Stephen King made The Dark Tower movie interesting again with one tweet
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If you are a fan of Stephen King’s multi-novel epic tale The Dark Tower, you’ve probably been giving the film adaptation — currently in production with director Nikolaj Arcel (A Royal Affair) — a wary side-eye. The project was in development hell as far back as 2007, with Ron Howard pitching grand plans of a serialized, interwoven movie and television series and no one buying it. Then, suddenly, Sony had a “Dark Tower” film slated for February 2017, and Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey were cast and the movie was happening, even if fans were unclear just how much of the sprawling Dark Tower epic would make it into one film. We assumed it would be an adaptation of the first novel, The Gunslinger, but it turns out the truth is much more interesting.Stephen King and Nikolaj Arcel took some time from the Dark Tower production in Cape Town, South Africa to talk to Entertainment Weekly on a podcast. King revealed that the story will “start the same,” which implies Idris Elba’s Roland and newcomer Tom Taylor’s Jake will start like at the beginning of The Gunslinger, but King implies the story will jump ahead as well.Idris Elba on set as Roland.“I expect that the movie will start where the book starts,” King explained. “You know, ‘The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed,’ so I think that nails it right in place for people. I’ve been pretty insistent about that, and I think everybody’s pretty on board with it.” However, this might not an adaptation of The Gunslinger at all. King added: “It starts sort of the middle of the story rather than the beginning, which may upset some of the fans a little bit, but they’ll get behind it because it is the story.”We’re expecting a chase across the desert, but also to be dropped in the middle of a story? Skipping to a story in the middle would suggest something closer to an earlier draft of the movie by Akiva Goldsman and Jeff Pinkner, where much of the film was spent in our world with Jake trying to get back to Mid-Land.Even more puzzling, after Elba and McConaughey were cast as Roland and the Man in Black, the other casting hasn’t revealed an Eddie or a Susannah, or really any other characters we’d expect from a Dark Tower movie. Actress Abbey Lee was cast as “Trina,” and a character with that name doesn’t show up until the seventh book.If all of those references didn’t ring any bells, you might want to avoid the rest of this post, because things are about to get nerdy and spoilery for both the book and the upcoming Dark Tower movie.The aforementioned draft of a The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger by Akiva Goldsman and Jeff Pinkner was reviewed online by Quint from Ain’t It Cool News earlier this year and outlined what that “old” draft might have in common with whatever final film is being made. That review had the screenplay starting with the Man in Black in the town of Devar-Toi, not fleeing through a desert, but other details have lined up with the casting. This screenplay has Jake know he has to help Roland find the Dark Tower while Roland is consumed with revenge. As the report puts it: “Goldsman and Pinkner decided to fold in Jake’s journey to Roland’s world from The Wastelands (complete with the fight with the Guardian in the old haunted house) with his entry into The Gunslinger.”A new tweet by Stephen King looks like it could be confirming another detail about the movie and why it’s different than the book, and this one means that the major changes in the film version might coexist with the novel’s narrative.The Dark Tower is close, now. The Crimson King awaits. Soon Roland will raise the Horn of Eld. And blow. pic.twitter.com/rqGSKM3dWL— Stephen King (@StephenKing) May 19, 2016Dark Tower fans will recognize the Horn of Eld, and object that Roland kept as he was sent from the Dark Tower at the end of the book back to the beginning of his journey. Roland doesn’t remember that he’s chased the Man in Black before, the only evidence he lived through the novels is that he has the Horn of Eld, which he doesn’t at the start of The Gunslinger.Stephen King saying Roland will blow the horn paired with the phrase “Last Time Around” is exciting. In short, it means the events of the novel happened, then the movie happened. Much like how JJ Abrams rebooted the Star Trek movie universe in 2009 by fracturing the timeline, this keeps the narrative of the book canonically separate from the movie (or movie series, if this does well).This time around, it sounds like Tull might be populated with Taheen, and Jake might be the one who knows what’s really going on. It had been a slight hope since the script report claimed Goldsman and Pinkner’s Roland also had the Horn of Eld.Whatever Dark Tower movie we get might not bear much similarity to the Dark Tower story that we read on the page, but we won’t be dealing with a direct adaptation. We can frame our expectations accordingly.