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  #1  
Old 06-07-2017, 12:36 AM
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Default Dark Tower Movie

I'd have put this under the Non- WOT books section, but it's about the movie. Kinda? All spoilers below are based on the books. I have no movie spoilers other than the first one released that doesn't make any sense as a spoiler unless you know the books anyway.

First, I adore the book series, have not problem with
Spoiler:
King putting himself into the series
and think that
Spoiler:
the revolving door aspect of the end was perfect.


Given all of that, I think that the fact that they've said that the movie is a
Spoiler:
sequel to the book series, rather than an adaptation
is brilliant.

I fully expect that much of the storyline is going to change based on the above - but I want the characters to still be the same people that I already love.

For instance
Spoiler:
I don't expect Roland to sacrifice Jake for the Tower - if he did, I couldn't accept the presumable end of cycle. If Roland hasn't learned enough to not proactively allow Jake to die, he hasn't earned an end. However, the idea that Roland has given up on his tower quest entirely makes him an entirely different character. And not a good one. He knows that the fall of the tower means the doom of multiple worlds. I worry that the creators of the movie don't understand the difference between "I won't sacrifice another for the common good" and "I won't sacrifice myself for the common good" One of them is human (and has the part that Roland lacked the last time around) and the other is a coward.


I'd love to think that they plan to
Spoiler:
have Jake sacrifice himself at the end of the first movie - the easiest way to move Roland into "give up almost, but not actually, everything needed to get to the tower" mode that he would need to be in for me to except his move forward. Or, perhaps they will totally surprise, and possibly delight, me, by having the end of the movie series also be an iteration of Roland's cycle rather than the end.

I guess I'm scared that they will do one of two things - they'll water down Roland's character enough that I don't believe it's him or they will keep enough of his characterization that I don't believe that he will have earned the right to move on.


I wish I knew which one scared me more - I expect at the end of the first movie, I'll have an idea.

Yeah. That's mostly spoiler text. But really, if you want to watch the series, I'd suggest reading the books anyway. (Really, it's not like we can't handle long series. And this one's already done.)
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Old 06-07-2017, 11:31 AM
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First, I adore the book series...
I loved the series to, but mostly just the first four books. Wolves of the Calla was okay, but from there it really came off the rails. It was especially the first and the fourth book that made the series memorable though in my opinion, and on that point...

Quote:
I'd love to think that they plan to
The danger of this is potentially killing what made that first book so special - the tragedy, and especially the tragic flaw in Roland himself. Take that away, and you take away not just the tragic beauty of that first book, but also so much character development for Roland throughout the subsequent books. It was a similar element that made that fourth book so great - Susan Delgado.

Take a comparison to WoT. So much of what made the series so great also was key moments of beautifully crafted tragedy - Lord Ingtar's confession and sacrifice at Falme, Moiraine's sacrifice at the Docks. That last one, coupled with her letter, was WoT at its best. Unfortunately, the beauty of that tragic scene was cheapened by the way they cheated her out of her tragic death. Min's foretelling could have far more artfully have been fulfilled by having her and an also dead Thom (preferably giving him too a tragic demise say somewhere in books 7-10 to save either Elayne or Mat) return at the close as Heroes of the Horn.

I suppose you could argue that Jake sacrificing himself could serve a similar purpose, but it had been Roland's flaw that made that scene both so powerful and so believable. I don't think it would be possible to craft that scene credibly with Jake sacrificing himself. If Roland doesn't sacrifice Jake, instead we risk sacrificing his obsession with the Tower itself.
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Old 06-07-2017, 12:02 PM
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I haven't read the books in 5 or 6 years although I do remember 1 and 4 also being my favourites of the series. I didn't necessarily mind how off the rails it got in 6 and 7, but I do remember thinking that it seemed to jump the shark in some aspects. I didn't like that RF kind of just died out of nowhere and then Crimson King was the 'Bad Guy'. I don't remember details so I might be way off about it being out of nowhere, but one of my main draws to the series was RF being who he was, with The Stand being maybe my second favourite King novel.

I'm so far, less and less excited with every thing I see about the movie. I actually think the casting of RF and Roland are great, but I think it's entirely possible to keep Roland the anti-hero, self-serving guy he is in book 1 while following the 'lore' and having it be a sequel of sorts.

I remember the end of book 7 had him restarting his journey, this time with the Horn of Eld, showing that his next time around the block had him learn just a little bit more. But not an entirely different person.

I'm worried he's going to be a regular hero. I'm worried he's going to have a bombastic fight with RF.
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Old 06-07-2017, 12:15 PM
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I'm so far, less and less excited with every thing I see about the movie. I actually think the casting of RF and Roland are great, but I think it's entirely possible to keep Roland the anti-hero, self-serving guy he is in book 1 while following the 'lore' and having it be a sequel of sorts.

I remember the end of book 7 had him restarting his journey, this time with the Horn of Eld, showing that his next time around the block had him learn just a little bit more. But not an entirely different person.

I'm worried he's going to be a regular hero. I'm worried he's going to have a bombastic fight with RF.
Idris Elba might well end up being fine as Roland, but definitely not who I always pictured while reading the books. Albeit who I pictured isn't possible, since I always envisioned an early 1970s version of Clint Eastwood (basically like Josey Wales) as Roland. I actually think they would have been better off reversing the roles for McConaughey and Elba. At least they are both good actors.
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Old 06-07-2017, 02:39 PM
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since I always envisioned an early 1970s version of Clint Eastwood (basically like Josey Wales) as Roland. I actually think they would have been better off reversing the roles for McConaughey and Elba. At least they are both good actors.
I think that that is specifically what Stephen King has in mind as well, right? Especially the eyes and demeanor.

I have high hopes but only medium expectations for the movie. First off, it's a story that should be told through TV. It's just a better vehicle for telling these kinds of epic stories. Game of Thrones proved that you don't have to dumb down a series or make it more "conventional" for non-diehard fans to have it be successful. I like the concept of the sequel, that this is the next iteration in Roland's journey, so you can make minor changes and have it explained canonically, but it can't turn into a shoot-em-up or anything like that.
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Old 06-08-2017, 10:49 AM
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If they plan on having Roland break the cycle at the end of the series, I don't think that they can have him deliberately sacrifice Jake. He needs to earn the end of his torment.

RF's death is almost unforgivable. I started a reread months ago, got to that part of book 7 and still haven't picked it up again, because it is such crap. I get where King was trying to go with all of the scary evil guys either going down fairly easily or are so incredibly insane that they can no longer affect anyone. With Mordred (I actually just tried to type Mordeth instead) and the Crimson King, it's fine - I don't have ties to them. Flagg has scared me since I was 10 years old and met him the Eyes of the Dragon. I have watched characters that I care about sacrifice and work hard to temporarily defeat him. His ending makes Peter and Larry and the rest lesser in the end.

As a note, my understanding is that book 4 is going to be told as a TV series.
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Old 06-08-2017, 11:31 AM
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I've read the books, and have always wanted a movie. At first I was unsure about Idris Elba as Roland, as that's not how I imagined Roland, for obvious reasons. That being said, Elba is a fantastic actor, and a badass, so he will do it justice.
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Old 06-08-2017, 11:33 AM
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I've read the books, and have always wanted a movie. At first I was unsure about Idris Elba as Roland, as that's not how I imagined Roland, for obvious reasons. That being said, Elba is a fantastic actor, and a badass, so he will do it justice.
Because's he's British, right? I mean, can't have those damned "Brits" taking our jobs, right?
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Old 06-08-2017, 05:36 PM
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Well, to come to Southpaw's defense, Roland is consistently compared to other white people. Not necessarily in skin tone, but the constant allusions for other reasons - well, I always mentally defaulted to picturing him as Caucasian as well.
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Old 06-08-2017, 06:16 PM
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I think that that is specifically what Stephen King has in mind as well, right? Especially the eyes and demeanor.
Yeah. In addition to King's explicit allusions to Roland = The Man With No Name (i.e. Clint Eastwood), Roland also is based on a historic figure, the Frankish knight Roland from both the Chanson de Roland, and even more so from Browning's poem Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came.

This doesn't need to be racist thing to have a predisposition to have seen Roland as a tall, middle-aged, white guy with blue "bombardier's eyes". That is, after all, how he is described. That said, choosing to have Roland be played by a black guy isn't a particularly big deal. But let's be honest, I think we'd all think it a bit weird if Rand al'Thor was played by a black guy.

It will be interesting to see if they decide to have Idris Elba wear blue contacts, or whether they will have him use an American accent.
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Old 06-08-2017, 06:28 PM
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The books were a mixture of awesomeness and disappointment. I expect the same for the movies.

The gunslinger's mantra is useful and often metaphorically applied in my day job.

Roland needs to go through the same cycle of sacrifices as in the books, or the story loses its power. He can reach certain realizations earlier, but the whole thing is meaningless without crossing the rail bridge to reach Man in Black and the end of his romance with young Susan. It would be like Wheel of Time without the fall of Manetheren. I need to see those moments and how he recovers.
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Old 06-08-2017, 08:31 PM
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I had never been a big SK fan, so I didn't read the Dark Tower until the last few months. I literally finished Book 7 on Tuesday, so it's pretty fresh in my mind. I probably still need a reread to really appreciate everything, too, so I guess my opinion isn't as informed as some others here.

My limited understanding of the movie (series?) is that it's a sequel. However, do we know if it's a reboot disguised as a sequel, or actually supposed to follow the canon (such as it is)?

For example, from the trailer, it looks like Roland, Jake, and RF seem to spend a lot of time in New York. Does that even happen in the books (all three of them)? Are Roland and Jake ever even in NYC at the same time? Am I completely misremembering the trailer? LOL

I guess my point is that worrying about specific sacrifices or whether certain scenes will be included may be off the mark. We may see allusions to scenes from the book, but I'm thinking we'll see wholesale re-adaptations instead.

I'm still processing my thoughts on the whole series and the ending, so I'll save that for another post.
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Old 06-08-2017, 08:52 PM
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My limited understanding of the movie (series?) is that it's a sequel. However, do we know if it's a reboot disguised as a sequel, or actually supposed to follow the canon (such as it is)?
Yes, which to be blunt has made me very hesitant about this endeavor, and perhaps why I had hesitated even to watch the trailer - until now. Yeah, this looks, at best, loosely based upon The Gunslinger. Which is not a good thing. It is also slightly odd considering how much in the past this exact kind of thing, of movies drastically ruining his books, seemed to piss off King.

Quote:
For example, from the trailer, it looks like Roland, Jake, and RF seem to spend a lot of time in New York. Does that even happen in the books (all three of them)? Are Roland and Jake ever even in NYC at the same time? Am I completely misremembering the trailer? LOL
No, or not exactly. Which is to say, not in The Gunslinger. Roland does enter NYC to retrieve Eddie (technically he enters Eddie while on a plane, but...), and then does likewise for Odetta, and then saves Jake from The Pusher. But none of those other characters are supposed to enter into the plot in the movie (though presumably will for the tv series). The trailer almost has the feel of them trying to combine the first three books all together for the movie, but without bringing in Eddie and Odetta.

That said, I clearly do not like the fact that it is going to be a "sequel". This feels like their lazy shorthand for splicing together the first three books for the movie (but w/o Eddie - hopefully they will at least bring Eddie, and Detta too I suppose, in for the tv series) seemingly so that they could jump immediately to Susan Delgado in the first season of the tv series.

If what they wanted so badly was a way to jump immediately to Wizard and Glass (which everyone seems to admit is the part of the novels that everyone realy loves - Susan Delgado), then why not just make that vignette into the movie?
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Old 06-08-2017, 10:40 PM
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Because's he's British, right? I mean, can't have those damned "Brits" taking our jobs, right?
Yeah, I hate Brits... But really, I'm a big Eastwood fan so I associate most western figures with him.
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Old 06-09-2017, 08:44 AM
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It sounds like it's a partial mix of books 1 and 7, actually. They've brought in the Dixie Pig and the Low Men for this story. Part of this might simply be that they've brought in Matthew Mcconaughey as the Man in Black and they want to beef up his role in the story to take advantage of it. As an unabashed Flagg fan, that could be good - especially as I can see the actor handling the role perfectly.

I don't think that they are trying to burn through books 1-3. If they were, they would have brought in Eddie and Susan. Especially seeing as Eddie is just about everyone's favorite character, from what I've heard. (The good news on that front, btw, Aaron Paul has been campaigning HARD for the job for years. He'd be perfect!) I also would be surprised if their thought was to get those out of the way to get to the "good" book 4 and put it on TV. Is book 4 the most popular one here? I've always thought that I was a little weird in DT fandom for even enjoying book 4, most people I talk to found the digression annoying. It's certainly not my favorite. I expect that the reason that one is being used for the television series is because you can use different, and less expensive, actors in the television show for that book. Idris and the kid that play Jake are supposed to be in it, but probably just in the frame story.

My guess would actually be that they are trying to burn through and ignore the first book as it is considered problematic. That one I've actually heard a lot of people say that they don't like. It also has the main character sacrificing a child, which is an awful hard sell as the beginning of your series. For a book series, the author name may pull some people back in to try the second book in the series even if they despise the main character. It seems to me that that's a harder sell in a movie.

That's not why I don't want to see it, though. If I believed that the cycle would end with Roland back in the desert again, I'd be all for it. I think that the reason that the cycle starts where it does is that that is the moment that dooms Roland. He can't have an end at the tower if he starts by sacrificing Jake. He could, at any time, cry off. He could even, after trapping the Crimson King, back off there. (This assumes that I'm remembering the exact end properly) He would have saved the tower, saved the worlds, and if he just backs away, he can live and die in his time without cycling again. In order to move forward, however, he needs to have not committed his original sin - he can't have killed Jake.

The books have the sequel idea built in to the ending. Roland is trapped in a cycle with the same ending every time - gaining the tower and being brought directly back to the desert to chase Flagg but nothing about that indicates that the cycle will be exactly the same. This is only strengthened by the idea that Jake, Eddie & Susan rather appear to be versions of Roland's earlier ka-tet in many ways.

Consider it like a very quick cycling of the wheel. Just because Roland starts at the same place - following the Man in Black across the desert, doesn't mean that all of the events will be the same. There will be some things that have to happen, but the cycle will be different.

ETA: It doesn't appear that I can edit the title of the thread. Is it possible for someone to put a note that there are open spoilers in it?
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Old 06-09-2017, 12:10 PM
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No, or not exactly. Which is to say, not in The Gunslinger. Roland does enter NYC to retrieve Eddie (technically he enters Eddie while on a plane, but...), and then does likewise for Odetta, and then saves Jake from The Pusher. But none of those other characters are supposed to enter into the plot in the movie (though presumably will for the tv series). The trailer almost has the feel of them trying to combine the first three books all together for the movie, but without bringing in Eddie and Odetta.
The only time I can remember Jake and Roland being actually together in the city is when they all go todash to see the rose together. I think that's in Wolves.

I just watched the trailer again. It does look like they combined a few things. The suggested narrative seems to take Jake's story at the beginning of Book 4 (going crazy, then eventually traveling to Mid-World via the scary house) and combine it with his first appearance in Book 1. That may eliminate the whole sacrifice angle, which would completely abandon one of the biggest plot points in the series.

Then Jake and Roland travel to "Earth" to fight the Man in Black. So who knows? The trailer might be a mish-mash.

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Originally Posted by JalynD
Is book 4 the most popular one here? I've always thought that I was a little weird in DT fandom for even enjoying book 4, most people I talk to found the digression annoying.
I can't speak for anyone else, but I thought the digression was probably the best writing of the series--or at least the most entertaining. Hmm, thinking back on it now, I wonder if there was some meta-foreshadowing to the later books. In one of the interludes, the characters all remark how compelling Roland's story was and how they were so engrossed they lost track of time. It's almost like there's magic at work.

At the time I was reading, I remember thinking SK was patting himself on the back (deservedly so).

Maybe he liked the idea of a story within the story so much that he took it to the next level and just added himself in as the actual author. LOL
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Old 06-09-2017, 01:12 PM
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I can't speak for anyone else, but I thought the digression was probably the best writing of the series--or at least the most entertaining. Hmm, thinking back on it now, I wonder if there was some meta-foreshadowing to the later books. In one of the interludes, the characters all remark how compelling Roland's story was and how they were so engrossed they lost track of time. It's almost like there's magic at work.
I wonder if part of the discrepancy is waiting. I believe that I started the series shortly after The Wastelands came out. I can remember laughing at the "The Teddy Bear gets it" story* with another fan. We all assumed that there wasn't ever actually going to be another book and that King was going to leave us stuck at the start of a riddle game with a psycho train for all time**.

Then we heard that book 4 was going to actually exist. When it didn't move the story forward at all, it was a let down. As I note, I actually liked Wizard and Glass, but I certainly understood people who were frustrated.

* Someone apparently sent King a photograph of a Teddy Bear in a noose and told him that if he didn't put out the next book "the bear gets it."

** Holy crap, I just looked up the actual publishing dates. Wizard and Glass was only 6 years after the Wastelands. I had remembered it as being over a decade. It's probably just that I was in such different places in my life when they were published. I was still in high school for Wastelands and already graduated from college when Wizard and Glass came out.
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