Ron Howard Talks a Bit About That Massive 'Dark Tower' Project
Back in September we got confirmation that director Ron Howard and writer Akiva Goldsman are tackling an unprecedented adaptation of Stephen King's Dark Tower series that will alternate between film & TV. For those unfamiliar, series of novels follow Roland Deschain, the last living member of a knightly order of gunslingers, and humanity's last hope to save a civilization that will crumble unless he finds the Dark Tower. Aside from the unheard of collaboration between film and TV for one singular story, this project has plenty of uncharted territory for Ron Howard as he ventures into a couple of genres which he hasn't worked in before.
Here's what Howard told Hero Complex about the tone and style of the films and the difficulty of capturing King's work on the page and transferring it to the big screen:
“Filmically, there are tones in this that I have never used before, tones of fantasy menace and elements of horror and real fear. And there’s the burden, on the characters, of this journey that is really palpable. That’s what we need to get on the screen. I think there’s something about [the Frank Darabont films] ‘Green Mile’ or a ‘Shawshank Redemption,’ the complexity and the ballast of them, those are two [of the Stephen King adaptations] where you do get the horror and suspense that’s there on the page. We’re charging ourselves with the responsibility of getting a real understanding of the material and utilizing many of the best aspects of the books and graphic novels."
If you don't recall how this process of adapting the Dark Tower series is going to work, here's a little refresher. Ron Howard will direct the first film which will be followed closely by a season of television written by Akiva Goldsman (who is also writing the first film as of now). That season will act as a bridge to a film sequel and then it's back to another series of television, but this time with a prequel storyline. Then the final film goes back to the future (so to speak) to conclude Deschain's journey. Howard talks about how this unprecedented project compares to his previous work:
“It’s different than anything I’ve ever done and in really interesting ways. With [‘Da Vinci Code’] the mandate was different. That was about getting the story and the action and focusing on acting. With this, there’s this entire world and all of these references and there are the books and the graphic novels and just talking to Stephen and it’s all this ongoing conversation with the material and it’s really exciting. In all of it, he leaves a lot open to interpretation and so it gives a great deal of latitude.”
While there's not much detail in his words, Howard does note that they are still just getting started on this hefty endeavor, and there's plenty of work to be done. This will be a huge undertaking for Howard and Goldsman, but the talent who ends up in front of the camera will have their work cut out for them too. This project is shaping up to be a five year commitment (possible more), and whoever snags the role of Roland Deschain will be very busy. Here's hoping the project lands on its feet once it takes off or all this work will have been for naught. What do you guys think?