Though it had some flaws, the recent big-screen adaptation of Stephen King’s
It has been largely well-received by pretty much everyone. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for this summer’s other big-screen King adaptation, The Dark Tower, which turned a weird-in-a-good-way fantasy epic about cowboys and wizards into a weird-in-a-bad-way fantasy slog about a boring kid. Speaking with Vulture in an extended interview about the many movies and TV shows based on his work that are coming out this year, King tried to offer an explanation for what went wrong with The Dark Tower.
For starters, he believes that screenwriter Akiva Goldsman did a “terrific job” turning his books into what he thought was “a pretty good movie,” but it’s fairly telling that King mentions elsewhere in the Vulture interview that he doesn’t particularly care if the adaptations of his work are any good. Either way, King’s biggest issue with The Dark Tower is also the most obvious one: It tried to cram something like 3,000 pages into a very shot movie, meaning a lot of the best stuff—or, you know, all of the best stuff—had to be cut out. King also points out that the movie’s PG-13 rating kept The Dark Tower from really dealing with the books’ “extremely violent” content, which is kind of a safe answer that keeps King from really having to criticize the film at all.
Fans of the Dark Tower books will probably be a little disappointed to see that King didn’t specifically call out any of the bad things in the movie, like the fact that the Jake character was completely different, the big twist from the books was totally meaningless and would’ve never been noticed if not for the studio playing it up on Twitter, and Matthew McConaughey bizarrely sucked the fun out of playing King’s most iconic villain, but at least he’s probably aware of that stuff. In possibly better news, though, King did add that the planned Dark Tower TV prequel will be “like a complete reboot,” which could be a nice consolation prize.