Stephen King fans have been holding their collective breath to find out who will play two beloved characters from The Dark Tower series of novels in the upcoming film. Sorry, folks, it turns out Eddie Dean and Susannah won't be making an appearance – at least not in this particular film.
When adapting such an epic story to a movie format, changes are necessary, and while King fans and readers of the epic The Dark Tower series of books will no doubt be disappointed, it is difficult to include every aspect of the story in just one movie. Sometimes you have to alter the storyline, sometimes you have to take something out of the story altogether.
Director and co-writer of The Dark Tower, Nikolaj Arcel is, himself, a great fan of Stephen King's novels. In fact, the Danish film producer learned English for the specific reason of reading King's books in their native language.
Our 'first' look at Roland and The Man in Black from the Dark Tower Movie https://t.co/WPqsCQ2zOA pic.twitter.com/lsUgS82FplAs reported by EW, while Arcel loves The Dark Tower novels as much as any other fan, he does have to make certain changes and will have to remove two key characters – at least for now.
— Gizmodo (@Gizmodo) July 14, 2016
Those who have read the novels will instantly recall Eddie Dean, a recovering heroin addict, and Susannah, the woman who becomes his wife. Susannah is an amputee with multiple personalities who brings an interesting sense of unpredictability to the story.
Both are extremely strong characters in the tale, but Arcel says his plan is to introduce audiences to Roland (with Idris Elba in the role) as a lone hero before bringing in too many companions to surround the Gunslinger on his quest. There is every possibility that both Eddie and Susannah will appear in a later Dark Tower film, however, so fans must be patient.
McConaughey's Man in Black will be 'grounded' in #TheDarkTower adaptation https://t.co/uT2V2ySCrF pic.twitter.com/RtPQiNUpnuSpeaking of the story as it grows into a film, Arcel did say they are aiming to keep the famous author of the novels happy. Every aspect of the storyline is approved by Stephen King himself before being implemented.
— Comic Book Resources (@CBR) July 15, 2016
The reason for double-checking with King all along the way is pretty clear. As reported by Cinema Blend, Stephen has always been outspoken about one particular film adaptation of his work, The Shining. He has clearly expressed his dislike for the Stanley Kubrick adaptation, which he said didn't represent his lead character, Jack Torrance (played by Jack Nicholson) to his satisfaction. King said the film made a key component of Torrance's insanity, rather than the connection between father and son, which was more important in the novel.
Set photos of THE DARK TOWER with @idriselba THE GUNSLINGER pic.twitter.com/QsGmHKvWGOInteresting to note, King is famous for making connections between his many and various novels and short stories, always recognized with a sense of pleasure by his many constant readers.
— GOAT Movie Podcast (@GOATfilmpodcast) July 5, 2016
It turns out one of these connections has been made between The Dark Tower story and The Shining in the upcoming film, and that involves the abilities of Jake Chambers, the young boy Roland pulls into his post-apocalyptic wasteland.
It turns out Jake has the same ability as Danny Torrance had in The Shining. In the latter movie, Danny could see all the terrible things that had happened in the past at the Overlook Hotel. Jake will have similar abilities.
Here's what the #TheDarkTower film changes (and keeps) from @StephenKing's books: https://t.co/qaisf4mxz9 pic.twitter.com/KywVWsAKetJake Chambers (played by Tom Taylor) is a boy who died in New York City in the 1970s under the wheels of a car, only to wake up at a Way Station in the middle of an endless desert in Roland's world. While he was a critical character in the books, he will be even more critical in the movie.
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) July 14, 2016
While Jake only uses his abilities much later in the series of books, in the film he will be drawing on them much sooner. While Roland will be searching for Walter, the Man in Black (played by Matthew McConaughey), that character, in turn will be searching for Jake. Walter basically wants to use Jake's abilities to destroy the world – in fact all the many worlds.
Elba, McConaughey and Taylor are joined in The Dark Tower by Abbey Lee as Tirana and Fran Kranz as Pimli, the right hand man of the Man in Black. The film also features Jackie Earle Haley, Katheryn Winnick, and Claudia Kiim.
The Dark Tower is heading to theaters on February 17, 2017.
[Photo Idris Elba by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP Images - Matthew McConaughey by Frederick M. Brown /Getty Images Entertainment]