2017’s cinematic adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower was received with all the warmth of a dog doing a poo on your front lawn. Eyed as a potential franchise starter and TV spin-off launchpad, the film flopped with critics and at the box office too. Despite its reputation, King (who can wrap himself in It being a pop culture phenomenon in 2017) has a more positive assessment of The Dark Tower than most. The bestselling horror writer thinks it was a studio edict that sunk the movie’s ability to attract paying customers.
In a year-end chat with Entertainment Weekly, King came to the defense of The Dark Tower when asked about the film’s struggle to win over critics and audiences.
“I liked everybody involved with that movie and I liked some of the casting choices for it. I liked Modi Wiczyk, the producer, the director, everybody,” explained King. “So you know I’m always careful what I say about it.”
The thing about the movie that King didn’t like was the decision to stay away from a Restricted rating in an attempt to attract a wider audience and gain blockbuster status.
The real problem, as far as I’m concerned is, they went into this movie, and I think this was a studio edict pretty much: this is going to be a PG-13 movie. It’s going to be a tentpole movie. We want to make sure that we get people in there from the ages of, let’s say, 12 right on up to whatever the target age is. Let’s say 12 to 35. That’s what we want. So it has to be PG-13, and when they did that I think that they lost a lot of the toughness of it and it became something where people went to it and said, Well yeah, but it’s really not anything that we haven’t seen before.
King also found it puzzling the film would start “pretty much in the middle” and expressed his doubts during the filmmaking process. The experience doesn’t appear to have completely dissuaded the writer from keeping the flicker of a Dark Tower TV series alive. When nudged about the prospect by EW, King responded saying “that might happen. It might happen.”
(Via Entertainment Weekly)