Filming on The Dark Tower has been underway for a few weeks, and I am struggling between extreme excitement that one of my favorite stories will be on the big screen, and dread that director Nikolaj Arcel’s film will deviate too much from the source material. It’s a fantasy/horror/Science Fiction series that is rich and vibrant and almost impossible to put a faithful version on screen. But what if this isn’t an adaption at all?
Move ahead carefully faithful reader, there be potential spoilers ahead.
In the end of the seventh book, Roland reaches the Dark Tower, faces the Crimson King, climbs the Tower, and realizes this isn’t the first time he’s been here. In fact, Roland has reached the Dark Tower many times, only to be sent back in time by Gan to the desert, to start chasing the Man in Black all over again. He does this each time, with no memory of his previous journeys, but this time is different. This time though, Roland carries the Horn of Eld, the family heirloom he lost at the Battle of Jericho Hill when he was a young boy. The implication is that something has changed, that he is closer than ever to completing his quest.
So, what if the film isn’t an adaptation of the story, but instead a continuation of it? Stephen King seemed to suggest this today when he tweeted this image.
That appears to be the Horn of Eld, and the words “Last Time Around” are superimposed on the image. Could it be that this is Roland’s final journey to the Dark Tower, that he’ll remember the face of his father, hang up his revolvers, and experience the peace he longs for? The book hints that every time Roland repeats his journey, it’s been with different members of his Ka-Tet, and different events are used to test him in various ways. If this film is set after the book series, it will have every reason to spin off in a new direction and diverge from the written text. If we see the Horn of Eld hanging from Roland’s belt from a production shot, I think we will have our answer.
I for one am floored by this idea, and it will allow me to put fears aside and instead wait anxiously to see what new stories and adventures Roland will experience as he chases the Man in Black.
What do you think? Should the movie(s) diverge, or stay faithful to the books?