There is no denying that some of the greatest movies of all time have been based on books. Authors are where the good, original, juicy stuff comes from. Even IMDb’s #1 movie on it’s list of the Top 250 – The Shawshank Redemption – is based on a book. Er, a short novel really. It was called “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption” and it was written by Stephen King.
Stephen King…now there’s a guy who can write! The man has written 49 novels, five non-fiction books and nine collections of short stories. He’s churned out books and sold millions upon millions of copies for decades.
One of his most beloved pieces of work is The Dark Tower series. King has been writing the series since 1982, and just last year he announced a forthcoming eight book titled “The Wind Through the Keyhole“.
Fans of the series are die-hard and plenty. I include myself among that list. I was in high school when I first picked up The Gunslinger – book number one in the series. I believe I spent the rest of the day and night finishing the book and then went hunting for the second. Many fans can relate, I’m sure.
When The Dark Tower was released in 2004, I was among those who pre-ordered a copy. The combination of western, fantasy, science-fiction and horror elements that King has woven into his series is simply incredible. The tie-ins between the series and his standalone novel The Stand are also brilliant.
Fans have looong wondered if anyone could (and should!) try to turn this epic saga into a movie. More appropriately, a number of movies.
Well today came the news I was hoping and fearing: Universal Pictures has partnered with NBC Universal Television Entertainment on a deal to turn The Dark Tower series into a trilogy and TV series.
Deadline reports that Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind, The Da Vinci Code) will direct the first film, as well as the first season of the TV series.
Do we, as fans, cheer? Do we shake with trepidation as there is now a very real chance this world crafted by King will be ruined by unworthy films and a TV series?
Howard is an able director. A Beautiful Mind was a beautiful film, and he won two Oscars for it. He is also responsible for Cinderella Man, Apollo 13 and Backdraft.
But the undertaking that is The Dark Tower simply seems too immense – beyond the ability of mere mortal to turn it into a trilogy.
So, they’re going to do it differently. Remember I mentioned a TV series? The first movie will premier, followed shortly thereafter by season one of the TV series. The TV shows will serve as a bridge into the second film, which will then move back into a new season of the TV series, and then back for the final film of the trilogy.
Cast members of movie #1 will be expected to do season #1 before heading into movie #2. Season two of the TV series would then focus on young Roland, and so obviously new actors will come into play.
The sheer enormity of this undertaking has me a little stunned. If you’ve read the books, you know there is a GIANT post-apocalyptic world that King creates, will deep, deep back stories on some of the very important characters. I am interested to see how they handle the train from The Waste Lands/Wizard and Glass…
So if you’re a fan of the books, are you excited by the prospect of seeing this made? Or are you afraid the whole thing will simply implode and ruin the world that Stephen King has created?
Oh – and for the love of all that is holy…please do *not* make this 3D!