As an avid Stephen King fan, 2017-2018 is going to be an exciting year with monumental movie adaptations. The sheer amount of popular adaptations is enough to make fans giddy, but what interests me is a new approach to bringing books to life, while remaining faithful to the source and even propelling it forward. Pacing of plot, and ever limited screen time, can be detrimental to character development and even the inclusion of all our favorite characters, events, and elements from a story. The Dark Tower series, Stephen King’s magnum opus, which spans eight novels, is finally coming to the screen. With a series that has content appearing in Marvel Comics, short stories, an online game, and tie-ins or references throughout the majority of King’s work, there are worlds upon worlds of content to tap into; and that takes time. Anyone who remembers the days of VHS rentals may have encountered King’s The Stand, which had to be rented in two packages of two VHS tapes. That was a single book, so in a time where attention spans and movies are running shorter than ever, how in the world will such a massive universe fit on screen? The answer hopefully comes from a new approach: having certain sections of the book series appear as movies, and other portions of deep character development take root in series for streaming video services. The key to success will be in the timing of releases, so as to not lose interest between movie and show, and also in maintaining a consistency and coherent cast, crew, and tone. Due to the nature of the mechanics of The Dark Tower universe, there will be creative license and the potential for new content in these adaptations.
With the ever expanding nature of streaming media, and more adaptations hitting the big screen, what stories would you like to see adapted? Do you think there is concern for the future of text as a media form when publishers are advertising their novels as precursors to adaptations, or encouraging readers to pick up a copy to read before seeing the movie or show? Ultimately should the stories themselves be able to stand independently without multimedia treatment?
Upcoming adaptations for 2017-2018:
The Dark Tower (Loosely based on events from The Gunslinger and The Wastelands, with new content.)
IT (Rated R this time, so more of the terrifying novel content can be brought to the big screen!)
Children of the Corn (Yes, another one!)
The Dark Tower (Focusing on Wizard and Glass, new actors will portray younger versions of the characters as well as the actors from the movies reprising their roles.)
(The photo is a still from the 2007 film adaptation of The Mist. It shows the protagonist painting a film poster of Roland Deschain, the hero of The Dark Tower universe.)