Some of Stephen King’s grand seven-book “The Dark Tower” series has its roots in the fantasy world J.R.R. Tolkien created (and Peter Jackson brought to life magnificently) in “Lord of the Rings." But the epic, winding, horrific journey of gunslinger anti-hero Roland Deschain – King’s most intriguing, deftly woven, exciting and tortured character – will, I predict, consign “The Lord of the Rings” three-film combined $3 billion box office total to the history books (and, also, with TV franchise revenues added in will also dwarf “Avatar’s” single-film $2.8billion figure too).
With NBC Universal’s announcement that it will be making a multi-media extravaganza of three feature films and, at least, two TV series in between each of the movie’s cinematic releases based on "The Dark Tower" books, comics and short stories, fans of his masterpiece will be jumping for joy.
All journalistic objectivity has gone out the window here, as I’m proud to call myself one of King’s “Constant Readers." I have been since I was a little boy, when I first sat in my room reading one of his other gigantic opuses, “It," and being emotionally moved/scarred and flabbergasted that books such as this could actually exist. That all-encompassing feeling of dark fiction-as-reality that King manages to produce in his work has stayed with me ever since.
So how does he do it?
Well, aside from it being the magic of a true writer’s talent that allows a reader to enter the world he creates wholeheartedly, it is King’s adept approach at mixing everyday American lives, nostalgia and tortured, insane characters with unexpected, tension-ratcheting situations of horror, despair and fantasy that make his stories irresistible.
I’ve read and enjoyed all of The Dark Tower series and these books, in particular, are beyond absorbing. They are so nuanced it’s easy to imagine that King walked the plains of the Badlands himself in another dimension, then came back to reality and wrote about his experiences meeting a lone gunslinger. With the amount of beer the writer himself admits he used to drink every day, this trip to another land is entirely possible on many occasions.
“The Dark Tower”books hijack your imagination and put you inside Roland Deschain’s dystopian world and the adventures he has there on his way to the fabled monolith that holds the centre of the universe and all its many worlds together, The Dark Tower.
“The worlds of Stephen King’s ‘The Dark Tower’ series are richly detailed, inter-locking and deeply connected,” said Akiva Goldsman, the screenwriter of both the NBC Universal movies and TV series. “By telling this story across media platforms and over multiple hours—and with a view to telling it completely—we have our best chance of translating Roland’s quest to reach ‘The Dark Tower’onto screen. We are proceeding with tremendous excitement, fidelity to the source material and, quite frankly, no small amount of awe at this opportunity.”
Fans who have bought and read the multi-million selling “The Dark Tower” books will be hoping that Goldsman, director Ron Howard and NBC Universal don’t mess up the unique fantasy epic King has created. My advice, as one of those fans, is Ron Howard must get “The Shawshank Redemption”and “The Green Mile” director Frank Darabont involved in production somehow. Darabont, I believe, more than anyone else who has adapted King’s books into movies, understands how to tell a Stephen King story brilliantly.
Aside from that, they must just let their imaginations run wild because I, for one, cannot wait to Walk the Path of the Beam with Roland when all the movies and TV series are released.