OT: Dark Tower Fans

Submitted by buddha on August 1st, 2017 at 12:46 PM

Given the number of bibliophiles on the board, I wanted to see what people thought about the Dark Tower series and the upcoming movie production of the books.


I am a huge Stephen King fan, and I count the Dark Tower series as one of his finest accomplishments (among many great novels). I have read and re-read the Dark Tower books a handful of times and always come away amazed by the creativity and complexities of the story, characters, etc.


Having said that, some of the TV / movie remakes of King's work have been hit-or-miss. Hits include Shawshank, Stand by Me, Green Mile, and a couple others. Shawshank and Stand by Me, in particular, rank high on my all-time favorites list. But, most recently, I was really disappointed with Hulu's 11/22/63 series. It completely distorted the book's plot line, and - frankly - I just thought it was ktishy.  


With that in mind, what do people think / expect / hope from Arcel's adaptation of the books? I am somewhat curious about the storyline and how they have approached the chronology of the books. That'll be interesting, especially for the purists, like myself.


Unfortunatiely, early reports haven't exactly been glowing, but I remain optimistic and purchased my tickets for Friday night! Would love to hear people's opinions!



August 1st, 2017 at 1:04 PM ^

and I'll probably re-read it before September just to refresh. Looked... decent I'd say.

* I'd also really like to see The Stand properly remade and maybe the Talisman.



August 1st, 2017 at 12:55 PM ^

I'm very disappointed in the casting of Idris Elba as Roland for the movie.

I love Idris Elba, but he is not Roland. Roland is supposed to be ancient and bare a close resemblance to King. 

I'll still watch it. 


August 1st, 2017 at 1:09 PM ^

Some of the Reddit forums went crazy when Idris was selected. Although I was surprised, I can't hate it simply because The Wire remains one of my all-time favorite shows! I'm excited to see what he brings to the table, even if it is a departure from the anti-hero / hero description of Roland. 


August 1st, 2017 at 1:04 PM ^

That's totally fair. As a show, Hulu did a good job of creating an interesting story with a great cast (I am a James Franco fan)...And - to your point - the book is pretty long, so maybe they did the best they could. More often than not, I lean more to the "book-purist" perspective, and it was difficult to watch all the meaningful changes Hulu made to King's initial story. Having said that, King was an Executive Producer on the show. So, maybe I should just suck it up!


August 1st, 2017 at 1:13 PM ^

Seeing The Dark Tower Saturday.  I'm hopeful but not hugely optimistic.  The books really fell off after Wizard and Glass, so that tempers my enthusiasm as well.


It looks like it could be pretty good.  I still love the mini-series though.  Tim Curry was an amazing Pennywise.


August 1st, 2017 at 1:13 PM ^

i really liked the dark tower series right up until he wrote himself into the stories. still going to check out the movie, but that pissed me off.

i'm definitely more excited for the new It movie


August 1st, 2017 at 2:56 PM ^

I ask hated that he wrote himself in. It felt so cheap and self aggrandizing. Seriously, the fact that you already get your ego boosted by fans and critics every time you put pen to paper isn't enough, you now have to make believe you are saving existence?

I enjoyed everything else about the series once Roland got past Tull. I know the world building was necessary, but man...I started The Gunslinger in 2013 and didn't pick it up for 3 years before finishing it and the series last year.


August 1st, 2017 at 1:16 PM ^

Cautiously optimistic. I think Elba can give the personality required, but I'm generally disappointed by adaptations, and turning this into something with mass appeal probably doesn't match with what I want to see.


But can someone clarify - how does this fit with the books? I think I read it's a sequel, but to what - the final book?


August 1st, 2017 at 1:16 PM ^

in the Dark Tower series are absolutely amazing.  Wolves of the Calla was really good for the first 75% - then started the downhill slide.  When SK wrote himself into the story it completely jumped the shark and I quit reading.  

I went back a year later and finished it - I wish I hadn't.  He ruined one of the greatest story arcs ever in his rush to finish after his run-in with a mini van.  I will never forgive him.

I expect the movie to suck overall.  Hope I'm wrong.


August 1st, 2017 at 6:50 PM ^

After his accident there was talk he wouldnt finish the series. It took so long for him to begin writing again I had gotten married, had kids, moved back to Michigan from Denver and lost interest. I own Wolves of Calla but have never read it due to apathy and friends who had little good to say.

Blaines a Pain. Some of my all time favorite SK. I will go see the movie just to see if Blaines in it and how they treat it.


August 1st, 2017 at 1:16 PM ^

or compressed.  From what I've read, the storyline is different/compressed.  


I loved the early books in the Dark Tower series, but really disliked the last book.  Folding in King himself was weird and didn't work for me.  For such a good story and characters, it kind of came off the rails for me at the end.  


August 1st, 2017 at 1:21 PM ^

On 11/23/63, I really enjoyed the book and the miniseries. The book was obviously the better of the two but that's almost always the case with all books/movies. At least for me. The Dark Tower series is amazing and a wonderful world to get lost in. The movie looks like an absolute shit show, though. From the casting to the storyline to just the overall feel that I've gotten from the trailers, I don't even know if I'll give this one a chance. Maybe when it comes out to rent.

Death Reau

August 1st, 2017 at 1:42 PM ^

I picked up Wizard and Glass at an airport without having any knowledge of the series.  I was a little leery about jumping in mid-stream but it actually worked out pretty well.  Heck of a love story.  It was fun going back to read the rest.  Not so fun reading the later novels once they were released...


August 1st, 2017 at 1:50 PM ^

Wizard and Glass works kinda as a standalone, and imo shows the limitations of his other Darktower books as it actually follows a well thought out cohesive plot. I read through Wizard and Glass years ago, and just recently picked up Wolves of the Calla in an effort to get caught up before the movie. but my biggest problem with the series was how King was all over the place with his writing, jumping from one idea to the next, just making things up as he went. way too many coincidences just to move the plot along. interesting concept and his writing keeps you engaged, but execution was lacking.


August 1st, 2017 at 1:58 PM ^

Read the first three books a few years ago and enjoyed them, but I just lost interest after that. I do like Stephen King but the cult following he has seems a little over the top.

Baby Fishmouth

August 1st, 2017 at 2:41 PM ^

I am a huge Stephen King fan.  He got me into reading when I was 18, and I've read 15-40 books a year since.  That said, I only got to the third "Dark Tower" book before I lost interest.


August 1st, 2017 at 3:45 PM ^

I've read most but not all of his stuff and think the Dark Tower is among his best work.  It also seemed like, if donw well, it'd be a great movie franchise.  But, from what I understand the movie uses the  characters but sort of departs tangentially from the story told in the books and doesn't try to tell the series.  I am hopeful it will be good, but given the mixed results of bringing his work to the screen (Thinner had such  promise) I won't hold my breath.


August 1st, 2017 at 3:50 PM ^

but it was a long slog to get there. Not sure how the Suzanna/Detta-Roland relationship would work given the race issues in the book that I assume won't be there in the movie.


August 1st, 2017 at 4:19 PM ^

is being turned into a 95 min movie, or why they'd start with the last one...seems strange.

IT looks very good, can't wait for that.  But The Stand is the best thing he has written.  That is an epic story!


August 1st, 2017 at 5:29 PM ^

I believe mid production they decided to go the TV series route and signed Elba for the tv series. It's probably why the movie is short with very little advertisements


August 1st, 2017 at 6:58 PM ^

this movie is the sequel. The book series ends when Roland takes the bugle and enters the door then wakes up in the desert (I think, it's been a few years). He then starts the chase for the man in black again.