Stephen King fans, rejoice!The Talismanaccording to Collideris being adapted to a film. The Talisman, written by Stephen King and Peter Straub, tells the tale of twelve-year-old Jack Sawyer, a boy given the power to flip from one reality into another, finding himself in a world much like our own with a few notable differences. Using this power, he has to go on an epic quest to save his dying mother, befriending a werewolf, dealing with a boarding school of nightmares, and fighting against the villainous Morgan Sloat. Similar in tone to The Dark Tower, The Talisman is a fantastic read and one of King’s best novels.
Mike Barker, who has directed numerous episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale, is slated as the director for the adaptation. Barker also had credits in Outlander, Fargo, and Broadchurch. Veteran scriptwriter Chris Spalding is slated to write the movie, a daunting task for such a dense book that we hope he accomplishes well. It remains to be seen what shape the story will take but we, for one, can’t wait to see! In the meantime, find the original novel and give it another read. We’ll keep our ears peeled for further news on this exciting adaptation!
If you’re a fan of the Dark Towers series, or a fan of Stephen King in general, then you may already know about this children’s book:
The book, which was published November 11, 2016, is titled Charlie the Choo-Chooand, at just a glance, may come across as your seemingly average, run-of-the-mill children’s story about a talking tank engine and his engineering friend (well, despite the deeply chilling and creepy smile of said tank engine; Thomas the Tank Engine never looked at me that way) but, you can trust me when I say it is oh, so much more.
According to the cover of the book, the author is stated to be Beryl Evans. The cover also contains one very positive review from the master of novels himself, Stephen King:
“If I were ever to write a children’s book, it would be just like this!”
King has proven his intense commitment to the fictional worlds he creates once more, seeing as Beryl Evans is actually a character from the Dark Towers series, and King, in fact, is the true author of Charlie the Choo-Choo.
The eerily haunting children’s book is purchased by Jake Chambers in Dark Towers III: The Wastelands:
“On the bright green cover was an anthropomorphic locomotive puffing its way up a hill … its headlight was a cheerful eye which seemed to invite Jake Chambers to come inside and read all about it…As he looked down at the cover, Jake found that he did not trust the smile on Charlie the Choo-Choo’s face. ‘You look happy, but I think that’s just the mask you wear,’ he thought. ‘I don’t think you’re happy at all. And I don’t think Charlie’s your real name, either.’”
The book existing at all is an elaborate part of King’s expansion of the story; he’s taking a world he created and building it past the covers and pages, making it all the more real.
King even went as far as to hire an actress to play the role of Beryl Evans and sign copies of Charlie at Comic-Con.
via Lilja’s Library
This entanglement between the fiction and the real is so complex and interesting; it’s not at all surprising that none other than Stephen King would be behind all of it!
After the flop that was last year’s Idris Elba-led movie adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower, it has been revealed that Amazon will give it another go as a TV series. The Walking Dead showrunner Glen Mazzara is said to be helming the project.
While Amazon have not officially announced that they will run the show, Deadline implies this is the case. The article cites The Dark Tower in a list of Amazon’s upcoming fantasy series, along with Lord of the Rings, Wheel of Time, Ringworld, and Lazarus.
King explained to Entertainment Weekly that he believes the film’s PG-13 rating was the cause of its failure. He said, “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.'”
Elba, who was undoubtedly the best thing about the poorly received film, does not appear to have been approached regarding the TV adaptation. He recently told ScreenCrush, “You know what? I didn’t know Stephen said that. I don’t know, actually, where it lies. I must figure this out, I don’t know where it lies. I’m unfortunately the last to know at this point.”
We’re anxiously awaiting more details, as King’s weird and wonderful series definitely deserves justice.
With It now the highest grossing horror movie of all time in America, taking in $441.3 million in its first three weeks, King weighs in on why The Dark Tower was not so successful. Not even close. This year’s forgotten child of Stephen King adaptations grossed only $120 million, and garnered reviews such as this one from Uproxx:
The Dark Tower is so astoundingly awful that when you leave the theater you’ll likely be less mad you wasted your time than flabbergasted that something like this could a) happen and b) be released as something that, theoretically, is going to launch a multi-platform franchise.
Pennywise engaging in a victory dance over The Dark Tower. / Via AV Club
And what does King have to say about it all? Speaking to Vulture, he said:
The major challenge was to do a film based on a series of books that’s really long, about 3,000 pages. The other part of it was the decision to do a PG-13 feature adaptation of books that are extremely violent and deal with violent behaviour in a fairly graphic way. That was something that had to be overcome, although I’ve gotta say, I thought [screenwriter] Akiva Goldsman did a terrific job in taking a central part of the book and turning it into what I thought was a pretty good movie.
Last month, it was revealed by the movie’s director Nikolaj Arcel that the TV series, which is a planned continuation of The Dark Tower, is still in the works and will, he says, be “totally canon” with the movie.
Let’s hope the TV series leaves the writers a little more room to manoeuvre as they tackle King’s 3000 page baby.
Stephen King’s “Dark Tower” series is beloved by readers around the world, and sits on top of many book lovers’ fantasy lists. Finally, Hollywood has heard the calls of fans, and has brought the book to life. Bad news is nobody likes it.
Roland, by contrast, lives in Mid-World, an incoherent realm of foggy woods, digital boogeymen, cinematic allusions, slavering nods to Mr. King’s voluminous oeuvre and some geological formations that may cause you to uselessly flash on images from John Ford westerns.
And Richard Roeper, of The Chicago Sun Times, weighs in:
The cinematography has a washed-out, dull tone. The special effects are mediocre. With a few exceptions, the dialogue is stilted and filled with expository passages so obviously intended to explain things to us, I half-expected characters to turn to the camera and say, “Here’s what you need to know so you can understand what’s happening.”
via Show Film First
Adapting “The Dark Tower” series into a film has, itself, become something of an epic adventure. J.J. Abrams (“Lost,” “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”) initially attempted an adaptation, and gave up once he realized transitioning King’s sprawling series into a blockbuster movie was…hard.
Then Ron Howard (“Apollo 13,” “Rush”) wanted to make the series into a television/film crossover event. In order to capture the entirety of King’s imagination, something of that scale would probably be necessary. But then nothing happened.
Then this adaptation came along, helmed by Danish filmmaker Nikolaj Arcel, and, at least, the cast looked good. Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey starring, respectively, as the Gunslinger and the Man in Black. Perfect! Two cool, likable leads.
Then, just days before release, Variety reported that production was “plagued with problems and clashing visions.” After seeing a cut of Arcel’s, Sony Pictures chief Tom Rothman allegedly spent hours in the editing bay making critiques. Ron Howard, a producer of the film, helped Arcel do the music, and Akiva Goldsman, co-writer and producer, was also brought in to put the thing together.
Judging by reviews, and box office forecasts (predictions put it at around $20 million on a $60 million budget) Stephen King’s beloved “Dark Tower” series has been adapted into a bomb. What might have been the next “Lord of the Rings,” or “Game of Thrones” is instead a massive disappointment. As usual, those who suffer most are the fans.