Few Stephen King narratives are as beloved as his Dark Tower series, spanning multiple novels and exploring horror, fantasy, and drama in ways only the author could, making fans immensely excited for the 2017 feature-film adaptation, only to result in both critical and financial disappointment. One of the producers of that film, Akiva Goldsman, recently expressed his regret over the project, which had toyed with a TV series crossing over with films in hopes of capturing the sprawling nature of the series, similar to what other popular franchises have accomplished across other mediums. Sadly, even with the support of fans, Amazon Studios passed on a pilot for a Dark Tower TV series last year.
"I have a lot of regret about the parts of that that didn't work out," Goldsman shared with The Hollywood Reporter. "Our best version of that existed well before television-movie crossovers and streaming were a thing. I have a lot of affection for the books that didn't end up onscreen [in the 2017 movie The Dark Tower]. And [The Dark Tower producer] Ron Howard had this idea of what could be done across platforms — he didn't touch the movie, but sometimes things slip away. There are things about that [film] I still admire, and Idris Elba [played a] really wonderful Roland. I think there were too many different points of view — mine included — when it came to figuring out how to tell a cogent story onscreen, and we could have done better."
Ahead of the release of the film, King himself supported the endeavor, but with the film being developed before the release of the gruesome, R-rated IT adaptation, the studio played it safe and watered down the source material to make it more approachable to younger audiences, with King thinking this was what led to the project's shortcomings.
"The real problem, as far as I'm concerned is, they went in to this movie, and I think this was a studio edict pretty much: this is going to be a PG-13 movie. It's going to be a tentpole movie," King shared with Entertainment Weekly previously. "We want to make sure that we get people in there from the ages of, let's say, 12 right on up to whatever the target age is. Let's say 12 to 35. That's what we want."
He added, "So it has to be PG-13, and when they did that I think that they lost a lot of the toughness of it and it became something where people went to it and said, 'Well yeah, but it's really not anything that we haven't seen before.'"
Despite multiple setbacks and disappointments with the franchise, it seems unlikely that a new take on the material won't be realized at some point in the future.
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