Go Then, There Are Other Worlds Than These…
It’s always interesting to be in the aftermath of something that didn’t live up to your expectations. Now that we live in a post Dark Tower movie world, I’m struggling with what I thought of the movie. Of course, I didn’t think it was a great adaptation, or one even worthy of the name The Dark Tower, but it’s also not as terrible as the reviews would have made it seem. Sony, director Nikolaj Arcel, and even Stephen King himself have made it known the plans for this franchise, but now that the dust has settled and the movie is out, I’m left with one question: what now?
Mere hours before the Thursday previews began (and after the reviews hit), Sony made a lot of noise announcing that their spin off TV show, based off the fourth book in the series Wizard and Glass, found a show runner in The Walking Dead’s Glen Mazzarra. Despite saying that the TV series would “follow the books as closely as possible”, I’m still not sold on this idea. For one, it seems awfully convenient for Sony to announce this right after the brutal reviews hit for the movie, and also, there’s no network attached to the series, so it’s entirely possible that this will never see the light at day.
But, a TV show could be just the thing to right the Dark Tower ship. While the movie is okay, it’s not nearly as good as the source material deserves. Marvel had great success adapting Wizard and Glass for the Gunslinger Born miniseries. In fact, that miniseries served as my introduction into the world of Dark Tower. As much as I love The Gunslinger, it is a lot easier to set up the series for regular audiences by showing the adventures of Roland as a teenager and introducing Mid-World before it all gets destroyed.
But if I’m being honest, the under performance of The Dark Tower could taint the brand for quite some time. Perhaps it’s better for all involved if the franchise is put on the shelf for a few years and then adapted again. It worked for the Hannibal Lecter franchise and Westworld, so I can’t help but think that it wouldn’t work well for Dark Tower either. A channel like HBO, Starz, AMC, or FX would be able to give the story the length it needs to hook audiences, and provided they can give the project the budget it needs, could be a sizeable hit.
While it’s a bummer that Dark Tower wasn’t the movie I was hoping for, at the very least it’s gotten the name into the public consciousness and has maybe gotten a few people to read the series. Who knows, maybe one of those people will grow up to be a creative force in Hollywood that can get the right financial backing to give the series the adaptation it deserved the first time around.
After all, there are other worlds than these.