Creating the Perfect Dark Tower Series

Mike Flanagan Developing an Epic Adaptation of King's Dark Tower

credit: The Dark Tower

It does sound as though a Dark Tower series is in production, or is at least an idea at the time, but unless it’s going to blow the roof off and start placing more of the revered Stephen King series into the show, then it’s fair to assume that fans will be disappointed again. That’s a big assumption, but the only reference that’s been given at this time is the movie that came out in 2017 and was a massive flop. Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey are great actors, to be certain, and it does feel that they should have worked in a very effective manner, but from the dialogue to the mishmash that this movie became, it was a huge disservice to the story that took decades to finish. The world of Roland Deschain of Gilead, the last gunslinger and world-weary traveler, deserves a much greater journey on screen than he was given in the one movie that was so bad that it doesn’t even bear thinking about a sequel. Those who have read the books know very well that adapting a book to a movie or a series isn’t always going to bring up every talking point so that it can be seen and experienced in a physical manner, but this is the type of story that needs those big talking points in order to come off as the great story that it actually is. 

Ron Howard Reflects On What Went Wrong With 'The Dark Tower'; "It Should've  Been Horror" - Bloody Disgusting

credit: The Dark Tower

Roland’s beef with Marten Broadcloack needs to be established throughout the series. 

It was made clear that Roland and Marten weren’t friends in the movie, but there is such a rich backstory to this that omitting it was regrettable since Roland and Marten were given the perfect intro in the first book, The Gunslinger when King wrote: “The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.” This was such a simple intro that used both characters in a manner that defied description and didn’t need anything else to get a reader’s mind on track since it made clear the idea that Roland was following Marten and that the latter was attempting to keep ahead of the former, for obvious reasons that would be revealed later on. But there is so much to their history that needs to be revealed that a series would be wise to bring up who Marten is, what function he served in Gilead, and what he did that made Roland want to kill him. 

Going back into Roland’s past is a key component of this story since it shows how he’s shaped into the person he becomes. 

Some folks might not put a lot of stock in going back into the past of a character, but in this story, it’s kind of necessary since Roland is a complicated character who is more than he appears to be, and seeing what he’s like as a youth would be a good way to show how he became the hardened, grizzled individual that he presents as in the initial story. A lot of people would likely agree that reading about this character makes it clear that Roland is a no-nonsense individual that has seen plenty of things in his life and isn’t easily impressed since his status as a gunslinger means that if he has a problem to deal with, his guns will typically do the talking. But if he doesn’t have an issue, he’ll move onward and not think about it any longer. The funny thing is that the stories paint him in much the same way as a youth, but without the hardened aspect. 

The Dark Tower: Stephen King Easter Eggs and Reference Guide | Den of Geek

credit: The Dark Tower

The Drawing of the Three, The Wastelands, and Wizard and Glass give enough story to last for at least a few seasons. 

These are books two through four, and they carry a great deal of information about Jake and two of Roland’s other companions, Eddie Dean and Odetta/Detta/Susannah Walker (long story), and how they came to be drawn into Roland’s world to help him along the quest that he’s taking to the Dark Tower. Eddie and Susannah’s omission in the movie was regrettable since there are plenty of scenes that should have included the two of them, along with Jake. It’s easy to understand why telling an original story inspired by the novels would be desired, but if that’s the case, using The Dark Tower title might need to change. 

It would be interesting to meet the young men that Roland knew when he was younger. 

The two that come to mind are Cuthbert and Alain, who are two of Roland’s best friends while growing up in Gilead, and who both appear in Wizard and Glass during the telling of Roland’s youth. To learn more about Roland and how he thinks, it would be wise to see these two show up, as well as a few others, to better explain how things turn out the way they do. 

inspired by the novels

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