isn't the monster. It is the people we care about, and people are defined by specific context. Change the context, change the story.
Thank you for that.

I do see your point. But to me, the "core" IS an "idea," to use your word, that all the "specifics" of a story grow around.

We know the specifics will not be exactly the same, I said that. But we do have Roland. And Jake. Walter. And the Tower at the center.

Anyway, I agree to disagree. :) And I am sorry, too. I was being oversensitive.
 

Robert Gray

Well-Known Member
Of course you don't, but continuing to point out that this isn't the books isn't going to change it either. :smile2: It's not what a lot of people wanted but I think the production company truly has the story's essence in mind and is trying to be respectful of that. We aren't going to see a 100% faithful adaptation of the books (when do we ever) because that's not the path of the beam for this journey. ;)

I've been largely quiet, because I do accept this isn't the book version. I only pipe up now and again when the discussion shifts to this notion of being same at the core or essence. That topic is fair game because it is new. The fact the film is NOT the books is already settled. What constitutes as story is what I think is interesting, and to that effect The Dark Tower is a good thing consider. I'm interested in what other people think is the core of that story and WHY they think that. I already have my own opinions, of course, but what others think too interests me. I don't even think one can boil the entire series down into a core idea. I think each book has a core story and has to be taken at that level.
 

Robert Gray

Well-Known Member
For me the core of the story through all the books is Roland rediscovering his humanity.

Redemption is certainly key. I think the first book had to mire us in the filth and degradation of what he had become in his endless chase of the Man in Black which culminates in base betrayal in the first book. We had to get to know Roland and even like him for all of his flaws. Sadly, I don't get the feeling that is what we are going to be seeing. I hope I'm wrong but to me it looks very much like they are setting up a binary good versus evil thing with clear roles. I also see the Man in Black coming to dominate the film in the same way Nicholson's Joker did in Burton's Batman. Hollywood loves binary because it is easy. Depth and layers is hard, or at least it is for them. In my mind, I pretty much have watched this entire movie already. I expect to be off on a few details but I suspect I could do a pretty accurate W-form diagram of the script without seeing it based entirely on what we know so far. I shouldn't be able to do that. I suspect we all pretty much know already too. I don't think I am endowed with any special gift. We are all veterans of the cinema and have a pretty good idea what we are going to get.

The caveat is that I hope to be wrong.
 
Dec 10, 2015
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Redemption is certainly key. I think the first book had to mire us in the filth and degradation of what he had become in his endless chase of the Man in Black which culminates in base betrayal in the first book. We had to get to know Roland and even like him for all of his flaws. Sadly, I don't get the feeling that is what we are going to be seeing. I hope I'm wrong but to me it looks very much like they are setting up a binary good versus evil thing with clear roles. I also see the Man in Black coming to dominate the film in the same way Nicholson's Joker did in Burton's Batman. Hollywood loves binary because it is easy. Depth and layers is hard, or at least it is for them. In my mind, I pretty much have watched this entire movie already. I expect to be off on a few details but I suspect I could do a pretty accurate W-form diagram of the script without seeing it based entirely on what we know so far. I shouldn't be able to do that. I suspect we all pretty much know already too. I don't think I am endowed with any special gift. We are all veterans of the cinema and have a pretty good idea what we are going to get.

The caveat is that I hope to be wrong.

The core to the Dark Tower is: Reproduction, Revelation, Resumption, Redemption... I don't think he ever truly finds redemption...I mean, it is inferred at the end of DT7, and that is why I think this movie (not gonna call it an adaptation) will be brilliant. The people we know from the journey we read do NOT need to be part of this journey, nor act the same...the whole premise of a "sequel" obligates it to be different, because if it does not change much then the movie (which then would be considered an adaptation) would implode on itself.

This time the "details" need to be changed in order for Roland to find Redemption
 

Steffen

Well-Known Member
Aug 9, 2015
2,233
12,800
This quote from the director says all there is to say about why this adaptation is not the same story that we read (and a departure that Stephen is completely on board with):

“The hardcore fans of The Dark Tower series will know that this is actually a sequel to the books in a way,” Arcel says. “It has a lot of the same elements, a lot of the same characters, but it is a different journey.”

Thank you for posting that, because I think not enough SK fans are paying attention to that point. The minute I saw SK's tweet "Last Time Around," everything clicked for me. This is the continuation of the books: Roland's next journey. I do not expect a chronological adaptation and the film-makers clearly are not going in that direction. As long as the film(s) retain the spirit of the characters and the major beats of the (vast) story, I am eagerly looking forward to this. I accept it for what it is, and hope they do a good job adapting the story.
 

kingricefan

All-being, keeper of Space, Time & Dimension.
Jul 11, 2006
30,011
127,446
Spokane, WA
Of course you don't, but continuing to point out that this isn't the books isn't going to change it either. :smile2: It's not what a lot of people wanted but I think the production company truly has the story's essence in mind and is trying to be respectful of that. We aren't going to see a 100% faithful adaptation of the books (when do we ever) because that's not the path of the beam for this journey. ;)
Send me a copy of the script, let me read it and I'll let everyone know if this is going to happen. :glee:
 

Jason ML

Member
Jul 17, 2016
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54
41
The bit of weight that McConaughey never really got back after Dallas Buyers Club I think really suits him as Walter. The lean look offers that dichotomy that while he's not physically imposing, he's still scary due to his presence. I think he'll be able to evoke that.

And I find the idea that this very well might be a continuation as opposed to an adaptation of the first saga fascinating.