It has been a little while since I actually mentioned the upcoming The Dark Tower movie. Offord and I are meeting up on Sunday to see it (MAN DATE!!!), but before then I figured now would be a good time to mention some of my thoughts going into it. There will probably be some book spoilers in here, so if you have not read the series and want to go into it completely blind, then stop reading.
First of all, I love Jae Lee’s poster designs. I loved his covers for the comics, so obviously I am a bit biased. If I had one complaint though, based on this picture and from the trailer…Roland’s guns are not big enough. I always picture these massive .45s. Something that someone would look at and exclaim “that’s a goddamn hand-cannon!” But oh well, I guess size does not matter.
I can understand the reasoning for a short run-time. This is not an origin story of Roland. In fact, we should really get little information about him, other than “I am the last of the gunslingers…blah blah blah.” Roland is not a man of many words. Since this is basically a completely new story, then it would make sense to actually toss it right in and then use the sequels/television show to give us more of the backstory.
However, one of the things that bothers me is the Man in Black. The trailer really plays up the idea of the Man in Black being like Satan and that he will unleash Hell on Earth if he brings down the Dark Tower. Walter/Martin/RF was always a servant of the Crimson King. And his goal was to destroy the Tower and unmake reality. It would not bring about hell, but just destroy everything. Maybe all of creation would recede back to the Prim (the cosmology of the Towerverse can be a bit out there). But the Crimson King was the true evil in the multiverse.
I think if I were going to make this movie, I would have approached it differently. One of the things that makes the entire series so compelling to Stephen King fans is that it ties all (or at least most) of his books together. There are references in other books (the Crimson King is mentioned in Insomnia) and characters show up in the Dark Tower (Ted, Randall Flag, etc). If you are a fan of DT, you may pick up a bunch of his other books to try and find references. OR if you are just a fan of his other stuff, you may keep noticing these mentions of low-men, the red eye, and decide to read this weird Western/Fantasy/Sci-Fi series.
In a perfect world, this is what would have happened with other King adaptations. Not sure how it would work licensing-wise, but I am sure a deal could be worked out with the studios doing The Mist, Mr. Mercedes, and the IT remake to work in some subtle mentions of things that would be showing up in this movie. It may take a few years, but really get people excited about this idea that there is a bigger story coming that ties them all together. The studios would not have much to lose on this, since people excited for this movie, might then decide to watch the other stuff just to get more immersed into the Tower.
Unfortunately we are way past that option. We have the movie coming out and to be honest, I am a little nervous. I really want it to be great. And I have a feeling that I will force myself to like it no matter what because this may be the only chance we get to see this series brought to the screen. If this flops, some people seem to think HBO will eventually pick it up and make one of their hit series. It would take many years after a flop for them to decide to touch this property. Something tells me this is a one chance only kind of series. Screw it up and no one ever touches it again. Yeah, I am definitely worried.
Okay, I got those fears out of the way. Now I am ready for Sunday.