why the dark tower failed

We’re in a new age of Stephen King adaptations, with new and upcoming films like ItGerald’s Game, and 1922 winning over critics and audiences alike. But, like King’s own catalogue, there are plenty of stinkers.

The Dark Tower was the long-awaited adaptation of King’s magnum opus, the multiverse-spanning sci-fi series of the same name. And it tanked. Despite the many years The Dark Tower spent in development, fans got a choppy, chopped-up adaptation of the book series, causing the film to barely break even at the box office and to attain a meager 16% Rotten Tomatoes rating. And though King was heavily invested in the success of this adaptation, the author revealed why The Dark Tower failed.

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Stephen King easter eggs

Update: Now that The Dark Tower is out, we’ve updated our handy guide to the Stephen King easter eggs hidden in the movie.

With the release of The Dark Tower, it marks the (hopefully) first film adaptation of Stephen King‘s multi-novel magnum opus. Our own Jacob Hall will have a full interview with director Nikolaj Arcel here on the site in the coming days, but during their Comic-Con chat, Arcel teased that The Dark Tower will contain easter eggs reference King’s 1975 novel Salem’s Lot, and we’ve seen in previous trailers that there are references to The Shining, It, and more.
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The Dark Tower Trailer box-office mojo

The team behind The Dark Tower had high hopes for the franchise’s future, including sequels and a show that recently landed The Walking Dead showrunner. After an underwhelming performance at the box-office this weekend, we’ll see if those grand plans for Stephen King‘s world stick. Director Nikolaj Arcel‘s movie didn’t match early tracking numbers and made only $19.5 over the weekend.

Below, learn more about how the fantasy movie did at the box-office this past weekend, and how Despicable Me 3 reigned supreme this summer.

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The Dark Tower TV show

(In our Spoiler Reviews, we take a deep dive into a new release and get to the heart of what makes it tick…and every story point is up for discussion. In this entry: the big screen adaptation of Stephen King‘s The Dark Tower.)

The Man in Black fled across the desert, and The Dark Tower movie followed. Bringing Stephen King’s fantasy-epic series to the big screen has been a highly-anticipated dream for many fans of the books. Long have they desired to see the realm of Mid-World realized on the silver screen; to see the adventures of Roland Deschain brought to life. And now that that day has finally come, the results are crushingly disappointing. Because The Dark Tower is one of the most frustrating types of films: it’s neither excellent nor atrocious – it just is. A middling, often lazy film that just sort of lays there like an old, threadbare carpet.

It’s time to travel once again around the wheel and figure out just why this film is such a misfire, and how badly it forgets not only the face of its father but also the very source material that brought it into existence.

Spoilers follow, of course.

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David and Matt Singer from ScreenCrush review The Dark Tower. Then, Devindra and David discuss Bong Joon-Ho’s new film Okja. Be sure to check out Matt Singer’s review of The Dark Tower and Josh Spiegel’s review of The Dark Tower. Also, see answers to your Dark Tower questions.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Also, like us on Facebook!
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The Dark Tower sequel

Following years of development, a bumpy production period, poor test screenings, and a post-production process that was reportedly plagued with conflicting viewpoints from many different players, a film adaptation of Stephen King‘s beloved fantasy series The Dark Tower is finally in theaters.

But good things don’t always come to those who wait. The movie has received dreadful reviews so far (you should read our full review here), and it bungles the mythology from the novels so much that we wrote an in-depth piece answering a bunch of questions for anyone who hasn’t read the books.

But despite the negative critical reception, Stephen King wants a movie sequel to be rated R and a showrunner has been hired to tackle that prequel TV series. Will either of these projects actually happen?

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Your The Dark Tower Questions

After a long, winding road, The Dark Tower hits the big screen this weekend. It’s taken a lot of time and effort to bring Stephen King‘s fantasy epic to life, and the transition from page to screen has not been a smooth one. The Dark Tower contains some complex, sprawling mythology, and a lot of that mythology doesn’t transfer very well into the film. That may give you pause, but never fear – if you’ve forgotten the face of your fathers, I’m here to show you the way and answer some important questions in the process, especially if you’re a non-reader who was totally baffled by the movie.

Beware of spoilers.

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The Dark Tower Review

The Dark Tower is the most sprawling series of stories that America’s great modern horror storyteller, Stephen King, has ever told. This is, unfortunately, a difficult thought to shake while watching the 95-minute film of the same name that serves as the hopeful beginning of a film and TV franchise, because there’s far too much left on the sidelines. The Dark Tower, at its core, is a quintessential story of good and evil, but the way the conflict is represented in this film is staggeringly messy and dull. The ingredients for a great movie exist, but they never truly cohere in a satisfying manner.

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The Dark Tower

The time has come for fans of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower book series to see how the big screen adaptation of the sci-fi western has turned out. If the first reviews are to be believed (following press screenings that happened just 24 hours before the film gets a wide release, which usually isn’t a good sign), this movie is an absolute disaster.

Find out what critics are saying in The Dark Tower reviews that have arrived online. Read More »

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The Dark Tower Trailer Breakdown 20

(Welcome to Movie Mixtape, where we find cinematic relatives and seek out interesting connections between new releases and older movies that allow us to rethink and enjoy what’s in our theaters as well as the favorites on our shelf. In this edition: The Dark Tower.)

The Dark Tower is a mystery. It’s an adaptation/kinda sequel to a series of Stephen King books that act as an expansive corpus of multi-world fantasy that has the epitome of a cult following. There are thirty years between the first and last published books, and it’s been ten years of development to bring this to theaters – enough time to take us from J.J. Abrams with Javier Bardem and Viggo Mortensen to Nikolaj Arcel with Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba.

There’s no telling what this thing is gonna be like. Even the trailers only offer a glimpse that’s shoot-out heavy and suggests that our world is at stake if the tower falls. To be blunt, they make the movie seem generic, and the books are anything but.

So what do you pair with something like that? Let’s stick with the fantastical, the adventurous, and the bullet-riddled, but I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments section.

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