‘The Dark Tower’ – Not Quite An Adaptation

As part of their Comic-Con Preview, Entertainment Weekly got the first official looks at Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey in the upcoming film of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. Technically, it would be of volume 1 in King’s epic series of novels, The Gunslinger. Except it’s actually not either, because sharp-eyed fans noticed something about the initial concept piece run last week — in it, Elba as Roland Deschain, the Gunslinger, is carrying an item he doesn’t actually have in the novel — the Horn of Eld.

Idris Elba as Roland Deschain - image by Marco Grob for Entertainment Weekly

Idris Elba as Roland Deschain – image by Marco Grob for Entertainment Weekly

You might think this is ridiculous nit-picking, but it changes a lot of things for readers. And director/co-writer Nicolaj Arcel had to confirm that fans’ suspicions were true — that the film The Dark Tower isn’t a straightforward adaptation but almost functions as a sequel to the book series. If you’ve read it, and/or the Marvel Comics related to it, then you can understand how it can be both an adaptation and a sequel simultaneously, and that approach feels brilliant.

Telling the saga of Roland, a lone paladin protecting the Tower that binds all reality from the evil Man in Black (McConaughey), The Dark Tower also crosses over to our world, where young Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor) suffers visions of this other world, gifted with a “shine” that allows him to see beyond our reality. And that choice of “shine” is absolutely purposeful in King’s world.

Tom Taylor as Jake - image by Ilze Kitshoff

Tom Taylor as Jake – image by Ilze Kitshoff

It looks pretty cool, and you can see more preview images here. As happens any time a great book series makes the leap into movies, here’s hoping that it retains enough of the original flavor to please fans, but also attracts enough new audience to continue the saga. There are seven potential films here, and I’d ride across the desert to see them. For I remember the face of my father.

Matthew McConaughey as the Man in Black - image by Ilze Kitshoff

Matthew McConaughey as the Man in Black – image by Ilze Kitshoff

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About Derek McCaw
In addition to running Fanboy Planet, Derek has written for ActionAce, Daily Radar, Once Upon A Dime, and The Wave. He has contributed stories to Arcana Comics (The Greatest American Hero) and Monsterverse Comics (Bela Lugosi's Tales from the Grave). He performs with ComedySportz San Jose and ShakesBEERience, in addition to occasional screenwriting and acting jobs. If you ever played Eric's Ultimate Solitaire on the Macintosh, it was Derek's voice as The Weasel that urged you to play longer. You can buy his book "I Was Flesh Gordon" on the Amazon link at the right. Email him at editor@fanboyplanet.com.