It has taken decades, but with the success of epics like Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones, Stephan King’s own saga will finally, after several false starts, find its place on the silver screen.
Book to movie adaptations are no new thing, especially not to a veteran like King, who has seen nearly 100 screen adaptations of his work. Complaints about changes to those stories is likewise par for the course, and The Dark Tower will be no different. One proposed change however, might give fans real reason to be bothered. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, King mentioned said change to the story structure;
“It starts sort of in medias res, in the middle of the story instead of at the beginning, which may upset some of the fans a little bit. But they will get behind it, because it is the story.”
Will fans get behind the story? Surely they will, as they have little choice, but King is right to expect upset book fans. For those who have not read the series, the way the story begins is as important as how it will end. The Dark Tower Series, much like it fantasy predecessor The Lord of the Rings, is actually one massive novel split into several for sake of space and sanity. The series is very intricate and has ties to several other books by Stephen King, including IT. So how well will the story work if we start in the middle?
The Gunslinger, the first book in the series, is more an introduction to The Gunslinger himself, who will be played in the film by Idris Elba (Luther). His adversary, one King fans know well from other works The Eyes of The Dragon and The Stand, is Ronald Flagg. He will be played by True Detective‘s Matthew McConaughey.
While Elba and McConaughey will certainly make entertaining enemies, a full two hours of them walking across the desert likely wouldn’t work as well on film as it does in the book. The changes will alter the overall feel of the story, but perhaps something new will be a good thing?
Adding to the story structure changes are some likewise odd casting announcements. Abbey Lee (Mad Max: Fury Road) joins the cast, Tirana, a character who doesn’t appear until the seventh book. Her character has been described by the studio as “sexy and dangerous,” with “fake human skin and cold snake-like eyes.” Jackie Earle Haley (Preacher) will take on the role of Richard Sayre, a vampire leader who appears in the fifth book. Fran Kranz (Cabin in the Woods) will serve the man in black, as Pimli, and Katheryn Winnick (Vikings) is in an unannounced role. Tom Taylor (Legends) will take on the challenging role of Jake Chambers, first of the Gunslingers Ka-Tet.
The film won’t hit theaters until February of 2017, so King fans who haven’t take the time to read the series still have plenty of time to catch up. And if you read slow, Marvel put out comic versions you can pick up too.
Will the story changes be too much for fans? Let us know what you think in the comments below, or visit GrizzlyBomb’s Facebook page.
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Lionsgate, Marvel Comics, History Channel, Warner Bros.