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How can Mr. King continue to allow his work to be ruined by Hollywood?!

Discussion in 'The Dark Tower' started by MerlinFL, Oct 28, 2017.

  1. Moderator

    Moderator Ms. Mod Administrator

    Pet Sematary was just before my time, but the one that comes to my mind as far as his involvement with the project would be The Stand. He wrote the script, was involved with the casting, and was on set during the entire filming as well as doing a cameo.
  2. Gerald

    Gerald Well-Known Member

    Is it known how Mick Garris and SK got together? Was it because of Robert Bloch?
    Garris went from doing Psycho 4 straight into doing numerous SK films: Sleepwalkers, The Stand, Quicksilver Highway, The Shining, Riding the Bullet, Desperation, Bag of Bones. On the blu-ray of Psycho 2 there is a talk with Tom Holland and Mick Garris, where Holland mentions King and Bloch were close friends.

    But on the other hand, Bloch was not involved with the Psycho sequels: even though Universal owned the rights to everything to do with Psycho from the original film on, they didn't use Bloch's further writing, because he let Norman Bates die in the second novel.
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  3. Moderator

    Moderator Ms. Mod Administrator

    I'm not sure if that's how they began collaborating so would have to ask.
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  4. Robert Gray

    Robert Gray Well-Known Member

    I disagree. Readership size doesn't matter at all. Studios gamble outrageous budgets on scripts that were never books in the first place. The only thing that matters is whether or not the story is a clunker or a finely tuned Porsche. Does it have an engine in it? Does it have a spoiler and flames painted down the sides. :) If the writing is good, all else follows. A good script can carry a bad director, mediocre actors, and even a low budget. A bad script is like giving the actors cement shoes and tossing them in the East River. Books that get adapted to film are nice for studios because they have:

    1. Name recognition both in story and author (however large or small the readership).
    2. A story that has been tried and tested in a a market where story is all that matters.
    3. A script that can largely write itself if they choose to do so.

    Studios don't base the budget on the size of the books current readership. They base the budget on estimated (i.e. hoped for) return. Think of all the films with budgets busting 100-200 million dollars that we have seen flop in just the last three years. :) How much did they spend on the new Tom Cruise Mummy picture, for example... and they didn't even have a coherent script. My point is that the lunatics that run that asylum have their own way of gambling and measuring and it has absolutely nothing to do with the metrics of the books. I don't even think half of them can read.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
  5. Gerald

    Gerald Well-Known Member

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  6. kingricefan

    kingricefan All-being, keeper of Space, Time & Dimension.

    Don't forget the remake of The Shining. ;-D
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  7. Moderator

    Moderator Ms. Mod Administrator

    Gerald had already mentioned it. :smile2:
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  8. Gerald

    Gerald Well-Known Member

    It does for the way of how true they stay to the book and it also influences how much they are willing to spend on it. They wouldn't totally change around Lord of the Rings as it would upset too many people. Plus they know there is a bigger audience the more well-known a book is. The Dark Tower doesn't appear to fall into that category (by SK's own remark here). The largest part of the group that is interested in It as a movie has no idea what The Dark Tower is or any interest in it, I've noticed over and over.

    Even with something like Twilight which has a big, fanatic readership they paid a lot of attention during filming to the readers and their demands and took that into account while filming.
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  9. Robert Gray

    Robert Gray Well-Known Member

    Heh. I don't think readership is the key factor in them not butchering the book either. While the Fellowship of the Rings was well done, the Two Towers was butchered and its grave spat upon. The Return of the King had half the book quite literally adapted and the other kind of garbage. In Hollywood, there are no literary sacred cows. The most closely adapted books I've ever seen were entirely niche in readership (Coraline, American Gods, Watership Down, etc.), and somehow won the "don't get butchered" lottery. It is a nice thought, but again... I have to stress... Hollywood doesn't give a rat's patootie about books, authors, or readership. Their primary concern simply name recognition and how easily they can repackage a formula script into the trappings of the book. That is the fate of almost every book that gets adapted.
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  10. Gerald

    Gerald Well-Known Member

    Is Neil Gaiman niche? He has 2.67 million followers on Twitter alone. Not as much as SK, but that's not niche, is it?

    Watership Down was a well-known book here around the time the film came out - as were Shardik and The Plague Dogs. The film kind of got the essence of it, although in a simplified, family entertainment sort of form. I'd love to see a more mature, realistic adaptation which sure would be possible with the techniques of today.

    Name recognition seems a big deal indeed, otherwise they wouldn't do so many sequels and remakes - the idea there seems often purely that it is already an established title in the eyes of the public and that this feeling of familiarity will draw them in.
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  11. Robert Gray

    Robert Gray Well-Known Member

    Yes, he is a niche writer. He deals primarily in fantasy and magical realism. He was best known, for the longest time, for his graphic novels.

    I'm wondering which Watership down stuff you saw, i.e. the original film or the horrible series thing they made? The film is not the least bit family entertainment. :) It is outright horror. How it got its original rating defies logic. Now there was a watered down, simplified art series. I can't help but think that is what you are talking about. If so, I advise you to watch the original film release.

    That and they are just lazy. They have the rights to keep using that title and to do otherwise would require them to use an ounce of creativity to come up with their own. That is an ounce more than they actually have. :)
  12. danie

    danie I am whatever you say I am.

    I knew I liked you for some reason. ;-D
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  13. Gerald

    Gerald Well-Known Member

    But how's that niche if a writer has millions of readers? Niche means appealing to a small group.

    I saw the original Watership Down, never the series. But I saw it very young, about 8 I think, so I assumed it was meant for a family audience. It didn't traumatise me in the least. I bought the single from Art Garfunkel's Bright Eyes and later the soundtrack album. The soundtrack album had the narrated prologue from the film I remember. I also read the book and remember the book to be more mature - or maybe it was just more detailed as books are. I don't know what audience Adams intended it for, I suppose all ages. I think he first started to tell it as stories to his children.
    The director of Watership Down, Martin Rosen, also did an animated film of The Plague Dogs, but it's not as well-known. I think part of what made Watership Down so well-known as a film was the Garfunkel song.
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  14. Gerald

    Gerald Well-Known Member

    In that interview Mick Garris actually confirms what I said earlier. SK often doesn't spend much time on the set (apart from The Stand as ms. Mod said):

    Mick Garris: You know, that day that we had King come in to do his cameo with Clive Barker and Tobe Hooper was kind of amazing day. We’re on location, I’ve never met King before in person, and we’re having our morning breakfast going, “King’s gonna be here soon! He can only be here for a couple of hours!”

    They only had two hours to film his cameo. And this was on a film he wrote an original screenplay for.
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  15. Robert Gray

    Robert Gray Well-Known Member

    I'm a big fan of Gaiman; I've been one since before he was well-known. He is still niche. :)

    Good song.... bright eyes burning like fire... but you should watch the film again now as an adult. I have a copy. I loved it as a kid and I love it now. The film is as close to the book as a film of its length could be. They didn't tone it down at all. It has the same bloody deaths, dark themes, and tragedy along with the hope. They compressed a few things and cut a few characters that is about it. There are certain books that I read at least once every year or every other year. Watership Down is one of them; It is another. I am of the opinion that we coddle children these days by trying to sanitize certain things from stories. The film didn't traumatize me as a child; I felt the truth of it. As an adult I watch it and go, "what the hell?" I still love it but now I'm conditioned to be surprised that we watched that as children. Considering the 80s cartoons didn't even let the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ever cut anyone with their weapons, nor could G.I. Joe ever actually shoot anyone. Even when a plane is shot down, you always see the parachutes. :) Then think of the A-Team... 10,000 rounds of ammo fired in a scene and nobody is hit. A car will flip over and... wait for it... you have to see the bad guys get out unhurt. Kids feel the lie of it.

    I like the song, but I don't give it any credit for the success of the film.
  16. Gerald

    Gerald Well-Known Member

    I think the song had a lot to do with it. The videoclip with images from the film was on tv here often, making people aware of it. The Plague Dogs didn't have a hit-song and no one seems to know about it.

    Considering the topic of the thread, I think SK also just wants to get out of the way of the filmmakers and let them do their own thing. He's already written the book, he's sold it to them and now it's up to them to figure out how to make a film of it. Perhaps his experience on Maximum Overdrive has steered him further away from being too closely involved and confirmed for him that he is a writer, not a director.
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  17. Robert Gray

    Robert Gray Well-Known Member

    Perhaps, but I actually like Maximum Overdrive a hell of a lot better than many other adaptations of his work. Taken on face value, with willing suspension of disbelief... it is actually a fun ride; pun intended. Even the the Nostalgia Critic (never King's biggest fan) has to grudgingly admit he enjoyed it. :) I think Mr. King's experience making films was probably heavily influenced by other issues he had at the time. I think he would actually bang up Director because does understand the medium of film. However, the other issues in his life at the time probably made the experience miserable. If you don't truly enjoy something, why do it? So we agree that his experience with that film probably soured him on Directing, but we probably disagree on why.
  18. Gerald

    Gerald Well-Known Member

    I can enjoy Maximum Overdrive in a cheesy, bad movie kind of way. There are certainly worse films, but I don't think it's a good movie. For one, it isn't scary in the least and it WAS meant to be scary - in the trailer SK promised he was gonna scare the hell out of us. And two, the characters are stereotypical, superficial and even annoying at times (the newly wed woman).
    I think it was a mistake to put SK's funny cameo right at the beginning of the film. It sets the movie up for something funny rather than scary from the get-go.

    He said in an interview that a problem he had with directing was that he is rather instinctive and intuitive as a writer, but with film because you need so many elements to be right he had to plan way more ahead than he is used to.
    I don't think he will anymore now, but perhaps he should have given it a second try along the way. If it turned out bad once more, he better stop directing altogether, but now it's just on the basis of one failed movie that he didn't try anymore.
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  19. kingricefan

    kingricefan All-being, keeper of Space, Time & Dimension.

    I thought the newly wed woman was hysterically funny. Yeardley Smith is her name. She does the voice for Lisa Simpson.
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  20. Robert Gray

    Robert Gray Well-Known Member

    Trailers rarely have anything to do with the movie, nor are they binding contracts. :) They are just something the studio makes you do. I think it was clear from the start the film was intended to be darkly funny. It also had a few good scares.

    What made her stereotypical? I only ask because I hear the newlywed woman mentioned from time to time as stereotypical and I've yet to actually see one that looked like any other. I'm not fan of stereotypes, but I'm not sure the newlywed woman counts. There is the "nagging wife"... and "newlyweds" ...i.e. as a couple. I'm not arguing here; I'd just like to know how you define this stereotype. When I've asked other people this question they have never given me the same answer. :)

    I like it funny. It is better to be a comedy with some genuine scares and gore than an attempt at horror that doesn't get off the ground and takes itself too seriously.

    He has also said the main problems he had at that time were due to addiction issues, and I think that is probably the real culprit.

    I'd love to see him do another, but I agree with you that we probably won't. He enjoys writing more. Making a movie is time consuming, exhausting, and just downright nerve-wracking. I think he is playing the odds that eventually someone will do one of his books right.
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