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The Dark Tower Movie Will Not Be a Direct Adaptation, and That's a Good Thing

Rumors are swirling that 'The Dark Tower' will not be following the original books, written by Stephen King.

The wheel of Ka is ever turning, fates are always in constant motion as life moves and brings people in and out of our lives. Situations change, but Ka remains. This is a sentiment that every fan of Steven King's The Dark Tower has held on to over the past decades as we've waited for the cinematic adaptation of this masterpiece to be developed. The production has seemingly been forever halted as numerous studios and directors have tried and failed, but now it seems that our patience has paid off since Ka never closes a door without opening a new one: all that's old will be renewed.

Director and co-writer Nikolaj Arcel (A Royal Affair) has stepped in to helm this epic project starring Idris Elba (Thor: Ragnarok, Prometheus) and Matthew McConoughey (Interstellar, Dallas Buyers Club) as Roland Deschain and Randall Flagg respectively.

If you didn't read the epic universe-hopping story of The Dark Tower, I suggest you start soon because the movie is in production and looks to be released in early 2017. The movie will follow the cryptic hero Roland Deschain, as he squares off against the villainous Man in Black in the pursuit of hope in a world that is falling apart. It's a story that stretches across several novels, and one that many believe to be Stephen King's piece de resistance.

The Dark Tower has had a controversial beginning to production that goes far beyond the decades of rotating studios and directors. Recent rumors and production reports have hinted towards the movie (movies, if this one is successful) not following the original books.

Up until recently these rumors have been largely unconfirmed, or even given a second thought; at least until EW featured both Steven King and Nicolaj Arcel and Arcel himself addressed the issue.

The hardcore fans of The Dark Tower series will know that this is actually a sequel to the books in a way. It has a lot of the same elements, a lot of the same characters, but is a different journey.

How is that possible?

** Novel Spoilers Ahead **

At the end of the novels it is revealed that Roland is stuck in an infinite cycle of sorts as he tries to reach and save the Dark Tower, which in fact is the source of creation for his and all universes. As we learn this we see Roland collect the Horn of Eld, which is key to completing his mission, and with this artifact the implication is that Roland should be able end the eternal cycle and finally complete his mission.

Considering that the novels left the ending fairly unfinished in a sense, it makes for a perfect setup for a Nikolaj and the team to create a new world that carries similarities to the original books to please longtime fans, while also being a new enough story to draw in new fans. This also give the movie some flexibility in how the story unfolds with it being a new journey towards the Dark Tower itself, leaving everyone guessing as to what's going to happen next. This unique approach to the story of The Dark Tower has even been approved by Steven King himself.

They sent me a number of different drafts and it came into focus, let's put it that way. I'm 100 percent behind it - which doesn't mean it necessarily will work, just that it's a good way to try and to get into these stories.

King has a point when he says that it's probably not the safest way to approach the story, but it's the best bet as to presenting a solid movie that isn't just a page by page retelling of the source material. Using the material of The Dark Tower as a source rather than as structure allows Nikolaj to tell the core of the story, and present the strangely beautiful world of The Dark Tower in a way that is unhindered by the works of Steven King.

No matter the changes being made to the film, ultimately Steven King has been a part of it, even going so far as to pen part of the script himself and praising Elba's casting.

I took a pen and cut Roland's dialogue to the bone. The less he says the better off, and why not? Idris Elba can act with his face. He's terrific at it. He projects that sense of combine menace and security. [Roland] is the Western hero, the strong, silent type: 'Yep,' 'Nope,' and 'Draw.'"
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The Dark Tower Movie Will Not Be a Direct Adaptation, and That's a Good Thing
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