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Why I Drink: Part 19

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | September 9, 2010 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | September 9, 2010 |

Dustin sent me the link to this news specifically because he has next Tuesday in the pool for when my liver gives out. Remember the rumors from a few months ago that Ron Howard and an assortment of horrifically untalented individuals would be adapting Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series to film? With all of these rumors, there’s always the silver lining that 90 percent of them end up being wrong. Well the silver lining in this cloud is just the sunlight glinting off a ballistic missile’s shiny tip, because it’s all true.

Back in May, I lamented:

Ron Howard will direct, Brian Grazer will produce and … wait for it … oh wait for it … oh it’s prairie-dogging … arrrrrrrrrggggggggghhhhh … Akiva Goldsman will be writing the script.
If you don’t recognize the name, it’s because you’ve had unlicensed psychic surgeons excise the memory with a mixture of hypnosis, drugs and synchronized swimming. Goldsman is the one who wrote Lost in Space and Batman and Robin, known in industry terms as “movies so bad they’re legally war crimes under the Geneva convention.”

And it’s all been confirmed as true! Every bit of it!

And here’s where they really kill me, because they’re trying to do something actually original. The idea is to make the adaptation a combination of film and television by making a feature film, followed immediately by a season of television episodes, then a second film, another television season, and a climactic final movie. So the final count would be 3 films and 40 or so episodes. The idea is to shoot all three films and the television series at the same time, like Jackson did with Lord of the Rings. It’d be a finished product from start to finish, with the same actors throughout since it would be one big project.

Ron Howard explains:

The approach we’re taking also stands on its own, but it’s driven by the material. I love both, and like what’s going on in TV. With this story, if you dedicated to one medium or another, there’s the horrible risk of cheating material. The scope and scale call for a big screen budget. But if you committed only to films, you’d deny the audience the intimacy and nuance of some of these characters and a lot of cool twists and turns that make for jaw-dropping, compelling television. We’ve put some real time and deep thought into this, and a lot of conversations and analysis from a business standpoint, to get people to believe in this and take this leap with us. I hope audiences respond to it in a way that compels us to keep going after the first year or two of work. It’s fresh territory for me, as a filmmaker.

That’s … actually very well put.

But don’t worry, Goldsman will knock you back to reality: “We will certainly be looking to maximize both creative and fiscal opportunities by creating one enterprise that encompasses TV and movies.”

With a gift for words like that, how can the script he’s writing go wrong?

I’m alternately horrified by this project, and intrigued by its vision. I have been assured though that the bottom of this bottle might contain some insight.

(source: Deadline)

Steven Lloyd Wilson is the sci-fi and history editor. You can email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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