Keep that bugle handy, Roland
September 9, 2010 12:41 PM   Subscribe

Stephen King's The Dark Tower is coming to the silver screen
posted by angrycat (124 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
Universal has opted to bring King's seven-novel epic to celluloid.

Awesome!

But should Ron Howard direct?

Damn it!
posted by brundlefly at 12:44 PM on September 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


Also the small screen. Which will be... interesting to see how they do this.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:46 PM on September 9, 2010


Every time I see Ron Howard's name in print, I hear Sinistar.

RON, HOWARD!!!
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:46 PM on September 9, 2010 [18 favorites]


"Ron Howard may not be a director to get the hip kids hot under the collar but he has critical (well, Academy) acclaim nailed and is capable of keeping the money-men onside – even if that does mean shooting bland big-screen adaptations of Dan Brown novels in between his more imaginative projects..."

It's been a loooong time since Willow. Nowadays I think Ron Howard is really one of those directors we count on to not imagine. The only really "imaginative" project he has taken on in recent memory was the Grinch, and we all saw what happened there...
posted by hermitosis at 12:47 PM on September 9, 2010


I just don't see this working well.
posted by Mavri at 12:48 PM on September 9, 2010


Wait Ron Howard directed How the Grinch Stole Christmas? I hate him even more, now.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:48 PM on September 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


I have read the Dark Tower series, which is a stupendously complex fantasy. That doesn't mean it can't be filmed, it just means that a lot is going to be left out. I do think that it could potentially be a great movie trilogy. I also wonder if Ron Howard will use the original ending, which would be likely to make many viewers feel frustrated. I bet he changes it. I would.
posted by grizzled at 12:49 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Don't fuck with Ron Howard.
posted by griphus at 12:49 PM on September 9, 2010


Akiva Goldsman's involvement alone guarantees crap.
posted by Joe Beese at 12:50 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Howard did produce/direct Frost/Nixon, Cinderella Man and A Beautiful Mind, to name a few quality projects of more recent vintage.

It is really rare for a project like this to translate well to movie or TV, though. Seems to me that the last really good King book to film translation was Carrie, his very first novel. And at that, it was the first Carrie movie that was the good one.
posted by bearwife at 12:53 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


The words "Ron Howard, "imaginative" and "more" should never appear in the same sentence. That said, his involvement with Arrested Development and his cameos on the Simpsons make him a bit harder to hate on.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:53 PM on September 9, 2010


While I have a lot of respect for Howard's proven ability to earn box office and win mainstream awards, he's never demonstrated the kind of vision that's going to be required to make a Dark Tower that both satisfies fans AND makes money. And this "big screen / little screen" thing sounds like unnecessary complication...
posted by OneMonkeysUncle at 12:53 PM on September 9, 2010


I can't imagine this working all that well... the last three novels* were a big rambling mess as books, much less films that have gone through the Hollywood wringer.

It's also kind of disheartening to read that they're going to be made into films and then see the director himself quoted as saying "But if you committed only to films, you'd deny the audience the intimacy and nuance of some of these characters and a lot of cool twists and turns that make for jaw-dropping, compelling television." Gee, I can hardly wait to be denied all that intimacy and nuance!

*(I know, I know, the haters are going to cross out last three and fix that for me with all seven.)
posted by usonian at 12:55 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Get Tarsem in there and maybe you've got something.
posted by hermitosis at 12:56 PM on September 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


Now that we've decided to kill Ron Howard, let's figure out who should helm this thing (Guillermo del Toro) and who should star in it (Javier Bardem).
posted by shakespeherian at 12:56 PM on September 9, 2010 [9 favorites]


I eagerly await emotionally charged, highly negative in-depth analysis of the first teaser trailer to hit the internet.
posted by bondcliff at 12:56 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


More importantly, who plays Roland? I vote Viggo Mortensen.
posted by sciurus at 12:57 PM on September 9, 2010 [12 favorites]


I'd normally wince as yet another beloved series from my youth is sent through the grinder that is Hollywood, but for whatever reason, King seems to translate better than a lot of other authors to the screen (The Running Man not withstanding.)

I'm not completely confident that this can be done well, but if it is, it could be really fantastic. The source material is certainly solid enough.
posted by quin at 12:57 PM on September 9, 2010


Now THAT would've been a project for Terry Gilliam...

I hope there some HEAVY editing there. I feel like 1-5 were the only ones worth the time. And the ending was bloody AWFUL.
posted by black8 at 12:58 PM on September 9, 2010


Javier Bardem

This is a bit of a derail, but is it just me or do Javier Bardem, Robert Downey Jr, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan look like they could be brothers? I remember watching the Watchmen trailer for the first time and thinking, "Whoa, I didn't know RDJ was in this" before realizing it was JDM.
posted by kmz at 12:59 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


If they get rid of the giant squid, I'll be mighty pissed.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:00 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


do Javier Bardem, Robert Downey Jr, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan look like they could be brothers?

That's true, and it reminds me that Robert Downey Jr needs to play Eddie.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:03 PM on September 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


let's figure out who should helm this thing (Guillermo del Toro)

I was struggling to pick someone other than del Toro (because he's my dream pick for just about everything), but yeah... He would be great.
posted by brundlefly at 1:03 PM on September 9, 2010




I hope there some HEAVY editing there... And the ending was bloody AWFUL.


I've never read these, but I've read other books by Mr. King. This could be printed as a review for every single one of them.
posted by Stagger Lee at 1:03 PM on September 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


Incidentally, Jake should be played by a young Ron Howard.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:05 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I must have read the first book back in junior high school about 25 years ago... It's amazing it's stuck around so long. I ditched King after reading (and enjoying) It, which must have been about 1986 or 1987...
posted by KokuRyu at 1:06 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


do Javier Bardem, Robert Downey Jr, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan look like they could be brothers?

The version of Vicky, Christina, Barcelona in my head (wherein Penelope Cruz is replaced by a blender someone lost the lid to) just got so much better.
posted by griphus at 1:07 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


What about Frank Darabont? I thought he did well with Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile, though I never saw The Mist. Also, the trailer for his pilot episode of The Walking Dead looks pretty hot.

Seems like he would be a shoe-in for this.
posted by jnrussell at 1:08 PM on September 9, 2010


Ron Howard's movies tend to have the same pace (plodding), energy (lethargic), and demeanor (awkwardly pretentious) as M. Night Shyamalan's. The only reason his name doesn't cause audiences to erupt with laughter when it comes onscreen is he didn't build a career on shoehorning twist endings into everything. That, and people still remember him as lovable Richie Cunningham from Happy Days.

In fairness, I don't hate everything he's ever done, nor do I hate everything Shyamalan's ever done. But after enough cycles with either of them, the Trying Too Hard becomes evident, and annoying.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 1:08 PM on September 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ah, on re-reading TFA: "King is planning a three-film version of the saga with at least another two seasons of a TV show to connect the dots."

Interesting.
posted by usonian at 1:08 PM on September 9, 2010


Oh, I know: John Carpenter.
posted by brundlefly at 1:08 PM on September 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


According to Deadline, King is planning a three-film version of the saga with at least another two seasons of a TV show to connect the dots. Such a multi-platform project would be the first of its kind and potentially even greater in scope than Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy, itself a gargantuan eight-year endeavour.

*rolls eyes.* The golden age of Hollywood was built on multi-media, multi-film franchises that spanned radio, comics, publishing, and merchandising. It's not a particularly radical idea.

But even though I'm just getting into the series, I can't say that I find Howard a good match.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:09 PM on September 9, 2010


I loved the ending. I realize I might be the only person ever that feels that way, but I do feel that way.

I'm not excited about this movie thing, but then again I wasn't so excited about LOTR until I saw what was actually being done visually.
posted by nat at 1:09 PM on September 9, 2010


Whoops, I guess I would have read and enjoyed Misery (I can recall it influenced my "creative writing" in high school), but felt let-down by Tommyknockers.

Cell looks like it is worth picking up.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:10 PM on September 9, 2010


As long as Gilbert Gottfried plays Blaine, I don't really care who directs.
posted by Greg Nog at 1:23 PM on September 9, 2010 [7 favorites]


who should star in it (Javier Bardem).

More importantly, who plays Roland? I vote Viggo Mortensen.


You're dreaming, folks. This is Ron Milquetoast Howard. Roland will be played by Shia Leboeuf. There will be an overly inflated love-interest role for whoever's on the cover of Maxim this month.

This is a man who chose, for the climax of what he evidently believed to be a gritty docudrama, to hard-cut from a stack of newspapers hitting a sidewalk to a woman giving birth. (See The Paper. Or, actually, don't.) Because of his association with Arrested Development, I no longer actively wish Ron Howard ill, but he is still the go-to hack for auteurish projects the studio's scared might not play at the multiplex. As a director, he's a helluva voiceover man. If he's at the helm, it'll be pablum. Bank on it. The studio surely is.
posted by gompa at 1:23 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]



This is a bit of a derail, but is it just me or do Javier Bardem, Robert Downey Jr, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan look like they could be brothers?


It's not just you.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:24 PM on September 9, 2010


What about Frank Darabont?

His adaptations of King's novels are fantastically literal. I can far too easily imagine him turning Dark Tower into the next Lady in the Water.
posted by hermitosis at 1:25 PM on September 9, 2010


Why couldn't it have been Louis MacNeice's The Dark Tower? Actually, I'd be happy if the BBC released one of its recordings of the play. Or Yuri Rasovsky. And yes, I am bitter that King has ruined Google searches for that great bit of radio.
posted by Trace McJoy at 1:27 PM on September 9, 2010


What about Frank Darabont?

Shawshank was pretty good (or, if you believe college students on the internet, the Best Movie Ever), and I didn't hate The Green Mile, but The Mist was fairly cartoonish and irritating. These are also all fairly small-scale projects, with two settings each, so I have no idea how Darabont's skills would scale to something as huge as The Dark Tower.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:28 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I read a ton of Stephen King as a teenager. I remember the exact Dark Tower section where I lost all desire to read any more Stephen King ever again -- Blaine the demented monorail train.
posted by benzenedream at 1:30 PM on September 9, 2010 [7 favorites]


Like others, I'm not really sure this will work well, particularly with Howard poking his fingers around in it. I also wonder how they will handle the two seasons of the TV show if it ends up sucking and being a total flop. Is there a way for a TV contract to stipulate that a show MUST run for so long, even if no one is watching it? That could prove interesting: "sorry, but the first season sucked, so we won't be doing another one. What, that leaves a big hole in your movie / TV show / whatever? Yeah, well, sorry."
posted by menschlich at 1:31 PM on September 9, 2010


LOTR I think worked because it ditched a lot of Tolkien's writerly pretentions to deliver more of a three-part action adventure. J.R.R.'s repeated device of having large chunks of the action being delivered by characters lounging with a bowl of pipeweed was a welcome cut.

And especially with The Dark Tower, I think that treating the meta-fictional wank of a 19-year-old as if it were a screenplay treatment would suck (this applies less to King's other work which often reads to me as if a screenplay was intended). My thoughts turn immediately to Rodriguez and Tarantino but I don't know if they could refrain from making a big joke out of it.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:33 PM on September 9, 2010


Oh, and I think my other big question is how they'll handle the terrible racist caricature that is Susannah.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:33 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Huh. Well, my first instinct is that these will be terrible. It's really the kind of thing that lends itself to, say, an HBO series. That would be awesome. I'm not quite understanding how they're going to do this- the movies will cover the main points and then the tv show will go back and do the whole thing over again in more detail? So it's going to be done in two totally different moods by two totally different teams. Kind of lame. Also, if they don't cast Angela Bassett as Susannah they're idiots.

I kind of hope that mouseover for spoiler
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 1:38 PM on September 9, 2010


Is it just me, or is Stephen King morphing into Steven Hawking?
posted by Dmenet at 1:39 PM on September 9, 2010


Well. That mouseover didn't work. FINE.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 1:39 PM on September 9, 2010


spoiler
posted by shmegegge at 1:42 PM on September 9, 2010


I bet I know who's going to be playing a creepy mutant.
posted by electroboy at 1:44 PM on September 9, 2010


mouse over for spoiler
posted by shmegegge at 1:44 PM on September 9, 2010


I remember the exact Dark Tower section where I lost all desire to read any more Stephen King ever again -- Blaine the demented monorail train.

Gee, could it have been the "I will derail and kill us all har har!" cliffhanger book ending, followed by a six year hiatus before he put out the next book?

Because that was some bullshit. I didn't read another book of his during that period (and prior to that, I'd read everything of his.)
posted by quin at 1:44 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Mouseover for spoiler.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 1:44 PM on September 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


I loved the ending. I realize I might be the only person ever that feels that way, but I do feel that way.

No, you're not the only person. Count me.

I know it would likely end up as a train wreck, but some sick part of me would like to see Sam Raimi take a shot at it.
posted by marxchivist at 1:46 PM on September 9, 2010


"This is Roland. He's on a quest. This is his brother, Gob, a stage magician. This is Roland's son, George Michael. And this... is The Dark Tower."
posted by shmegegge at 1:48 PM on September 9, 2010 [6 favorites]


I'm imagining Viggo as Roland, and Sam Rockwell as Eddie. Isn't Jake perpetually 10 for the entire book run? I wonder how they're going to pull that off.
posted by jbelshaw at 1:49 PM on September 9, 2010


If only they could make Clint Eastwood 30 again, he's always been the quintessential Roland to me.
posted by jbelshaw at 1:49 PM on September 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


Ron Howard is also directing Real Genius. If this is a remake of the one with Val Kilmer in it, I will gladly join the anti-Howard brigade. Until then, I am reserving judgement.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 1:50 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, the current actor I picture as Roland is Adrien Brody, even after that godawful Predator movie.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 1:51 PM on September 9, 2010


Isn't Jake perpetually 10 for the entire book run?

I think he was actually 7 in The Gunslinger, but then when he shows up in Drawing of the Three King pulls some retcon bullshit and says 'Jake looked young for his age and people assumed he was seven' even though it was clearly King who told us that. Motherfucker. Maybe he should have left it alone after the first book.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:52 PM on September 9, 2010


For me, the Sissy Spacek, Brian DePalma Carrie is one of the greatest horror movies of all time-- scarier than Alien and deeper than The Shining.

Carrie's mom singing There is Power in the Blood under her breath as she scurries around getting ready to murder Carrie when she gets home from the prom is still one of the few nearly explicit artistic recognitions I have to point to of the essential unity of Christ's Blood flowing down from the Cross and menstrual blood, and that's just one of many abysses Carrie will pull a person down into.
posted by jamjam at 1:54 PM on September 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


terrible racist caricature that is Susannah.

I really wonder what King was doing with that character. It takes a tremendous amount of chutzpah to say, "I'm an able-bodied white guy, and I will be able to plumb the depths of a black woman wheelchair-using Civil Rights advocate"
posted by angrycat at 1:58 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'd rather see a cinematic adaptation of Dark Tower. Man, that game was really cool back in the day.

It would have highly innovative battle scenes:

bzzzzzz
beep!
bzzzzzzzzzz
beep!
do-DOO do-DOO!
bzzzz
beep!
bzzzzzzzzz
beep!
DOOOOO-doooooo.
posted by fleacircus at 1:58 PM on September 9, 2010


Well... he's a good narrator at least.
posted by codacorolla at 2:02 PM on September 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ron Howard's movies tend to have the same pace (plodding), energy (lethargic), and demeanor (awkwardly pretentious)

Sounds like a pretty good fit for the source material!

hai-ooooooh
posted by codacorolla at 2:03 PM on September 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Get David Lynch to do it! At least the incomprehensible fiasco we end up with will be a truly memorable one, like Dune was.
posted by rusty at 2:08 PM on September 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


honestly, I'm just amazed that anyone would think those books should be made into anything after reading the last 3.
posted by shmegegge at 2:08 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh hurrah. Now that one channel on cable will have something new to rerun a zillion times instead of just playing The Stand over and and over and over. I can't remember what channel it is because around here, we just call it The Stand Channel.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 2:10 PM on September 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


Cell looks like it is worth picking up.
posted by KokuRyu


...and then setting back down.

Not his best work, by a long shot.
posted by Windigo at 2:10 PM on September 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


honestly, I'm just amazed that anyone would think those books should be made into anything...

Hey, be fair. They make a lovely footrest.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 2:12 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Stand

Hey there's something that should get made into a good thing.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:14 PM on September 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


The ending disappeared up its own self-importance -- is King going to cameo in the adaptation, just as he write himself into his own damn book?

But the beginning is awesome. Roland waking up on the beach with the lobstrosities picking at him -- gah, just remembering the beginning makes my skin crawl.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 2:16 PM on September 9, 2010


And ditto on Cell: it's a weak-sauce retread of The Stand.

I liked Under The Dome a lot, though; and was surprised by how unrelentingly bleak it was.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 2:19 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


The lobstrosities are at the beginning of the second book.

Incidentally, apropos of nothing, did you know they made a Dragonball movie and it had Chow Yun Fat in it and it was horrible?
posted by shakespeherian at 2:19 PM on September 9, 2010


The lobstrosities are at the beginning of the second book.

Oh hell, were they? Apparently I don't remember the beginning then. But I do remember the lobstrosities.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 2:21 PM on September 9, 2010


Heeeeyyyy Roland.

</Buster>
posted by shmegegge at 2:22 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


The beginning is Roland chasing the man in black across the desert.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:23 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I loved the ending. I realize I might be the only person ever that feels that way, but I do feel that way.

I, too, loved the ending. I was deeply disappointed in the last four books, mind you -- they're not a patch on the first three, to the point where they're an entirely different series -- but the last two chapters were spot-on.
posted by vorfeed at 2:32 PM on September 9, 2010


I'm on a quest for the dark tower. I don't know if any of you will make it there with me, but BUSTER DO YOU HAVE TO BANG ON THAT DRUM RIGHT NOW, BUDDY?
posted by shmegegge at 2:32 PM on September 9, 2010 [9 favorites]


And the ending was bloody AWFUL.

I have to admit I haven't read past book 3 of the Dark Tower series, but that has a lot more to do with me having given up on Stephen King by the mid-90s for this very reason: he's been phoning in the endings for at least 20 years now. At least on his novels... his short stories seem compact enough that the kernel of the story pretty much already includes a logical ending; when he switches from 45 to LP mode, however, he becomes a classic example of the pitfalls of just making it up as you go along.
posted by squeakyfromme at 2:37 PM on September 9, 2010


Oh, and by that I mean the ending, not the final battle. That was awful, as only a Stephen King ending can be. For some reason, he can write great climactic battle scenes (like the battle for the Breakers in book 7), but he can't ever put 'em within 50 pages of the end of the book.
posted by vorfeed at 2:38 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


For some reason, he can write great climactic battle scenes

Like the shadow puppet defeat of Satan in Needful Things!
posted by shakespeherian at 2:40 PM on September 9, 2010


MICHAEL BAY
posted by blue_beetle at 2:41 PM on September 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


I hope they edit the Wizard of Oz crap out. That was The Dark Tower's Ewok village -- pretty much everything went to shit after that.
posted by middleclasstool at 2:41 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


The beginning is Roland chasing the man in black across the desert.

Well, you're half right.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 2:46 PM on September 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Last book: Susannah has no legs. There is an idiot kid who can fix/change things by drawing them. ???
posted by maxwelton at 2:59 PM on September 9, 2010


Well, you're half right.

What? The first sentence is 'The Man in Black fled across the desert, and the Gunslinger followed.'
posted by shakespeherian at 3:02 PM on September 9, 2010


King has a lot of weaknesses (and a lot of strengths) but to me his biggest weakness is making ephemeral pop phenomena integral parts of his books. I also think his "breaking the fourth wall" stuff in the last couple of books was not successful at all. He did get to paint a vicious portrait of the guy who ran him over, though.
posted by maxwelton at 3:02 PM on September 9, 2010


They should get the cheesy mullet guy from The Stand to be Randall Flagg again.
posted by qvantamon at 3:04 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Argh, I can't respond to you, Shakespeherian, without venturing into serious spoiler territory.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 3:13 PM on September 9, 2010


I wish I could project a version of myself into the astral plane, walk through the ethereal firmament to the bedside of the person who greenlit this, lean over and whisper into their ear: maaake The Staaand insteeeaad, maaake The Staaand insteaad.

(That said, Viggo Mortensen for Roland. Knut the bear for Shardik. Steve Buscemi for Randal Flagg.)
posted by fight or flight at 3:19 PM on September 9, 2010


I adored the ending, so it's nice to see I'm not alone. The thing that blew my mind, though, is that I have a friend who got to the "feel free to stop reading now" disclaimer bit, and put the book down. I can not wrap my head around that.

I loathed Under the Dome, though. Too much misogyny-for-its-own-sake. Yes, bad people are bad, thanks.
posted by restless_nomad at 3:38 PM on September 9, 2010


I've been interested in these books for years and never gotten around to reading them, so I was interested in the idea of a movie. But I feel about Akiva Goldsman the way everyone else seems to feel about Ron Howard, so I expect it to suck regardless of the direction. Disappointing.
posted by immlass at 3:45 PM on September 9, 2010


Bah. As much as I loved the series, even the ending, even despite its many, many, *many* flaws, I think that Wizard and Glass would make a pretty good movie all by itself, and the rest be damned. Ryan Phillipe as Young Roland FTW.

I'll still watch every minute of whatever ends up getting released.
posted by ZakDaddy at 3:56 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Argh, I can't respond to you, Shakespeherian, without venturing into serious spoiler territory.

Oh, okay. I never read past Wizard and Glass, so if King does some more bullshitty retcon bullshit I don't know about it.
posted by shakespeherian at 4:01 PM on September 9, 2010


Wizard and Glass was the hardest one for me to start, simply because I was wanting to get on with the storyline, but in retrospect, it was my favorite book.
posted by jbelshaw at 4:07 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, it was cool to get all that backstory that didn't have interdimensional portals and talking trains and stuff, but on the other hand Wizard and Glass has all that Wizard of Oz nonsense.
posted by shakespeherian at 4:12 PM on September 9, 2010


I'm simultaneously squeeing with delight and cringing at all the ways this could go wrong...
posted by torisaur at 4:42 PM on September 9, 2010


Did-a-chik? Dad-a-chum? Will-it-suck?

Unfortunately, yes.
posted by chimaera at 5:27 PM on September 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


When I read Akiva Goldsman I confused him with Akiva Schaffer, and I had a lovely mental image of Roland and Eddie appearing in Lazer Cats 7. Actually, the guys who do Lazer Cats might do a better job of filming The Dark Tower than Howard and Goldsman.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:05 PM on September 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Gina Torres as Susannah. Please?
posted by miratime at 6:19 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow. Ron Howard. That's pretty much guaranteed terrible in my book.

That said, I can't wait for a live-action version, because I've been trying to figure out how Roland's one-handed reload would work in real life for twenty friggin' years.
posted by Amanojaku at 6:26 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Blaine is a pain. Maybe Ron Howard can have a cameo.
posted by PuppyCat at 6:49 PM on September 9, 2010


This sounds like a vanity/cashing in venture for King. It's funny too that Ron Howard, in his quote in the article, sounds like he's really buying into to the tv/film franchise thing. Considering King's other made for tv offerings, THAT idea is much more horrible than the original lobstrosities. I tried to watch "Tommyknockers" a few nights ago (poor Jimmy Smits), surely that was made for tv? It was totally unwatchable. Not even good enough to put me to sleep. I had to watch Ghost Hunters to get some shut eye.

/Debbie Downer
posted by snsranch at 6:52 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


It was pretty clear Under the Dome was (accurately) based around the comment sections of small-town newspaper websites.
posted by maxwelton at 7:17 PM on September 9, 2010


That sounds about right, maxwelton - it was about as readable, imo.
posted by restless_nomad at 7:33 PM on September 9, 2010


I think that Wizard and Glass would make a pretty good movie all by itself

True, Wolves of Calla might be a good stand-alone also, but of course it just be a remake of The Magnificent Seven. Someone mentioned upthread about King doing good action scenes but never at the end of the book. Yeah. The battle with the wolves is probably King's best action scene/set peice, and one of the best action scenes in a novel, period.

I've been trying to figure out how Roland's one-handed reload would work in real life for twenty friggin' years.

He had a couple fingers left on the one hand, I think he may have used those to help load.
posted by marxchivist at 7:34 PM on September 9, 2010


Screw Dark Tower -- The Talisman is the one I've really been waiting for. Since I was thirteen.

(Yes, I know that there's something listed "in production" right now on IMDB -- I've heard that story before and watched each potential film version crash and burn. I'll believe we have a Talisman movie when I see it right here and now.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:56 PM on September 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


because I've been trying to figure out how Roland's one-handed reload would work in real life for twenty friggin' years.

I just tried it with my single action revolver, and it can be done, but not with any kind of speed. At least not by me.

Open the gate, flip the gun upside down and put your thumb through the trigger guard, index finger rotates the cylinder, middle finger works the extraction rod to remove empty casings. To reload, reposition the gun again so that it is pointed down with the grip forward, your middle finger is through the trigger guard supporting the weight, ring finger advances the cylinder, and your thumb and index fingers are free to remove a cartridge from the belt and drop it into the awaiting cylinder.

I imagine if you could do it really fast and fluidly, it would look very cool though.
posted by quin at 8:11 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Viggo's too pretty to play Roland. I agree with the 30-year-old Eastwood.

Josh Brolin could play Roland. I always pictured an angular-faced chap with a good thousand-yard stare.

Sam Rockwell or Downey could do Eddie easily. And actually, if she was a bit younger, Alfre Woodard would have made a great Susannah.

I hated, hated, hated the fact that King broke the fourth wall. It was lazy, in my opinion. But he made it very clear that he just didn't care what we thought about that.

And I concur with those who want The Stand remade. Correctly.
posted by Thistledown at 8:11 PM on September 9, 2010


I read a ton of Stephen King as a teenager. I remember the exact Dark Tower section where I lost all desire to read any more Stephen King ever again -- Blaine the demented monorail train.

This is precisely true for me as well, although I don't think I realized it at the time. So, so bad.
posted by Bookhouse at 8:22 PM on September 9, 2010


That sounds about right, maxwelton - it was about as readable, imo.

I thought it was a decent book, but King always seems to get some giant continuity or science thing wrong in there that makes it difficult to suspend disbelief.

*** SPOILER ***

At the end of UTD, if there is not enough oxygen for the people to breath, how in the hell is the internal-combustion car supposed to run?
posted by maxwelton at 8:24 PM on September 9, 2010


I've always thought Paul Reubens would make a good Roland.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:40 PM on September 9, 2010


I saw The Mist when it came to movie theaters a few years ago. I left the movie theater feeling depressed.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:05 PM on September 9, 2010


I'd like to see Studio Ghibli do it with all star voices.
posted by Balisong at 10:10 PM on September 9, 2010


EmpressCallipygos: "Screw Dark Tower -- The Talisman is the one I've really been waiting for. Since I was thirteen."

Oh, hell yes. Preferably by Peter Jackson and the rest of the LotR creative team, please.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 11:38 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Frank Darabont, the man who directed Green Mile and Shawshank, also did that piece of shit movie The Mist. That movie was so bad it made my wife and I wish that the dad had saved a couple of bullets for us. That ending was so terrible.
posted by daHIFI at 11:39 AM on September 10, 2010


Ugh, that comment should have started out with a '?!?' at the end of the first sentence.

And yes, Ron Howard attached to this pretty much guarantees it's going to suck. Akiva Goldsman's name on the screenplay even moreso.

No matter how bad it winds up, I'd bet money 20 years from now SyFy is going to be showing all day Labor Day Marathons of it. (and I will watch it)
posted by daHIFI at 11:43 AM on September 10, 2010


I liked Darabont's The Mist. Then again, I'm a sucker for siege flicks.
posted by brundlefly at 12:05 PM on September 10, 2010


I thought The Mist, while keeping fairly closely to the source material, in film form came across as too episodic and predictably rhythmed (ten minutes of sitting in the store means now it's time for another scary thing to happen!) and didn't seem, for me at least, to convey much of the creepiness of the King story of not knowing what was out there at all, but rather that there was definitely some CGI out there that will strike in regular intervals and will be fairly interchangeably dangerous.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:17 PM on September 10, 2010


Well, who should they get to play Stephen King? Because my grit-teeth-I-am-ready-to-give-up-on-you moment for popular authors is when they write themselves into their books. Stephen King and Douglas Coupland, so lame!
posted by stevil at 4:25 PM on September 10, 2010


Well, who should they get to play Stephen King?

I was about to ask the same thing because, honestly, this is what killed the whole series for me. I mean, at one point I loved the fact that all these different layers of reality merged with our own reality but then there was way too much Stephen King in his own book. I basically skimmed the final novel because I felt like I wasted years of my life on those books.

In retrospect I really only like the first three. Wizards and Glass is basically a 700 page novel with a 500 page flashback. WTF?
posted by crossoverman at 8:31 PM on September 10, 2010


Stephen King has appeared in movies before; I see no reason why he would not want to play himself in a Dark Tower movie. Although who knows, maybe Ron Howard has someone else in mind. Philip Seymour Hoffman would certainly be capable of playing that role (and it would not be the first author he has played - he has previously played Truman Capote). It was, of course, very bizarre for King to include himself as a character in his own novels, however, in fantasy anything goes, as long as you are able to write convincingly enough. I felt some ambivalence about the series while I was reading it, but by the time I got to the end I did feel that it succeeded as an epic fantasy, despite all the weirdness. And personally I want to actually see the movie before concluding, as so many others have, that Ron Howard is not capable of doing a good job with it. We shall see. Remember, they didn't think Michael Keaton could play Batman, either.
posted by grizzled at 6:22 AM on September 11, 2010


Okay folks, four words: Wanda Sykes as Susannah.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:34 AM on September 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Picking up on a tangent I saw mentioned but never chimed in on:

And I concur with those who want The Stand remade. Correctly.

INdeed. Although, I did appreciate the fact that they used "Don't Fear The Reaper" as the theme, and they included that moment from the CDC in Vermont where the delerious guy grabs Stu's leg and says, "Come down and eat chicken with me, beautiful, it's so dark...."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:21 PM on September 11, 2010


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