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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Dark Bomb is Coming

Well, the writing is on the wall. The Dark Tower, starring Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey and Abbey Lee has officially entered production.

Elba will be playing Roland, the Gunslinger. McConaughey will be playing the Man in Black and Abbey Lee will be playing the beautiful, demonic Tirana. In the next few weeks, we'll likely learn who has been cast as Jack, a the young son of a firefighter killed in 9/11, and I understand Eddie Murphy has entered talks to play Rocky, a street grifter whose main weapon is his mouth.

Now, I only made part of that up. I leave it to you to guess which part.

Now, I have kids, which means I often watch whatever they're watching on TV. A long while back when my two oldest were a teen and a preteen, they loved a show called iCarly, which was about a young teen girl who had a web show of her own. In one episode, a TV producer realized that teens, a highly sought-after demographic, loved Carly's web show, and made an offer to buy it and put it on television.

Little by little, they make change after change based on what they think sells, and by the time they're done, the show was now about an anthropomorphic dinosaur who lived with an average suburban family. In other words, it bore absolutely no resemblance to the web series it was allegedly based on.

From what I can tell, this is precisely what we can expect from The Dark Tower. I was worried from the initial announcement, years ago, just by the involvement of Ron Howard and Akiva "Bad Credit Card" Goldsman. I was sure they'd screw this up, and it looks like that's what they're doing.

At this point, the involvement of Elba and McConaughey aren't even the problem. It looks like whatever script they're using will allow perfectly for the two central roles to be completely re-written. I never bore Elba any ill will, and I still don't. He's a hot leading man right now, and this is a project being written for a hot leading man.

It is obvious to me that Howard, Goldsman, Grazer, et al, have about as much respect for the source material in question as the makers of Priest or RIPD did. While it's possible to make a movie that Men in Black), the makers of this movie apparently don't know, or don't care, how beloved this book series is.
ignores the source material and produce something good (witness

This isn't some sort of cult following, either. This is the defining work by one of the most popular and enduring authors of our age. This should be handled with the same sort of respect afforded the Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter film series. It is sad that a book series that has proved itself a complete flash in the pan (Twilight) got more respect, and more effort to be true to it, in its film adaptation than this series is going to get.

The bright side to this, the only bright side that I see, is that the film is going to bomb big time. Mark my words. The only difference between this and Heaven's Gate is that Heaven's Gate had a budget that spiraled out of control. I doubt that will happen here; in fact, this is going to look and feel like the cheap rip-off that it is.

After years of visualizing this character, I finally get to see her portrayed on screen!
This means that in five years it will be forgotten, and a real film version can be made.


  1. I hope it will be good. I fear it won't be.

  2. You'll have to explain the "bad credit card" moniker. I know Akiva Goldsman pretty much pulled A Beautiful Mind out of his ass as it pertains to the real story of John Forbes Nash, but other credits on his filmography don't look that bad.

    I can understand your apprehension about quality. MIB is a good example of very loose but still good adaptations. I'm sure I could think of a few others. I remember hearing about R.I.P.D. and thinking it sounded like a great premise, then the trailer came out with very little marketing effort, and it completely tanked both critically and commercially. I always hate to see good talent wasted, especially when it's Jeff Bridges (and now it's safe to say it, Ryan Reynolds too. I always believed in his talent).

    Also, Heaven's Gate is not nearly as bad as its reputation.

    1. When Goldsman goes genre, he turns out utter shit. He's the guy who wrote the script for Batman and Robin, which is where the infamous bat credit card appears. He also wrote Lost in Space.

      I haven't seen Heaven's Gate, only know its reputation. I have watched an online review which makes it look brain-killingly boring.