The Game of Thrones series has defined a decade, the 2010s. It was impossible to miss. Game of Thrones was the equivalent of Facebook. If you didn’t watch it, you would feel strangely excluded, because all your friend were watching it, talking about it, dissecting its details. Similarly, The Dark Tower promises to captivate the audiences for the next decade. Just as everyone was watching Game of Thrones during the 2010s, The Dark Tower will most likely be the go-to TV show of the 2020s.
The cost of large screen adaptations for a saga the size of the Dark Tower would have been almost impossible to control in order to generate the desired outcome. A movie also needs an immediate guaranteed financial success while conversely risking to yield minimal dividends to its producers. The Dark Tower TV series, unlike the movie, will not rely solely on the number of viewers that have seen the pilot episode.
Some of the reasons why The Dark Tower is much better off as a TV show than a movie are:
Fidelity to the Original Story
We have all seen the Dark Tower movie. For most of the Dark Tower books fans, it turned out as a major disappointment. One of the most cited reasons for this was the lack of cohesion of the plot and the divergence from the original story in the book. The movie picked a mixture of scenes from several of the book’s volumes, which was rather confusing for the fans.
It is easy to see why a TV series is much more adequate for a saga the size of the Dark Tower. Like many of Stephen King’s books, it spreads throughout a copious number of pages. That makes it difficult to convey the story in a shortened version. Meanwhile, the TV series will actually allow the story to unfold properly.
Also, the TV medium seems to be less dependent on a franchise, allowing a plot to come with new ideas, instead of just falling into the old pattern of re-creating remakes or sequels of the previously successful movies because of their box office success.
Sci-fi – Fantasy Combo
The Dark Tower TV series combines two of the most beloved genres in movies and television – fantasy and science fiction. This would satisfy a diverse group of fans, as it develops into a complex story.
Judging by the cast, The Dark Tower TV series is meant to start with the fifth volume of the saga, The Wizard and Glass. This seems to concentrate the effort to build the TV series in chronological order, which would help viewers to understand the actual development of the series, including viewers who have not read the books. Moreover, starting with young Roland’s story, we have a sort of background explanation for the personality traits displayed by Roland throughout his life.
The Dark Tower is a monumental saga, with a tremendous richness of details, which are impossible to convey in a three-hour movie due to the obvious time constraints. Some of the details in the book take days, weeks or years to grow, intricacies of the story having a more profound impact on the memory of the fans.
Some of the best marketing in the movie industry can fail when compared to the word of mouth that is generated by a well-loved TV series. You will soon have cohorts of friends and work colleagues inciting each other to watch The Dark Tower TV series, discussing the latest season’s details in a way which no movie could spark.
The TV series writing quality has also been on the rise during the last decade. Some of the actors which have long given up TV are making their way back into it for the fear of missing out. It is also a great opportunity for actors to build their popularity and reputation which is harder to construct within a few movies.
Also, many of the actors cast into movies nowadays are yesterday’s TV series actors and it is through their TV series appearance that they have gained their current popularity. It is safe to say that today’s TV series successful actors can be tomorrow’s popular cinema actors.
The spotlight and career attention that actors gain throughout the development of the TV series is a great point for their career.
A Fascinating Build-up of the Story
The TV series, built as a sequence of several seasons, allows viewers to gradually get attached to the characters. Also, creating the plot with suspense growing from one season to another will generate an addictive type of fascination, which will have viewers fretting to watch the next episode and the next one and so on. The transformation of the characters, the so-called character arcs need time to unfold and, if done over the movie–imposed short sequence, feels rushed and usually lacks depth, hence hindering the very details it is trying to convey.
One of the greatest advantages of TV is that it can combine multiple genres within several seasons. Hence, spicing up the plot in the process. In the movie marketing industry, the movies need to be defined as a genre or a combination of two genres. Meanwhile, a TV series can start off as a sci-fi and later shift to horror, it can combine drama and romance from one episode to the next without losing its edge, while still giving you a rollercoaster feeling throughout the show. The slow build-up allowed by TV series typically grows into a climax towards the end of each season, culminating with the last season. The show usually has viewers hooked by that time.
Bonding with characters is also more likely to happen within a TV series. Watching your favorite characters for months, sometimes years on end, from the comfort of your own living-room is bound to create a closer bond than getting invested while watching them on a cinema screen for a couple of hours. Some of the characters end up feeling like members of your extended family.
The Dark Tower Could be Another Hit for Amazon if Done Right
Movies are now more like the icing on the cake, which explains the success that Netflix and Amazon having. Netflix subscriptions are mostly based on TV series, while HBO and AMC have also enjoyed tremendous success, with shows like Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones. Netflix’s Black Mirror and Stranger Things have similarly become major pop-culture landmarks.
The Dark Tower is being handled by Amazon and we’ve already seen a few leaked set images on Instagram a few weeks ago that looked fairly promising. Unfortunately, the images have since been removed from the social media platform so we’ll need to wait for some official stills to get a better idea of what to expect from the final product.
The Dark Tower currently doesn’t have a release date but it’s likely we won’t see it before 2020. Amazon could surprise us by launching it this year but nothing has been confirmed so far.