While we already knew that ‘The Dark Tower‘ was taking a different route than Stephen King’s novels, producer Ron Howard recently shared how the changes came to be on the film. Most interesting is at one point there was a plan for a trilogy of films with an accompanying television series. While it seemed like the television series component hasn’t been touched upon in awhile, Howard has confirmed that the idea is still being actively developed. All in all, this is looking to be good news for fans of ‘The Dark Tower’.
One of the big reveals from early images and Stephen King himself is that in this iteration, Roland would have the Horn of Eld which he had long thought would be the one key component for his quest which he never had in the novels. This isn’t a recent change in order to make the movies a sequel of sorts but actually had been the plan since early into pre-development over ten years ago. Howard fills us in a little on how the story went from idea to production here:
“Akiva Goldsman first pitched it to me while we were making A Beautiful Mind and the rights weren’t available. JJ Abrams was working on it at first and then Akiva told me JJ was involved in so many projects he let it go. We started talking about what it could be. I read all the novels and we broke them down. He presented this idea to Stephen King, and this is insider material you might not get, but it was about introducing the Horn of Eld into the very first story. He knew it would allow us to use elements of the novels in a new combination that would give us the latitude to be true to the essence of the novels, but also re-balance and refocus the narrative in a cinematic way. That was the jumping off point that began this process. When MRC [Media Rights Capital] and Modi Wiczyk became involved, that discussion deepened and we focused more on the Jake Chambers-Roland relationship at the very center of the first movie as a way of launching the universe. We simplified the story line, made it less expensive as a result, but we still utilized a lot of those important structural adjustments that Akiva and I had devised going back years ago. One of the things we did was put together a team of Dark Tower researchers, devotees of the books. We wanted to restructure the novels to be most cinematic and Stephen King agreed completely and understood the journey we were on immediately and supported it. We used this group to inspire our thinking and stay in the universe of Dark Tower.”
The fact that they wanted to do this entire time was to use the Horn to tell us a new take on the story is exciting. Even after all of this time, it looks like they are still sticking to their core idea for the film. In fact, Howard couldn’t be more thrilled when Nikolaj Arcel came on board to direct:
“He grew up on the books and always loved them. He really was a great choice to approach the story in the most humanistic and cool way, focusing a lot on the Jake-Roland relationship. He understood the importance of that and connected with both characters. He’s also a strong original filmmaker with great taste.”
Not only a pretty fantastic filmmaker but one who grew up having read and loved ‘The Dark Tower’ series means that this won’t just be a job for the filmmaker but a true passion project as well.
What about all that talk about a television series which at one point was going to tie-in with the films?
“We’re developing the television part, now. We don’t know what platform it will be on at this point, but we’re developing the content in hopes for more movies that will cover the epic and the characters involved.”
Okay, now I’m even more excited. This is a movie that King fans are going to be terrified of. Not for the horror, which isn’t all that high in the books, but for the fact that to truly tell us the story this needs to be a lengthy series. A trilogy and a couple of seasons added in would be the perfect format but the ratings need to be there to support it.
Are you looking forward to checking out ‘The Dark Tower’? Are you happy to hear that a TV series is still being planned to further expand King’s vision? Share your thoughts below!
Stuart Conover is an author, blogger, and all around geek. When not busy being a father and husband he tries to spend as much time as possible immersed in comic books, science fiction, and horror! Would you like to know more? Follow him on Twitter!