Way back in February 2007, it was announced that J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof, the original team behind ABC’s mega-hit Lost, would be adapting author Stephen King’s seven book epic The Dark Tower into film, most likely as a series. News was trickling out on it piece by piece, even though not much was known as time went on, it was at least assumed that development would really pick up after Lost concluded in 2010 and Lindelof would have his hands free to work on the multiple scripts that would be required. Abrams was expected to possibly co-write the movies and direct all of them, something that would certainly take up much of his time, and for somebody who has multiple projects on his plate, including the sequel to his Summer hit Star Trek, and he has a tall order. But now it seems as if he won’t have to worry about that.
Speaking to MTV (via IGN), Abrams said that the movies probably won’t be happening, at least under his guise. According to the man himself, “The ‘Dark Tower’ thing is tricky,” he said. “It’s such an important piece of writing. The truth is that Damon and I are not looking at that right now.” Statements like these don’t bode well for the series’ future. At this point, nobody else has been heavily considered for making the series, although director Frank Darabont, who made arguably the best adaptation of King’s work with The Shawshank Redemption, has shown interest in making the movies, and even had his main character in The Mist, a movie poster artist, paint what is ostensibly the same artwork for the series. He’s earned his reputation as being one of the best people to adapt his work, although even for him this would be a great challenge. Hey, maybe this will take so long that by the time it comes out inter-dimensional monsters will have already attacked us! (Sorry.)
The biggest surprise for me is that it took Abrams and Lindelof this long to figure out to abandon the adaptation. I read the first two books in the series, and even as someone who enjoyed the books I read quite a bit, I had a feeling this would be hard to make into a movie, or even multiple movies. There’s a whole mythology to the series and it spans long periods of time that would require a crucial role to be very particularly cast. Not only that, but as I mentioned above, Abrams is a very busy man these days, and this would be at least another five years of his life spent on a new series. At the end of the day, that’s probably too much for him. What can you do but hope for more great work from this duo, only this time The Dark Tower won’t be one of them.
What do you think of this news? Have you read any of the books? Do you think a movie could be made from these books?
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