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

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Gerald

Well-Known Member
Sep 8, 2011
2,114
6,903
The Netherlands
Usua
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.
But usually the writer/director himself doesn't appear in the trailer. I didn't mean the wife especially as stereotypical, I mostly found her annoying. It was the last time I saw it (which is long ago now), that I felt it had mostly stereotypes, not the usually layered characters in King works. It's one of those movies where it's hard to root for anyone, because no one is likeable or in any way realistic.
I don't know why it should be dark comedy rather than real horror: the story was serious,. I find it more cheesy than darkly comedic in the end - the dark comedy doesn't really work as it does in something like Creepshow. And I can't find any genuine scares either. Done well it could have been something tense like Duel from Spielberg.
 

Robert Gray

Well-Known Member
But usually the writer/director himself doesn't appear in the trailer. I didn't mean the wife especially as stereotypical, I mostly found her annoying. It was the last time I saw it (which is long ago now), that I felt it had mostly stereotypes, not the usually layered characters in King works. It's one of those movies where it's hard to root for anyone, because no one is likeable or in any way realistic.
Well, in fairness this is a movie adapted from a short story, not a novel. :) That means the source material itself was only going to have so much characterization to pull from in the first place. As to the characters in the film... well... let's just say they are purposely exaggerated to make the most of the very short time each is going to have on screen. Consider "The Mist" an extremely dark, scary King film made in recent years. It also has a rather large cast of exaggerated, disposable characters and only a tiny handful that get any real depth. By in large, the two films have a lot in common. Consider:

1. A massive catastrophe encompasses an area. In Maximum Overdrive it is the whole planet, but we only see a tiny part of it. In The Mist, it is town. The end result is the same, we have a consuming "situation" against which a small population must deal with.

2. The threat is external, i.e. outside evil which is alien in motivation and entirely bloodthirsty. Nasty monsters that want to kill in one and machines turned into monsters in the other. Both involve gruesome deaths and have overtones of humor. The theme and setting of The Mist allows it a higher creep factor, which is probably the only reason it resonates so well while Maximum Overdrive does not. I'll come back to this later.

3. Exaggerated characters are the hallmark of both. The people who populate the Truck Stop/Diner aren't all that different from those in the supermarket. We have the usual crop of fringe morons, stereotypes, and evil gits. We also have the self-reliant, largely ethical heroes.

4. In both cases we have groups of people who are trapped and want to find a way out. In both cases, we have a small number make a break for it.

The key difference, of course is the absolute darkness of the ending. I'd argue that the films are very much alike, but that Maximum Overdrive suffered by comparison because The Mist had an EASIER setup. There is less of a hurdle for people to accept horrible monsters. It is a snap to set the mood when you literally have mood lighting creating a situation where the entire town is engulfed in fog. Do you see where I'm going with this? Maximum Overdrive is actually more ambitious of the two because it is trying to make the familiar (and mundane) scary. What happened, of course, is that it stood out with more humor because that kind of contrast often strikes us funny. However, I firmly believe that Maximum Overdrive, were it to be remade today with current FX and a script that was as uncompromising as The Mist would hold up. Hell, the original actually does hold up. Maligned or not, I know lots of people who watched it and are willing to watch it again. They are abashed because they know they aren't supposed to admit it was fun.

I don't know why it should be dark comedy rather than real horror: the story was serious,. I find it more cheesy than darkly comedic in the end - the dark comedy doesn't really work as it does in something like Creepshow. And I can't find any genuine scares either. Done well it could have been something tense like Duel from Spielberg.
You have to remember that horror is heart music, not head music. What is scary for one person is boring to another. I, for example, rarely find aliens all that creepy. I'll take the old haunted house any day over slithering horrors from beyond the stars. One always feels real, and the other over the top... no matter how well it is done. I'm sure it has a lot to do with what I was watching as a kid. Believe it or not, I know a people who think Maximum Overdrive is scary. Granted, it is scary in a Shaun of the Dead sort of way, i.e. it has some legitimate scares and gross out moments, but it is also funny. It doesn't generate the creeps for most of us, but then again... I'm not sure that was ever the intent. The short stories being adapted from Full Dark, No Stars... well now... those are intended for the creeps.
 

Gerald

Well-Known Member
Sep 8, 2011
2,114
6,903
The Netherlands
Carpenter said that for Christine he found it difficult to make the car scary. How do you make an object scary? In Duel is it the tanker truck itself that is scary, or the knowledge there is some crazy man driving it whose face you can't see?
When you want to make an object scary the object itself has to be scary of itself to a degree. We find dolls scary, because they are lifeless, yet they are meant to resemble something that is alive. With many other everyday objects it is far more difficult. I think what Trucks/Maximum Overdrive tries to do is to show the power and force that drives these machines - they're inanimate, yet alive at the same time. What if they use their force against people and get organized in a way?

It's the exaggeration of Maximum Overdrive that keeps it from working for me (I recall also that the shocks and deaths are accompanied by heavy-handed musical cues that try to sell them too hard). It is already an outlandish idea and situation to have cars, trucks and machines in general coming alive everywhere, it doesn't help in accepting that, that the characters are exagerrated and unrealistic. If it had been played with a darker tone and more relatable characters it would have been scarier for me: if you can accept the people being real you get more involved with their ordeal - no matter how bizarre that ordeal is.
 

Mikki

New Member
Feb 6, 2018
2
8
20
There are several quality exceptions. Three of these wonderful exceptions are all written for the screen as well as directed by Frank Darabont. Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, and The Mist.

But what I'm completely baffled and honestly angered by is what is supposed to be The Dark Tower. So completely unlike the life's work King began in 1970 on those famous odd bargain green near cardboard thick reams of paper he wrote his first words of what became The Gunslinger. I'm not angry with the actors or anyone who worked on this except those who were in charge of the screenplay and the decisions that defamed such a truly wonderful and by King's own words...Magnum Opus he aspired to. And after being bought and sold several times before this 'movie' was presented. Silly it might be to do, but I'm boycotting it. I read the first article describing what it was going to be and who was starring in it. Then is saw the teaser trailer and after that I knew I'd simply be angry watching some horrible mutation of one of my all time favorites novel series by any author, but especially by Stephen King.

What makes me even more angry and sad in equal measure is knowing that this could not have happened without the permission of Mr. King! He's ruined many of his own great stories by writing horrible screenplays. But to ruin such an important work that consumed King's life for nearly 45 years. And after he nearly died from the van hitting him walking, he chose to even write himself into the story since (again in his words), this story was 'killing him'. I'll guess that with his near death experience. He decide to simply finish it quick...perhaps to feel more safe in his life? But taking the typical 5-7 years between books each much longer than the previous up to Wizard & Glass. Out came books 5,6,7 all in less than a year. I liked books 5 & 6, but personally feel the final book was a huge let down just to finish the story instead of how it felt it would have gone had he not had his brush with death. However...there is no excuse for the permission to make a movie so unlike the story.

Why not make a deal with one of the cable networks and get Frank Darabont to do his magic in creating it for the small screen that would have the budget of Game of Thrones, Outlander, The Walking Dead (Darabont DID bring this comic book series to the small screen. Originally as a mini-series, but so many watchers loved it. They wrote in asking it to continue, and explains why season 1 is only six episodes and all subsequent seasons from 10-12 episodes and now heading into season 7. The Dark Tower could easily cover five seasons or more if the final books story was written better than the original book. I find it hard to believe that George R.R. Martin is a better known and more persuasive force in Hollywood than Stephen King. So why such garbage under the King brand name? I know nothing about him personally. I don't wish to seem authoritative, but as a lifelong successful musician/songwriter. I've turned down sales of my music to those who would turn it into some Hip Hop thing I'd hate to hear. Why then has Mr. King done or permitted so many terrible renditions of his stories after the well done first attempts such as Carrie and Salem's Lot? Dolores Claiborne, Storm of the Century, 1408, Misery, and now we have an excellent adaptation of Mr. Mercedes. Even The Stand was done pretty well even as a made for TV mini series that took up an entire week M-F with 2 hour installments each and the original TV version of It was done well except the conclusion. Oh, almost forgot...I stopped watching 11-22-63 after the first ten minutes since it showed it was already way off from the book which I truly enjoyed even if I don't agree with King's premise that what the government told us is true about the assassination of JFK.

Add to these those done by Darabont, and there plenty of proof that the wonderful works of Stephen King CAN be done as close to the original stories. And now with the very common use of CGI, ANYTHING King has thought up COULD BE done with integrity and as close to his written work as possible. So WHY was this horrible version of a seven books Magnum Opus covering most of all King's stories with many references in so many of all his novels written during the time he was working on each successive Dark Tower book installment?!

Is there any possibility he does these things because he needs or wants the money?? I've no idea, but I live my life filled with logical reasons for everything. So I'm stumped why any of his stories that were mutilated by his own screenplays or just giving permission for a price to allow Hollywood to do as they wish with his work. He seems he is proud of all or nearly all of what he has produced. So why allow such bastardized versions of his work? PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT RUIN DUMA KEY, THE TALISMAN, BLACK HOUSE, or INSOMNIA! If not going to be done well and the same as the novels. Just leave them to our imagination.

Thanks for anyone's time who read my post.
 

Zone D Dad

Well-Known Member
Apr 17, 2017
359
1,828
Chicago Suburbs
My dissatisfaction with The Dark Tower film isn't so much that it strays from the source material so much as I disliked the tone of the whole thing. Now, I've made it known that the DT series is not my favorite - I much prefer SK's standalone works, but the film took a small portion of the story and basically turned into a Maze Runner style film. It just didn't capture the spirit of the thing. Compare this with the It film, which does have some pretty far departures from the source, however the filmmakers did capture the spirit of the novel - a huge achievement IMO. Is it perfect? Hardly, but even with the changes made, it still felt like a faithful adaptation. It can be done.

One of my favorite examples is L.A. Confidential. The film only uses about 1/3 of the storyline told in the novel, but the filmmakers perfectly captured the feel of the novel, even with the big omissions. How I wish The Dark Tower film would've been more like this.

By the way - Welcome to the Board!
 

GeorgieFan2003

Bill and Georgie Fan
Sep 17, 2017
1,362
4,434
36
My dissatisfaction with The Dark Tower film isn't so much that it strays from the source material so much as I disliked the tone of the whole thing. Now, I've made it known that the DT series is not my favorite - I much prefer SK's standalone works, but the film took a small portion of the story and basically turned into a Maze Runner style film. It just didn't capture the spirit of the thing. Compare this with the It film, which does have some pretty far departures from the source, however the filmmakers did capture the spirit of the novel - a huge achievement IMO. Is it perfect? Hardly, but even with the changes made, it still felt like a faithful adaptation. It can be done.

One of my favorite examples is L.A. Confidential. The film only uses about 1/3 of the storyline told in the novel, but the filmmakers perfectly captured the feel of the novel, even with the big omissions. How I wish The Dark Tower film would've been more like this.

By the way - Welcome to the Board!
The tone and spirit are always the most important aspects of any medium in my opinion. I get that sometimes things get lost in translation due to whatever reasons. As long as they capture the spirit of the original is what matters. I haven't seen The Dark Tower, or ever read the series. I have no intention of seeing it either.
 

Tilly

Well-Known Member
Sep 23, 2017
435
1,629
58
Heh. I always love it when Producers and Directors say that because it is always followed by an immediate tossing everything from the books out the window. It is tantamount to when Trump says the words "believe me" and everything that follows from it. :) Oddly enough, people who write great adaptations and stick close to the books rarely make a big deal about it. They let their work do the talking for them.
"Oh, by the way, which one's Pink?"
 

Grandpa

Well-Known Member
Mar 2, 2014
9,679
53,197
Colorado
I haven't read the series (I know, I know), and this movie was a selection on a long flight, so I thought I'd give it a shot (nyuk!), I gave up after, I dunno, 15 minutes or so. Just not interesting. (And it wasn't because of the flight. I hadn't watched Deadpool until a flight, and I've watched it four times now.)

James Michener once wrote something to the effect, when an author sells the movie rights, it's no longer the author's story in that medium. So just move on and leave it to them. The author loses any power over the story when the check gets cashed.
 

dedMasque

Active Member
Jan 19, 2018
31
94
34
Kentucky
Who else would be able to buy the movie rights for the amount they got for it? I'm pretty sure there's not many others with as much money to spend out to purchase movie rights floating around. And besides if the movie hadn't of flopped or in the very least had done exceptionally well in DVD and merchandise sales we may have eventually got a Dark Tower television mini series like (not to much like) The Mist. But you guys and girls won't stand behind the amount of story you did get and support it so who knows if HBO, Starz, Cinemax, Showtime, or Netflix will even remotely look at spending the time and money to try and do it any kind of justice.
 

Blake

Deleted User
Feb 18, 2013
4,191
17,479
I didn't mind the Dark Tower movie. I took it as it was and didn't compare it too much to the novel(s). I still think Children of the Corn--besides being a brilliant movie--is one of the movies most faithful to King's writing. I love that movie. Some things lend themselves to being made into a series. I think the Dark Tower would have been better made into a series. Someone above mentioned other series recently, and I think a 10-16 part series would have been better. Most of the movies made from King books I think a pretty good: Christine, Cujo, Pet Sematary, etc. People don't judge a writer on the movies made from their books. Two days ago I watched the movie Payback starring Mel Gibson based on a the first 'Parker' novel, I can't remember ever seeing it, and Gibson is good as Parker( in the movie his name is 'Porter'), even though in the books Parker is supposed to be bigger. But there a some plot changes that might annoy people but the general storyline is the same.
 

Blake

Deleted User
Feb 18, 2013
4,191
17,479
I forgot Creepshow, which I saw back in 1982 at the cinema, it is still fantastic. That's one concept that King should consider re-visiting: making a movie length feature with four or so short movies in the one like Creepshow. He's got enough material to work with. I have to get the Creepshow original graphic novel thing, the artwork is really good. Berni Wrightson was the artist I believe. I think my favourite is 'The Crate'. I love the comic (The) Swamp Thing.
 

the bookbinder

New Member
Sep 11, 2018
4
9
52
There are several quality exceptions. Three of these wonderful exceptions are all written for the screen as well as directed by Frank Darabont. Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, and The Mist.

But what I'm completely baffled and honestly angered by is what is supposed to be The Dark Tower. So completely unlike the life's work King began in 1970 on those famous odd bargain green near cardboard thick reams of paper he wrote his first words of what became The Gunslinger. I'm not angry with the actors or anyone who worked on this except those who were in charge of the screenplay and the decisions that defamed such a truly wonderful and by King's own words...Magnum Opus he aspired to. And after being bought and sold several times before this 'movie' was presented. Silly it might be to do, but I'm boycotting it. I read the first article describing what it was going to be and who was starring in it. Then is saw the teaser trailer and after that I knew I'd simply be angry watching some horrible mutation of one of my all time favorites novel series by any author, but especially by Stephen King.

What makes me even more angry and sad in equal measure is knowing that this could not have happened without the permission of Mr. King! He's ruined many of his own great stories by writing horrible screenplays. But to ruin such an important work that consumed King's life for nearly 45 years. And after he nearly died from the van hitting him walking, he chose to even write himself into the story since (again in his words), this story was 'killing him'. I'll guess that with his near death experience. He decide to simply finish it quick...perhaps to feel more safe in his life? But taking the typical 5-7 years between books each much longer than the previous up to Wizard & Glass. Out came books 5,6,7 all in less than a year. I liked books 5 & 6, but personally feel the final book was a huge let down just to finish the story instead of how it felt it would have gone had he not had his brush with death. However...there is no excuse for the permission to make a movie so unlike the story.

Why not make a deal with one of the cable networks and get Frank Darabont to do his magic in creating it for the small screen that would have the budget of Game of Thrones, Outlander, The Walking Dead (Darabont DID bring this comic book series to the small screen. Originally as a mini-series, but so many watchers loved it. They wrote in asking it to continue, and explains why season 1 is only six episodes and all subsequent seasons from 10-12 episodes and now heading into season 7. The Dark Tower could easily cover five seasons or more if the final books story was written better than the original book. I find it hard to believe that George R.R. Martin is a better known and more persuasive force in Hollywood than Stephen King. So why such garbage under the King brand name? I know nothing about him personally. I don't wish to seem authoritative, but as a lifelong successful musician/songwriter. I've turned down sales of my music to those who would turn it into some Hip Hop thing I'd hate to hear. Why then has Mr. King done or permitted so many terrible renditions of his stories after the well done first attempts such as Carrie and Salem's Lot? Dolores Claiborne, Storm of the Century, 1408, Misery, and now we have an excellent adaptation of Mr. Mercedes. Even The Stand was done pretty well even as a made for TV mini series that took up an entire week M-F with 2 hour installments each and the original TV version of It was done well except the conclusion. Oh, almost forgot...I stopped watching 11-22-63 after the first ten minutes since it showed it was already way off from the book which I truly enjoyed even if I don't agree with King's premise that what the government told us is true about the assassination of JFK.

Add to these those done by Darabont, and there plenty of proof that the wonderful works of Stephen King CAN be done as close to the original stories. And now with the very common use of CGI, ANYTHING King has thought up COULD BE done with integrity and as close to his written work as possible. So WHY was this horrible version of a seven books Magnum Opus covering most of all King's stories with many references in so many of all his novels written during the time he was working on each successive Dark Tower book installment?!

Is there any possibility he does these things because he needs or wants the money?? I've no idea, but I live my life filled with logical reasons for everything. So I'm stumped why any of his stories that were mutilated by his own screenplays or just giving permission for a price to allow Hollywood to do as they wish with his work. He seems he is proud of all or nearly all of what he has produced. So why allow such bastardized versions of his work? PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT RUIN DUMA KEY, THE TALISMAN, BLACK HOUSE, or INSOMNIA! If not going to be done well and the same as the novels. Just leave them to our imagination.

Thanks for anyone's time who read my post.
I agree. What the heck was going on with this movie? The other thread in this forum explained that it was based on an adaptation based on what would happen after the 7th book. Jeezus...what a waste of time and money.
 
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