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The Dark Tower

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Just found this IGN report via Hollywood Elsewhere:

IGN has exclusively learned that J.J. Abrams is poised to direct The Dark Tower, based on the Stephen King literary series. Abrams' production company Bad Robot had "no comment" on the matter.

Sources advised us that an official announcement is forthcoming. We have been unable to determine whether Dark Tower will be a film project or a TV miniseries, although the latter is a more likely prospect given the complex nature of King's seven-book series.

Abrams. Hmm. That makes me think that Lost's Josh "Sawyer" Holloway just has the right kind of look for the lead....

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J.J. Abrams and Bad Robot Productions no longer own the rights to this series. Now it looks as though Ron Howard may try his hand at an adaptation, which may start out as a film that then moves in to a TV series.

The Hollywood Reporter

Bad Robot has returned the rights back to the best-selling author. Now Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and Akiva Goldsman are teaming up to tackle the fantasy Western.

The three are in discussions on a scenario that would see an adaptation begin as a movie, to be written by Goldsman and directed by Howard, that would lead to a TV series produced by Imagine’s small-screen division.

“Tower” is not set up, nor has any option deal been made, but insiders say Universal, home to Imagine, would be the studio that will release the movie.

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THE DARK TOWER will be very difficult to adapt to either television or film, and not just because of the size of the story. It's terribly uneven, as sloppy as it is striking, with a progression towards heavy metafiction. While I'm sure that something successful could be made of it, it would have to be so unfaithful to the source that I have to say it's probably not worth the effort.

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THE DARK TOWER will be very difficult to adapt to either television or film, and not just because of the size of the story. It's terribly uneven, as sloppy as it is striking, with a progression towards heavy metafiction. While I'm sure that something successful could be made of it, it would have to be so unfaithful to the source that I have to say it's probably not worth the effort.

No kidding. This is by far the most uneven series of books I have read. Most of them in the middle are almost unreadable. I would be happy to just see the first one made into a film and leave it at that.

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Here it comes - on the big screen and TV:

Universal Pictures and NBC Universal Television Entertainment have closed a deal to turn Stephen King’s mammoth novel series The Dark Tower into a feature film trilogy and a network TV series, both of which will be creatively steered by the Oscar-winning team behind A Beautiful Mind and The Da Vinci Code.

Ron Howard has committed to direct the initial feature film, as well as the first season of the TV series that will follow in close proximity. Akiva Goldsman will write the film, and the first season of the TV series. Howard’s Imagine Entertainment partner Brian Grazer will produce, with Goldsman and the author.

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Here it comes - on the big screen and TV:

Universal Pictures and NBC Universal Television Entertainment have closed a deal to turn Stephen King’s mammoth novel series The Dark Tower into a feature film trilogy and a network TV series, both of which will be creatively steered by the Oscar-winning team behind A Beautiful Mind and The Da Vinci Code.

Ron Howard has committed to direct the initial feature film, as well as the first season of the TV series that will follow in close proximity. Akiva Goldsman will write the film, and the first season of the TV series. Howard’s Imagine Entertainment partner Brian Grazer will produce, with Goldsman and the author.

A film trilogy and then a TV series? Will the film trilogy cover, in vastly abbreviated form, the narrative of arc of all seven novels and then the TV series serve as a kind of loosely related spin-off? Or will the films just kind of tail off without a defined conclusion, with the TV series picking up the story and bringing it to its conclusion? The latter suggestion strikes me as sure to be very awkward.

That said, I'm skeptical this series will get beyond the first film. THE DARK TOWER is a very dark (sometimes off-puttingly so), very bizarre series, and it's unlikely that it will develop the kind of widespread following to sustain a trilogy of feature films.

Edited by Ryan H.

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Stephen King adaptations have varied wildly in quality as well. The most successful being those that change the source material dramatically eg. Kubrick's The Shining. I only read the first two novels and then part of the third so I cannot comment on the series as a whole. I stopped reading King novels years ago.

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Stephen King adaptations have varied wildly in quality as well. The most successful being those that change the source material dramatically eg. Kubrick's The Shining. I only read the first two novels and then part of the third so I cannot comment on the series as a whole. I stopped reading King novels years ago.

The first three novels are the only worthwhile books in THE DARK TOWER series. You might as well read those and then concoct an ending for yourself. Undoubtedly, whatever you imagine the story to be beyond that point will be more satisfying than what King actually wrote.

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I was not a big of of even the graphic novel adaptation of The Dark Tower. The liberties they had to take with the story simply just to draw it were severe.

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I was not a big of of even the graphic novel adaptation of The Dark Tower. The liberties they had to take with the story simply just to draw it were severe.

I only read the first graphic novel. I later sold it. It was less painful than reading WIZARD AND GLASS, so that was something, I guess.

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I stopped reading King novels years ago.

For what it's worth, I just started reading him recently, and I've found his latest batch of novels fascinating. Fans of his older, THIS DOG/TOASTER/HIGHWAY IS EVIL type fiction don't seem to like them much, but there's some wonderful emotional depth there.

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What do you recommend in particular, Jason? I read Lisey's Story when it came out, which contains some excellent passages. He does a great job at inscribing this particular book with an emotional depth that caught me off guard. Yeah, it does take some turns into King's traditional horrors, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

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I have to say that I very much enjoyed HEARTS IN ATLANTIS. It's genuinely moving stuff. But that's about it as far as my enthusiasm for King's work goes.

Edited by Ryan H.

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What do you recommend in particular, Jason? I read Lisey's Story when it came out, which contains some excellent passages. He does a great job at inscribing this particular book with an emotional depth that caught me off guard. Yeah, it does take some turns into King's traditional horrors, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

I've really enjoyed his two post-accident short story collections, Everything's Eventual and Just After Sunset. I also LOVED his novella length entry into the Hard Case Crime books, The Colorado Kid. (I think the SyFy channel show Haven is loosely based on it...) It's an interesting interpretation of hardboiled fiction, and though it basically amounts to three people talking for a hundred odd pages, it was fantastic. Also liked Cell (especially its concept...people turned into zombies by cell phone usage?) and The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon.

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Also liked Cell (especially its concept...people turned into zombies by cell phone usage?) and The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon.

I still believe that in movie forgmat-with the right director, Cell could have the most heart attack inducing 20 minutes ever.

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I still believe that in movie forgmat-with the right director, Cell could have the most heart attack inducing 20 minutes ever.

Yeah, I'm quite glad that Eli Roth is no longer attached to the project. I know King worked on the screenplay that's floating around, but that's about it.

Now, back to the topic at hand — I've heard a lot of bad things about the middle few books in the Dark Tower series, but is the ending really that bad? The 'meta' aspect intrigues me, honestly.

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Now, back to the topic at hand — I've heard a lot of bad things about the middle few books in the Dark Tower series, but is the ending really that bad? The 'meta' aspect intrigues me, honestly.

Here's my take:

THE GUNSLINGER: It's alright.

THE DRAWING OF THE THREE: Things pick up.

THE WASTELAND: This is more like it.

WIZARD AND GLASS: Painful.

WOLVES OF THE CALLA: Passable, but this series is really dragging its feet.

SONG OF SUSANNAH: A mess.

THE DARK TOWER: This is the pay-off?

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Now, back to the topic at hand — I've heard a lot of bad things about the middle few books in the Dark Tower series, but is the ending really that bad? The 'meta' aspect intrigues me, honestly.

Here's my take:

THE GUNSLINGER: It's alright.

THE DRAWING OF THE THREE: Things pick up.

THE WASTELAND: This is more like it.

WIZARD AND GLASS: Painful.

WOLVES OF THE CALLA: Passable, but this series is really dragging its feet.

SONG OF SUSANNAH: A mess.

THE DARK TOWER: This is the pay-off?

This is exactly right. Except I liked the intro volume more, and hated Wolves more. Otherwise, our view on this is standard.

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Regarding the first book, I had a hard time getting past King's prose in THE GUNSLINGER. The unrevised version is damn near unreadable.

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I can see Bale as the junkie Eddie Dean, but not Roland.

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So, is the film cast also part of the television series? I'd be kind of impressed if they could pull this off.

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Universal Pushes 'Dark Tower,' Attempts To Trim Budget

EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has pushed this year's start date on the Ron Howard-directed adaptation of Stephen King's mammoth novel series Dark Tower until February, I'm told. It was supposed to start this summer. The studio will work with the filmmakers to reduce the budget on a series that will include three feature films and two limited-run TV series. Universal has its own ticking clock: It must greenlight the film by July, or the rights revert back to the author and the filmmakers. . . .

Mike Fleming, Deadline.com, May 13

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

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