Stephen King Is Cool With ‘The Dark Tower’ Film’s Major Changes

ABC's "Good Morning America" - 2015
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The much-anticipated big screen adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower is in full swing, and it looks like the movie is seeing quite a few changes from the original series, including removing two popular characters. Luckily, the movie’s gotten a cautionary thumbs up from perhaps the most important source: Stephen King himself.

“All I can say is that Steve is our partner all the way through, so we don’t make a move without Stephen telling us, ‘That is The Dark Tower’ and when Stephen says, ‘It isn’t,’ which he has at times, we go, ‘Okay, let’s try something else,’” said film co-writer Akiva Goldsman.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, King said he’s been working closely with Sony Pictures and production company MRC studios on the story, giving suggestions on what to keep and what to cut out. He said he supports the movie and what the filmmakers are trying to do, but he still has his reservations as to whether the series can work on the big screen.

“They sent me a number of different drafts and it came into focus, let’s put it that way,” King said. “I’m 100-percent behind it, which doesn’t mean it necessarily will work, just that it’s a good way to try and to get into these stories.”

An interesting not-quite-change was casting Idris Elba as Roland, aka The Gunslinger, whose race is never defined in the books but is portrayed in the series’ official artwork as white. In the script, King said that Roland’s character got the most modification when he was making changes.

“I took a pen and cut Roland’s dialogue to the bone,” he said. “The less he says the better off, and why not? Idris Elba can act with his face. He’s terrific at it.”

In addition, two major characters have been cut from the film: Eddie, the reformed heroin addict, and Susannah, an amputee with multiple personalities. If they’re your favorites, there’s good news — well, maybe not as good as the Horn of Eld. Film co-writer Nicolaj Arcel said the characters will likely be added to the sequel if one happens.

“They’re certainly out there,” Arcel said. “I think the entire story deserves to be told and should be told. I would certainly be disappointed in myself or my collaborators if we didn’t bring them in. They’re such a huge part of the story.”

The Dark Tower comes out Feb. 17.

(Via Entertainment Weekly)