Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Chain of Thoughts: Excited for 'The Dark Tower' and 'It' Film Adaptations

I’m eagerly looking forward to the upcoming film adaptations of two of my all-time favorite Stephen King books: "The Dark Tower" and "It."  I have some few musings…
→ The (initial) seven-part Dark Tower series was a grand, mindblowing saga, and with such magnitude, the risk that the movie would screw it up is big. Thus, I do worry about it. But the fantastic casting of Idris Elba as Roland Deschain and Matthew McConaughey as Randall Flagg inspires legitimate optimism that the movie would turn out being epic. Fingers crossed.
Elba looks ruggedly badass!
→ Many of King’s books are interconnected, with The Dark Tower at the center.  Several of these books have already been adapted into movies through the years, but now that we’re having a Dark Tower movie, could a Stephen King cinematic shared universe be next?  That would be awesome if ever!
→ Randall Flagg is a villain that kept on mysteriously showing up in King’s novels.  Aside from The Dark Tower books, he’s also the villain of The Stand (another one of my King favorites) and The Eyes of the Dragon.  Now, a multi-part film adaptation of The Stand is currently in its early stages.  How cool would it be if McConaughey reprises his role as Flagg there?
→ Fat chance for this to happen though, since the rights of these movies are probably owned by different studios.
→ Still, a Stephen King cinematic universe… the exciting notion of such a thing sends a slight tingle of chill down my spine.
→ I love It, for aside from being a visceral horror story, it also has trippy fantasy elements and deep themes like childhood, growing up, friendship, loss of innocence, confronting traumas, bullying, and the gradual but eventual fading of platonic childhood bonds.  It was already adapted as a two-part TV movie back in 1990, and it was actually fairly good.  But I think this story is worthy of a big screen edition.  That’s why I was pretty glad when it was announced that there’s going to be a remake.
The cast looks promising.
→ However, I’m very disappointed that this remake will follow the narrative structure of the 1990 TV movie instead of the novel.  It’s going to be in two parts.  Part one will cover the events when the main characters – i.e The Losers’ Club – were kids, while part two will cover their time as adults.  I think the narrative will be more impactful, intellectually satisfying, and intriguing if it will be told in the same way the novel did it – by alternating between the past (kids’ perspective) and the present (adults’ perspective).  How they – as adults – recovered their forgotten childhood memories along the way is an important aspect of the story.  On the other hand, doing a linear narrative will lose the sense of mystery.
→ I wonder if the movie will fully adapt the shocking scene from the novel, in which the pre-teen Beverly Marsh, the only female of The Losers’ Club, has sex with her pre-teen friends to strengthen their bond (there’s actually a complicated and not so gratuitous rationale behind it).  The 1990 movie skipped this, but the filmmakers of the remake have said they would keep this integral scene intact this time around.  It’s a pretty bold move, and it can easily become scandalous if mishandled.  Hence, I think the studio might likely dissuade them of doing it along the way.  It’s just very risky.
→ Either way, my hope is that the movie will retain the thoughtful themes of the novel, and won’t just be an unintelligent, generic horror film.   

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