Building the Dark Tower: Part One – The Easy Part

As you may have read, Stephen King’s The Dark Tower is finally coming to a theater near you. And this isn’t just studio gossip— there’s a release date and a schedule and everything. It’s really happening.

Now, I have almost zero faith in Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, and Akiva Goldsman to pull this off, but I admit that I am intrigued.  The Dark Tower is full of weird, complicated twists and turns, plus a couple of important plot points that simply aren’t movie-friendly.  JJ Abrams couldn’t crack it. Frank Darabont couldn’t crack it. But Howard, Grazer, and Goldsman seem to think that they know how to make this bizarre, sprawling saga work onscreen.

And I figure that if those bozos can do it, I can too.

For those who haven’t heard, the seven books of The Dark Tower will be divided up between three movies and two TV shows, arranged like so:

Movie 1  >  TV Show Season 1  >  Movie 2  >  TV Show Season 2  >  Movie 3

It’s fairly ambitious and, I admit, a good start. The only thing we know about them for certain, though, is that TV Show Season 2 is going to focus on the Adventures of Young Roland.  Beyond that is anyone’s guess.

In an attempt to build my own Dark Tower movies, I’ll be listing out each of the seven books and all their major plot points (Read: Big Spoilers Ahead).  Next to each plot point will be my decision to Keep It, Cut It, or Mess With It and my reasons why.  Part 1 of this article (The Easy Part) is going to focus on Books 1-4: The Gunslinger, The Drawing of the Three, The Waste Lands, and Wizard & Glass.  Part 2 will focus on the last three books: Wolves of the Calla, Song of Susannah, and The Dark Tower.  I’ve decided to put these latter books in their own article because I see them being substantially more difficult to adapt and almost certainly more likely to blend into each other.

So, do I expect to be sharing khef with Akiva Goldsman when I’m done with this?  No way.  Do I expect my hypothetical adaptations will even wind up being close to the actual screenplays? Not really.  But I am fascinated by the idea that there are movies hiding in these books somewhere. Maybe there’s more room to play with the material than I’m willing to admit.  Maybe there are some elements that aren’t as critical as I’ve been pretending. Or maybe I’ve just forgotten the face of my father. Either way, I’m excited to try. Let’s dig in.

Book I: The Gunslinger

I see the Gunslinger an encompassing all of Movie 1.  It introduces our hero and his bond with one of our other major characters, as well as some strong imagery that helps set the stage for the world we’ll be traversing.  There’s also a great antagonist and a few memorable action sequences. There’s not really a whole lot of fat to trim. In fact, if we didn’t already know that most of the flashback stuff will be in TV Show Season 2, I would expect a number of them to show up here.

Important Stuff from The Gunslinger

  • The Man in Black Fled Across the Desert and the Gunslinger Followed – Keep it. If they drop the ball here, there are even bigger problems then I thought. Plus, the lonely desert journey is a natural title sequence.
  • Tull – Keep it. Tull is our first real introduction to Midworld. It shows us what a world looks like once it’s “moved on” and gives us our first glimpse into the similarities between Roland’s world and ours. The talk about people worshipping Amoco may be going too far too soon, but I really can’t wait to hear “Hey Jude” in the bar.  And, of course, the Slaughter of Tull is one of the book’s major action sequences, even if Roland doesn’t face much competition.
  • The Townsfolk of Tull – Keep ‘em. There aren’t a ton of these that are really fleshed out, but you need to recognize some of them or you won’t care when the shooting starts. Allie the barmaid will certainly make it in, though I wouldn’t be surprised if the business of “19” was dropped entirely. I hope Nort the weed-eater will be there, too.  If his living-dead man thing is played right (think Lazarus in The Last Temptation of Christ), then it will sell The Man in Black as a creepy dude, indeed.  I would also like to see Sheb the piano player, if only so we can see him again in Mejis. Sylvia Pittston will probably be trimmed, though. She may be in attendance but I don’t see her subplot surviving.
  • Farmer Brown & Zoltan – Cut ‘em. It could work as a framing device for part of the story, but they’re really pretty superfluous.
  • Cort and Roland’s Test of Manhood — Keep it. I don’t quite know where it would fall, but, persoanlly, this is my favorite part of the first book and probably in my top three favorite parts of the whole series.  However, it wouldn’t surprise me if it gets shunted to TV Show Season 2.
  • Jake at the Way Station – Keep it. How can you not?  It introduces a main character of the series, even if he winds up disappearing for a little while.
  • Jake’s Flashback – Keep it. It’ll be shorter and less graphic, of course, but this is the first time we learn explicitly that our world and Roland’s are connected.  Plus, we get to see Roland’s “walking bullet” trick and you can stick Walter and Jack Mort on the street corner (and you know you want to see that).
  • The Demon and the Jawbone – Cut it. It’s a plot point that really goes nowhere.  Maybe it’d be worth it if Roland had to use the jawbone to kill a lion or something, but, as it is, this is just one more thing to confuse people.
  • Hax the Cook – Cut it. This is an okay flashback, but not one that adds anything to the forward momentum of the story. We don’t need it.
  • The Sex Oracle – Mess with it. Because, seriously, Ron Howard isn’t going to let Roland trip on mescaline.  Kidding aside, this is something I would cut if it didn’t become so important later on. It’s actually still cuttable if they entirely drop the idea of Roland being Mordred’s father, but I don’t see that happening.  In the context of Movie 1, I see this as a good place to (1) give Jake the premonition he needs to begin fearing for his life and (2) maybe start introducing us to a bit of Roland’s past.  Perhaps this is a good spot for the Cort flashback and to talk about some Gilead stuff that we’ll get to see fleshed out later on.
  • The Subway Station – Cut it. If the filmmakers do their job right, we’ll understand the “the world has moved on” thing by this point in the movie. It could make an interesting setting for a different scene perhaps, but that’s about it.
  • The Caves and the Slow Mutants – Keep it. This will be the “Mines of Moria” of The Gunslinger.  It’s even structured like the Mines of Moria: lots of quiet walking, an attack by overwhelming numbers, someone falls down a hole, and then a hurried escape. Despite all my reservations, I can’t wait to see this.
  • Jake Gets Dropped – Keep it. It’s the crux of Jake and Roland’s relationship and it helps drive home that, protagonist or not, Roland isn’t the nice guy you wish he was. Not yet, at least.
  • Palaver with Walter, the Man in Black – Keep it. I’m sure this will be a lot more coherent than the vague mysticism of the book, but that’s a positive change as far as I’m concerned.  The main thing, of course, is to continue building up Roland’s ultimate quest for the Dark Tower and introduce The Prisoner, The Lady of Shadows, and Death (but not for you, gunslinger).

Book II: The Drawing of the Three

I have to imagine that The Drawing of the Three will be the main focus of TV Show Season 1. The extended running time will allow Eddie and Susannah to be introduced and go through all the evolutions they need to in order to become the gunslingers we’ll watch for the rest of the series.  If I’m right, Book II will be pretty much left alone.

Important Stuff from The Drawing of the Three

  • The Lobstrosities Eat Roland’s Fingers – Keep it. This is another iconic part of the series and the Lobstrosities are cool creepy crawlies that start this section off strong.  They help put Roland, who we’ve only seen thus far as a mega badass, in danger right from the start and their crippling venom helps set up the dire circumstances that keep the story moving.
  • The Drawing of The Prisoner: Keep it. Eddie Dean smuggling heroin on the plane is a great introduction to a great character, though I see Henry and most of the Brooklyn backstory getting axed. I’m curious how they’re going to handle Roland entering Eddie’s head, though. So much of it is internal that they’ll need some kind of device to help us follow what’s going on. Eddie Dean is also sort of our proxy in Midworld; he’s the guy we’re supposed to relate to. I can’t help wondering if that mean’s he’ll come from a present day setting instead of the 1980s.
  • Eddie Disappears His Heroin and gets Interrogated by TSA – Keep it. It’s not going to be long, but I think it will be funny.
  • The Naked Shootout at Balazar’s – Keep it. Balazar and Andolini are excellent minor villains and this will make a great action scene. I hope they keep Eddie in the buff—as Roland notes, the ability to fight naked says a lot about his character—but I’m not convinced that’ll happen and I won’t be heartbroken if it doesn’t.
  • Eddie’s Withdrawal – Keep it. This will be shortchanged for sure, but it’s Eddie’s major obstacle for Book II so they can’t cut it out entirely.
  • The Drawing of The Lady of the Shadows – Keep it. This is another fun introduction, but it’s pretty short and sweet. No reason to change it as far as I can see.
  • Odetta Holmes – Keep ‘er. Odetta is pretty easy, really. She’s young, beautiful, and high-minded.  If there is any trick to her, it’s establishing how useless she is in Midworld while still getting the audience to fall in love with her. I can’t help wondering if they’ll cast an actual legless actress—it’s a dream role for a black, handicapped woman. I imagine they won’t though.
  • Detta Walker – Keep ‘er. Detta is a whole other can on beans, but she’s really pretty easy, too. Just make her as nasty, evil, and deadly sly as possible.  The only tightrope they have to walk here is in how much they indulge her “southern black lady” caricature.  The book does it intentionally, but I don’t think we’ll have time to establish the reasons why. Without those, it just comes off looking offensive.
  • Odetta’s Flashbacks: The Brick and the Subway – Keep ‘em. These will probably be trimmed down to the barest minimum, but I like to think they’ll still be there.
  • Eddie and Odetta Fall in Love – Keep it. It’s important to both characters and every epic needs a love story.
  • The Pusher: Jack Mort – Mess with it. Like everything else on the list for Book II, Jack Mort is too important to the story to cut, but unlike everything else, he can be toyed with a lot more than Eddie, Detta, or Odetta since he isn’t getting out alive.  He needs to be on the corner with Jake in order to set up Book III, but the rest of his rampage can be condensed or expanded as much as the screenwriter wants. I think this will be a lot of fun to watch, especially if they get an actor who does a good Roland impression.
  • The Drawing of Susannah – Mess with it. I think. The merging of Detta and Odetta into Susannah is obviously one of the big climaxes of The Drawing of the Three, but I’m not exactly sure how they plan on doing it. Trying to explain that Detta and Odetta need to see each other through a door and fuse their minds together is a hard conversation to have onscreen. In a book, you can take the time to examine the idea and pick at it a bit. On TV, it’s got to be something the audience can understand and accept as quickly as possible. I dunno about this one.

Book III: The Waste Lands

It’s always possible that this will get folded into the first season of the TV show too, but The Waste Lands feels like such a different animal than The Drawing of the Three and has so many big setpieces that I can only really picture it as its own movie.

Important Stuff from The Waste Lands

  • Roland Goes Insane – Keep it. The Drawing of Jake is probably the major plot point of The Waste Lands (unless they completely mess with the end of Book II and Draw him there, but I hope not), and this is where it starts. I really like the idea of Roland suffering repercussions for saving Jake in The Drawing of the Three. It presents a very different sort of obstacle for him to deal with and I like that he still suffers negative consequences as a sort of punishment for dropping Jake way back in Book I, even if he’ s tried to make amends.
  • Shardik – Keep it. A humongous, rampaging cyborg bear?  Total movie moment. Eddie and Susannah get to step up and start acting like heroes, plus we hear the most badass recitation of the gunslinger litany ever.
  • Eddie and Susan Learn About the Beams – Mess with it. We’ve established our hero and found most of our cast, so it’s time to really start focusing on The Dark Tower and what it means. We need to know all about the Beams, the Breakers, and probably The Crimson King.  Even though a lot of the details are still intangible at this point in the book, the movie needs to put them front and center for the audience to start digesting.
  • Jake Goes Insane – Keep it. Jake’s mounting insanity is just as important as Roland’s, if only to show us that they’re not redrawing him into Midworld solely for Roland’s own selfish reasons.  However, Jake’s story in Book III is also my biggest fear for the saga, because what’s the easiest way to shorten up The Dark Tower?  Cut out all of the New York stuff.  It would castrate the story, of course, but eliminating New York (except for the Drawings) trims the plot to something much more manageable.
  • Elmer Chambers, The Piper School & Jake’s Final Essay – Cut it. I like the bits of Book III that involve Jake suffering his way through normal life, but I doubt we’ll see much of it.  I also love his final essay, but it’s probably gone, too. It might make a good title sequence, however, if they started Movie 2 in Jake’s New York then transitioned into Roland, Shardik, and the Beams.
  • The Manhattan Restaurant of the Mind – Mess with it. This is another important section in the book but I’m not sure how it’s going to translate. Calvin Tower and Aaron Deepneau may not get cut entirely, but they’re certainly getting squashed.  Jake could simply grab his backpack when he leaves for school and discover he’d gone crazy and jammed all kinds of junk in there, including Riddle-De-Dum and Charlie the Choo-Choo.  Deepneau introduces the idea of riddling into the story and I’d like to see that stay, but it could just as easily come from Roland after Jake pulls the riddle book from his bag.  Cal Tower becomes important as well (assuming New York doesn’t get totally axed), so it would be nice to see him here first, but this part of the story could really go any number of ways.
  • The Vacant Lot and the Rose – Keep it. Showing the power of the Rose and how it’s existence is intertwined with the Tower will be tough to develop onscreen, but if the New York story is going to exist at all, then it’s got to be included here.
  • The Keys – Mess with it. Eddie and Jake’s keys will be needed if the plot of Movie 2 follows the book, but the keys will probably do a heck of a lot less. No magic hypnosis or anti-insanity powers. I think it’s enough that they open doors.  And the whittling gives Eddie something to do during the first half of the movie.
  • Young Henry and Eddie – Cut it. I love Jake tailing young Eddie to Dutch Hill, but it may be asking too much for it to show up in the movie. More likely, Jake’s key is going to have an address imprinted on it or something. Cutting this would also allow either Eddie or Jake to be Drawn from present day instead of the 1970s or 1980s.
  • The Mansion, The Speaking Ring, and the Drawing of Jake – Keep it. Jake running from the Gatekeeper is classic movie stuff and Eddie fumbling with the key on the other side will add a nice bit of tension. Susannah getting raped by a demon… well, that’s going to raise some eyebrows at the MPAA.  I’m not sure they can change it, though. I expect this will go down pretty much the way it does in the book.
  • Jake befriends Oy – Keep it. The discovery of Oy is light and funny and a nice comedown from a tense scene, especially considering the dark stuff that happens in the Speaking Ring.  Plus, Oy lets the filmmakers cash in on billy-bumbler dolls.
  • Charlie the Choo Choo – Keep it. I think. For me, the illustration of Charlie and Engineer Bob is one of the most memorable parts of The Waste Lands and I would hate to see them cut. I suppose it can be argued that Charlie the Choo Choo doesn’t really add anything specific to our story besides foreshadowing Blaine the Mono, but I have a feeling that we’ll see a little Charlie cartoon anyway.  If Blaine is still going to be our big cliffhanger, we’ve got to start building him up as soon as it’s feasible.
  • Riddle-De-Dum – Keep it. Like Blaine, the idea of riddles and their deadly importance in Midworld needs to be pushed if the cliffhanger is going to have any impact at all. It may need to be introduced even earlier than this, but the ka-tet discussing Riddle-De-Dum is a good place to keep the notion alive and, of course, for Eddie to get yelled at for telling bad jokes.
  • River Crossing – Cut it. For now. It’s a pleasant section of book, but not a lot happens in River Crossing. Roland gets his silver cross from Aunt Talitha, of course, and I like the little window we get into the way things were (namely, that gunslingers are more than men who sling guns), but it slows down a story that needs to start building steam. I have other ideas for it, though. River Crossing may still make an appearance.
  • Lud – Keep it. If the caves and the slow muties were The Gunslinger’s Mines of Moria, than Lud is The Waste Lands’ Helm’s Deep. If you make the Grays and Pubes a little less pathetic, then Lud becomes a deathtrap for Roland, Eddie, Susannah, and Jake.
  • Jake’s Kidnapping – Keep it. Gasher is a memorable love-to-hate-him character and it allows both Roland to be a bad mofo and Oy to prove himself as something more than a fuzzball sidekick.
  • The Tick Tock Man – Keep ‘im. A giant barbarian despot with a machine gun? Yes, please.
  • The Cradle of Lud – Keep it. The Cradle of Lud is a rather quiet place in the book, but I like the idea of Eddie and Susannah perhaps holding off the hordes here while waiting for Roland to come back with Jake. And, of course, we get introduced to Blaine and his first “my pump primes backwards” riddle, which would be neat to see them solve in the heat of battle.
  • Richard Fannen saves The Tick Tock Man – I don’t know. This really depends on what the filmmakers want to do with the final movie. I pretty firmly believe that Tick Tock is not going to reappear during Wizard and Glass, but I’ll talk more about that later.  He’s a great villain, though, and if they wanted to bring him back during the last film, I wouldn’t object. If they’d rather just kill him off here? Well, I’m cool with that, too.
  • Blaine the Mono and the Trip Through the Waste Lands – Keep it. Little Blaine may not make the cut, and I’m worried that the Waste Lands themselves may get chopped to a few quick panoramas, but Big Blaine will certainly be there.  The riddle contest will be a great lead-in to TV Show Season 2.

Book IV: Wizard and Glass

The only thing we really know for sure about where the Dark Tower movies are headed is that TV Show Season 2 is all about young Roland, which means most of Wizard and Glass is going to be located here. I also imagine the flashback stuff will all be pretty close to the novel, so there won’t be much in the way of commentary on them.  How much of the present-day story survives is still very much up for debate, though.

NOTE: I also believe that the excellent Robin Furth and Peter David comic series is supposed to show up (crosses fingers for an Aileen cameo), though I don’t want to start getting my hopes up for the Fall of Gilead or Jericho Hill.  It would be cool, though.

Important Stuff from Wizard and Glass

  • The Riddle Contest – Keep it. Admittedly, people taking turns talking to an insane computer may not be the most compelling stuff to film, but if it’s done well, this will be Eddie’s shining moment in the series. I’m curious, however, if this will start TV Show Season 2 or open Movie 3. It could also be collapsed into Movie 2, but I think it would likely be overshadowed by the gunfights in Lud.  The sequence has a better chance of succeeding if stands apart from what came before it.
  • Topeka – Keep it. Maybe. If the frame-story of Book IV survives at all, then there’s a chance that Kansas and The Stand will still make a cameo appearance.  I’d say there are good odds, though, that Topeka will get cut and the present-day stuff will instead involve some version of River Crossing or Calla Bryn Sturgis from Book V.
  • Roland and the Whore – Cut it. I don’t see our 14-year-old hero bedding a prostitute on television.  I think they can just cut right to the conversation he has with his father.
  • Cuthbert and Alain – Keep ‘em. Because these two are part of the reason people read the books, even if they don’t actually get much face time.  Honestly, I’d be pretty happy if the filmmakers dropped out of these movies entirely and just gave Cuthbert and Alain their own buddy-cop series. Or maybe a TV show they have to share an apartment.
  • Messrs Will Dearborn, Richard Stockworth, and Arthur Heath — Cut it. Roland and his friends taking on fake names is easy in a book, because you can always refer to them by their proper names in everything except the dialogue. Spending almost an entire TV show—the only part of the story where these characters appear—calling them by another name may be a bit too confusing. But maybe I’m not giving the audience enough credit.
  • Susan Delgado – Keep ‘er. Not much of a plot otherwise, right? I imagine, however, they might age her (and the rest of the cast) up a little bit. It hurts the innocence of the story, but if our characters are juniors in high school, it looks like more of a torrid love affair an less like a couple of tweens getting their rocks off.
  • Maerlyn’s Grapefruit – Keep it. The Grapefruit is the “One Ring” of our story in Mejis. It’s dangerous and addictive and corrupts everything it touches. We need to understand that if they want us to take Black 13 seriously later on.
  • Rhea of the Coos – Keep ‘er. Besides just being a great creepy character, Rhea is the “Gollum” of Wizard and Glass. You can tell us about the evil of the Grapefruit all day long, but until we see the toll it takes on her, we won’t really believe you.
  • Susan Gets Examined — Keep it. You can bet this will be trimmed to hell, but this is just an incredibly disturbing scene and it lays out the wrongness of Susan’s whole situation perfectly.
  • Roland and Susan Fall in Love – Keep it. I realize how silly it is to cram such a gigantic portion of the book under a single, broad heading, but I think this is all going to be kept pretty much the way King wrote it. Their first meeting in the moonlight, the second meeting at the party, the secret trysts, the whole thing. It could be done differently, of course, but, since they have an entire season of TV to tell the story, I don’t think much will change.
  • Susan is Sold as a Gilly – Keep it. The selling of Susan is the pivot of our love story, of course, but I think this is an important factor in establishing our antagonists, too. People who think this little arrangement is a good idea will ultimately fall into the bad guy camp.  Those who think it’s wrong (even if they don’t speak up) you can count on as good folks.  Hart Thorin, for example, comes off as goofy and genial most of the time. Everyone loves him. But you only need to see him horn-dogging around Susan for thirty seconds before his creepy and selfish nature starts to take over.  He’s not one of the good guys, no matter how much he looks like a kindly old uncle.
  • Eldred Jonas, Clay Reynolds, and Roy DePape – Keep ‘em. Rhea is a wonderfully creepy old witch and Aunt Cordelia and Hart Thorin are weasels, but Jonas and his gang are the only physically dangerous people we meet in Mejis, not to mention the most overtly villainous. We’ve also only ever seen good-hearted, friendly ka-tets. The Big Coffin Hunters aren’t ka-tet precisely, but they’re as close to “Mirror, Mirror” bizarro-gunslingers as we get to see.
  • The Mexican Standoff in the Bar – Keep it. This is one of the best scenes in Book IV and there’s no way it’s getting cut out of the show. It’s also Cuthbert’s big Hero moment, and, if he isn’t already a teen heartthrob by this point, I think this scene will push him over the edge. Yes, I honestly believe this.
  • Sheemie Ruiz – Keep ‘im. In story full of real bastards, Sheemie is a cute, honest character. His role in the events may get chopped up, but I’m sure he’ll be around, tagging along at Cuthbert’s heels.
  • Cuthbert Punches Roland – Keep it. Like the love story, this whole “breaking of the Tet” is already pretty well-plotted and I don’t think there will be any major differences. In fact, seeing the unspooling of Cuthbert and Roland’s friendship onscreen might help drive home just how irresponsible Roland has become.
  • Citgo – Keep it. No oilfields, no big explosion at the end. The theft of the oil tankers is a plot point that the audience may need to be led to by the nose, but it stays.
  • Hart Thorin’s Murder and the Tet Gets Castled – Keep it. I’m lumping this all together again and I apologize, but this really comprises a bunch of little things that I think will be adapted faithfully and don’t really need their own entries.  Susan joins up with the boys, Hart Thorin gets killed, Roland and Co get arrested, Susan saves them. It’ll all be there.
  • The Shootouts Against Jonas and Farson – Mess with it. I was surprised when I reread Wizard and Glass and discovered that there are actually two big battles at the end of the Mejis story: first against The Big Coffin Hunters and the Horsemen’s Association, then later against Farson’s men in Eyebolt Canyon with the thinny and all the explosions. The series is going to have to combine them both or cut one out. I suppose it’s easiest to cut out the Horsemen’s Association and stick Jonas in Eyebolt with Farson’s men.  Both battles are quite cool, however, and losing either one would be a shame. I just don’t see any other way around it.
  • Char You Tree – Keep it. Rhea may not be hypnotizing Cordelia into anything, but there are two things you can be absolutely certain of seeing during this series: Roland is going to fall in love and Susan Delgado is going to be burned at the stake. It’s the emotional climax of our story and it needs to be devastating. I think if this is done right, it will also be creepy as hell.
  • Roland’s Trip through the Wizard’s Glass – Mess with it. Like the palaver with Walter in The Gunslinger, I think this will be a good deal less vague and mystical, but it will definitely be there. Roland sees what happened to Susan, he learns about the peril of the Dark Tower, and I’m betting they’ll incorporate some of the Crimson King stuff from the comics, too.
  • The Wizard of Oz – Cut it. Back in present day, our ka-tet walks through a production of The Wizard of Oz, complete with ruby slippers and an emerald palace. There is no way this is making it onscreen. No way.
  • The Return of The Man in Black – Mess with it. I’ve never liked the idea that The Man in Black was simultaneously Walter O’Dim, Martin Broadcloak, Richard Fannen, Randall Flagg, and John Farson. It just feels like bad storytelling. If this particular encounter happens, it may go down pretty similarly to what happens in the book, but I think they need to seriously whittle down just who and what The Man in Black is. Or at least they need to stop giving him so many names.
  • The Return of The Tick Tock Man – Cut it. This has always disappointed me. Tick Tock is a great character and I was very excited to see him saved by The Man in Black at the end (My life for Yoooouuu!) of The Waste Lands.  But then, all he does is show up at the end of Book IV and get killed. If Movie 2 leaves him dead in Lud, that’s fine by me.  If they do bring him back, however, I think they need to save him for something more interesting in Movie 3.
  • The Tet’s Trip Through the Glass and Young Roland kills Gabrielle Deschain – Cut it. If TV Show Season 2 decides to dive into the comics or some of the other brief flashbacks we see, this final bit of business may be necessary.  If the story stops with Wizard and Glass, though, I think there’s a better place to end before here.  Our tet may may still go on a trip through the Wizard’s Glass, but I have to believe there are more important things for them to learn if they plan on wrapping up the story in only 1 more film.

Whew, that was a lot of material to cover. As the title says, however, it was the Easy Part. In fact, when The Dark Tower was only four books long, I was a huge fan of getting it on film. But the next three books are when the story gets weird—and when the story gets weird, the idea of a movie starts to feel ridiculous. Lucky for us, ridiculous is where I live.

We’re still a long way from the Tower, Constant Reader, so grab your gunna and stay tuned for The Dark Tower II: Dandelo Boogaloo!  Coming soon!  [UPDATE: CHECK IT OUT HERE!]


  1. I recently started reading the Dark Tower series and am quite amazed and really hope they pull this one off. I like to be optimistic about how they will do justice to the series. Im now in the middle of book 3. savoring every bit.

    happy reading!

  2. I hope they choose up & comer Shiloh Fernandez for Cuthbert Allgood in the live adaptation he fits the dark mysterious teen heartthrob so perfectly

    • Can you or anyone else send me a link to anything about the adaptation or any news or rumors that this is going to happen?? I say start with ” The Wind Through the Keyhole” – It’s a perfect set up for the rest of the 7. In my humble opinion, but I am also bias a bit, because that is how I started and fell in love with this series…. so far.

    • I always felt bad for ol’ Bert…always second place for Cuthbert, and then, just because Roland happens to meet Susan first, he gets the girl! She even has THAT precise thought in the book when Cuthbert smiles sweetly at her: “If I had met this one first–” and then she abandons that line of thought.

  3. First of all, very good write up and I must say I wasn’t aware this story was back in the works for production.

    To say I’m cautiously optimistic about this probably isn’t very accurate. King movie adaptations are seldom great; although I think Shawshank Redemption was superb. A good example of what shaky ground we’re on would be the adaptation of King’s “It”, where part 1 with Pennywise was pretty damn good and then part 2 just left me scratching my head wondering if two different directors were involved.

    The Dark Tower series is amazing. It may not be for everyone as King can tell a tale and then some; he may not finish every story perfectly but his skill conveying the story matched with the reader’s imagination goes very far. I don’t see a movie/series/movie/series coming anywhere near what I imagined reading the series. I also enjoyed the audio book versions with Frank Muller who added a fantastic interpretation of character voices before his passing. George Guidall finished the series and although not as theatrical as Muller, he did a pretty good job. But to put this story before my eyes with all I’ve imagined? Oh boy. To say I’m cautiously optimistic would be wrong, more like terrifyingly-afraid-of-what-they’ll-do-to-the-story-but-I’ll-still-watch-it-anyway is more accurate. Remember what happened to The Stand?

  4. By the way, very nice work with this analysis. I’m very impressed (I keep itching to say “young man” after it but I don’t know how old you are — however, it’s kindly meant).

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