Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. Let's talk a little about The Dark Tower, shall we? I'm a pretty big Tower junkie thanks to my quest, begun at age 10, to read every single Stephen King book ever written. I remember how different The Gunslinger felt. It wasn't like Cujo or The Shining. I didn't have a movie to compare it to, to lean on if I was lost. The Dark Tower series was weird, trippy, violent and crazy fun. I was hooked at a time when only the first few books were in print.
The next Stephen King generation will have movies to go along with their Dark Tower reading. I don't know if that's cool or a little sad, but I'm happy to see someone give this damn near “unfilmable” series a shot.
It has been rumored for a while, but Stephen King and EW made it official today.
Idris Elba had the perfect tweet for his new Man In Black:
And McConaughey replied with a perfectly fitting tease:
In an EW interview, King and director Nikolaj Arcel gave a little info on the status of the movie, which actually looks to be happening for real this time.
Firstly, The Dark Tower will begin shooting in 7 Weeks in South Africa, with a January 13th, 2017 release date planned. I could be wrong. That's mighty fast for a tent pole franchise starter, isn't it? It's also a gamble releasing it in January, a notorious dumping ground month, but I've long said that January is fertile ground for Hollywood's weird movies. The Grey did hugely well in that time period.
The interesting part of the interview talks about the framing of the first movie, which will not be a part and parcel adaptation of The Gunslinger, but rather something new. If they start Roland with the Horn of Eld then the filmmakers can literally do anything they want to change up the story and have it fit.
Arcel said that a good amount of the movie will take place in our world, which set off warning bells in my head. Not because it's a bad idea, but that's what Akiva Goldsman's draft did. Sure enough, later in the interview they state that Goldsman's script became the foundation for this new film.
The word I've heard is that there was a heavy, heavy rewrite when Arcel came on (and it needed it), but it sounds like the structure of Goldsman's draft has remained intact. I have read Goldman's script and maybe I'll do a more in-depth review soon... not necessarily a spoiler-filled transcription of what happens in it, but more a walk through of my fears and doubts about what could be brought over.
It also sounds like the simultaneous movies and TV plan isn't on the table at the moment, but they're saving a lot of Roland's backstory should the movie prove to be a hit so we can have the Young Roland adventures going on in TV Land should the films keep on keepin' on.
The overall feeling I get from the comments is this is really happening, but Sony's being very conservative with it. They have a great cast (I'd almost say perfect, so far at least), but the January release date and hesitance to dive in with the original TV plan makes me think they've cut down the budget to a safe amount and are in full on “wait and see” mode.
That's not necessarily a bad thing. In fact that could force some great creativity from Arcel and company.
However it turns out, it's really happening and Idris Elba has the perfect presence for Roland. I suppose we'll get the rest of the cast soon, if they're shooting in just 7 weeks. Surely they're going after Jacob Tremblay for Jake, right? Surely.