It’s probably the best time ever to be a fan of Stephen King’s work right now, as it seems like Hollywood has finally gotten the hang of combing through his bibliography and finding the ones that could and should work for the silver screen. It’s a new dawn of finely crafted King adaptations, what with The Mist on cable, Castle Rock coming to Hulu, and of course, The Dark Tower, coming to a theater near you.
The most interesting thing about The Dark Tower is it has such an expansive mythology, and a unique take on multiversal storytelling, so it’s only natural that a mere single movie wouldn’t be enough to encompass the whole of King’s opus. Predictably the little adaptation elves in Hollywood granted us with yet another glorious King project to look forward to seeing on TV soon. Not only is there going to be a Dark Tower movie, but a TV series to accompany it as well! The writer and producer of the film, Akiva Goldsman, confirmed the news in an interview.
“The first episode of a show has been written, and we hope to retain Ron Howard’s original idea to mix platforms, something that seemed revolutionary 10 years ago but now is something that others have done,” Goldsman said. “Idris for sure is part of this, and if the movie is Roland Deschain the gunslinger, the show is his origin story, based on the fourth novel in the series, Wizard and Glass.”
While I’ll admit a certain degree of cynicism from time to time about film franchises as a whole, this is one exception that I think truly stands out among the rest. Good and evil, multiple universes, fiction blending with reality and back again all make The Dark Tower series a prime candidate for adaptation. Fortunately for yet to read the book series, we not only get to experience the movie as an introduction/continuation of a great story but also see it get adapted into a serialized form, guaranteed to pack in more crucial character development that’s so integral to King’s stories. The Marvel movies have a built in explanation for why their stories expand and overlap, and if you ask me that’s key to what makes them all work.
There’s a cohesion there that comes from being fundamentally adapted from a serial medium and crafting a newer form of moviemaking that replicates this. It’s the strength of interconnected storytelling and world building working to elevate the franchise and all movies within it as a whole. It’s precisely the kind of approach The Dark Tower should take for its adaptation since The Dark Tower encompasses all of King’s other work as well. If The Dark Tower and it’s TV show is done correctly, you could even retroactively link it to every single Stephen King adaptation ever made, and then you’d REALLY have the vast, sprawling interconnected multiverse in a visual medium to echo one print one that King created. On top of that, Idris Elba is a phenomenal actor and his work in excellent series’ like Luther and The Wire shows that he has the chops to hold an audience entirely on his own if needed.
For now it seems that we’ll have to wait a bit and see if that series comes to fruition, as next month is the release of The Dark Tower, and it’s highly likely that the box office performance is going to play a factor in deciding whether or not to truly push the green light on that new series. I personally hope they do, as I think the world could always stand for more Stephen King and/or Idris Elba content. In fact, I’ll be very disappointed if there aren’t lots more to follow.
Hopefully, the movie does well and the newly created “Kingverse” (that’s my name for it, and I’m sticking to it), takes a hold and we get plenty of adaptations of all the wonderful stories Mr. King has brought us over all these years he’s been writing.
Images: Sony Pictures