I love fantasies like The Lord of the Rings and A Song of Ice and Fire, but when I was a kid the major fantasy series I grew up on was Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. The tragic tale of Roland and his motley group of adventurers trying to stop an evil sorcerer from using a fabled tower to control reality sounds like something straight out of a D&D session. I loved reading about Blaine the Train, the Wolves of the Calla, and the 13 orbs of Maerlyn’s Rainbow. The series is fantastic and well worth a read, which is why so many people have tried to make the series into a film–unfortunately to no avail. That is why it is so exciting that recently it was announced that Nikolaj Arcel would be directing the first film to be shot in the series!
And by the way, it just started filming in Cape Town in South Africa.
Set to premiere in January 2017, The Dark Tower film will start somewhere in the middle of the series and star Jake as the main character instead of Roland. Sadly, Eddie and Susannah won’t be making an appearance. I’m not sure how this film will play out, but I am keeping my fingers crossed that it will do a good job of representing one of my favorite book series ever. While I can’t wait for the film as a whole, there are a few things I am chomping at the bit to see realized.
The relationship between Jake and Roland
Roland and his friends form what is called a Ka-Tet, a group of people that are summoned by the mysterious force of existence and is pretty much an adventuring party. In this movie, it seems like we will only get to see Roland and Jake, so the Ka-Tet won’t be complete, but in the books Jake becomes like a son to Roland. Tom Taylor will be playing Jake Chambers and while he is still pretty new to acting, Idris Elba, the actor chosen to play Roland, is absolutely fantastic so I think we are going to get some real feels out of these two.
Image Credit: Marvel
If the movie doesn’t have Oy in it, I might just pitch a fit. The adorable and loyal billy-bumbler was one of my favorite characters in the books. Stephen King describes billy bumblers as “a combination of badger, raccoon, and dog, have a limited speaking ability”. I hope they find a good way to create Jake’s strange little companion. Adding stripes to a Tanuki will probably look better than a poorly rendered CGI.
Reading the Dark Tower as a kid the phrase “Dad-a-chum? Dum-a-chum? Ded-a-chek? Did-a-chick?” could give me nightmares for a week. Lobstrosities are odd crustaceans that look like a lobster made love to a scorpion. They are four feet of angry, pinching horror and they crop up several times in the various books to tear people to shreds. Rumor is they might be making an appearance in the film and, if done well, they should be pretty disturbing.
Slow mutants are another group of monsters that the characters encounter. They are gruesomely mutated humans with skin that glows faintly in the dark. In the first book, Roland and Jake must travel by handcar through tunnels that run beneath a mountain. They end up being attacked by a pack of slow mutants, and I won’t spoil anything, but things go south pretty fast for the gunslinger and his boy.
Image Credit: Marvel
What would the tale of the gunslinger be without some badass gunslinging? Roland is the knight of this gothic-horror western and his weapons of choice are the Sandalwood Guns forged from the melted down steel of Excalibur. It is said he can reload his gun faster than the eye can see; he shoots with his mind and kills with his heart. I’m hoping for some awesome shootouts and dead-eye precision tricks in the upcoming movie.
While I worry the film can never live up to the books, I am really hoping that it will bring to life the characters I have loved and grown up with. I’ve always thought that each different adaption of the series should have a slightly different ending to honor the books , but we will have to wait and see what Nikolaj Arcel has in store for us.
What are you hoping to see in The Dark Tower? Do you think starting in the middle of the story is a good direction? Let us know in the comments below.
Featured Image Credit: Marvel