Few people strike fear in the heart of readers like Stephen King. His dark, mystical, sometimes alien, voice echoes into the depths of our collective, primal desire to flee from the unexplainable and malicious entities clawing at us from the shadows of our imagination. So you can imagine that a story set in a post-apocalyptic world could be interesting. Mix in a little inspired by the Lord of the Rings journey across said wasteland, a Robert Browning poem, Spaghetti Westerns and a threat to the space-time continuum, and you’ve got a recipe for one of King’s creepiest, longest-run series to date.
So, what is it about? The main Dark Tower website over at www.stephenking.com provides a succinct synopsis…
“The Dark Tower series tells the story of Roland Deschain, Mid-World’s last gunslinger, who is travelling southeast across Mid-World’s post-apocalyptic landscape, searching for the powerful but elusive magical edifice known as The Dark Tower. Located in the fey region of End-World, amid a sea of singing red roses, the Dark Tower is the nexus point of the time-space continuum. It is the heart of all worlds, but it is also under threat. Someone, or something, is using the evil technology of the Great Old Ones to destroy it.”
So I’d say it’s worth a sci-fi/horror readers time with a premise like that. In fact, the novels are so good, they’ve already been spawned into a critically acclaimed graphic novel. And although it strays from the source material, settle your nerd rage down, it packs an equally terrifying, engaging punch.
So, what’s the hubbub, Bub? Well, there have been endless talks about Ron Howard, King, and Akiva Goldsmith (learn that name!) adapting The Dark Tower into a film. Someday. You can bet a novel series that runs the length of almost two decades would be a difficult task to synthesize into a 2-hour film. Hell, even if it was a trilogy, it wouldn’t be enough to contain the poetry of such an epic storyline. And they’ve said as much. In fact, Howard recently went on the record stating that there is no definitive timeline for the project. Hollywood translation: Development Hell.
Well, where does that leave us? Hopefully, they wake up and realize the best place for a killer story like this is TV. And before you raise your nerdforks of doom, hear me out. Television has gotten really good (in places) over the last decade. I can easily see The Dark Tower on HBO. Dark anti-heroes, dusty landscapes, sexy men and women struggling to survive in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, mystical forces, scary creatures, political intrigue, and just filled with violence and a touch of humor.