OK, so perhaps this post would be more appropriate on Ruby’s Reviews, but since it is more of a fangirl thing and not really a review of anything, and the movie is still in production…..well, just bear with me here. As some of you lovely readers and subscribers may know, I am a Stephen King fan girl for life. I have been reading his books and watching the movie adaptations since the age of 8.
The Dark Tower is currently in production and is set to be released February 17, 2017 much to my delight and anticipation. When they first started casting the actors in the film they chose Idris Elba to play the gunslinger Roland Deschain. This was, at first, a bit confusing and somewhat of a problem for many fans of the story, and it is NOT because a bunch of white supremecists like the story.
It has to do with some complex plot points in the second book in the series, The Drawing of the Three. In that book, the gunslinger must draw his companions from different points of time in our world/dimension. One of these companions is Eddie Dean, a heroine junkie from 1984 New York, he is the first to be drawn. (Eddie will hopefully appear being played by Aaron Paul in the second movie.)
The second person/companion for the gunslinger to draw through is Odetta Holmes/Detta Walker. This, right here, is the complex plot point. Odetta Holmes is a black rights activist from 1964 New York. She is the well to do heir of a dental industry leader and she is a double amputee thanks to being pushed years earlier in front of a subway train.
Detta Walker is also a double amputee, not surprising since she lives in Odetta’s mind as her split personality. Detta Walker is the oppposite of everything about Odetta Holmes. She is full of hate for the white man and she is just an all around bitch.
When the gunslinger pulls Odetta through to his dimension of Mid-World she flips and becomes Detta for the time being. Detta sees that two white men have kidnapped her in her wheelchair and she makes things very difficult and dangerous for our two heroes. Roland knows that she will become another of his ka-tet (group joined by fate) and so he and Eddie just put up with her evil hijinks and hope for a solution. The solution comes, of course, and Odetta and Detta are joined together as one personality that goes by Susannah and then the heroes move on to the next book.
But wait..enter Idris Elba as Black Roland. You can see how this may make things roll a bit more smoothly right?
Why It Makes Sense
It was not until recently that I read an article containing an interview with the movie makers and they confirmed a few things that only the readers of the book series would really know or care about. This movie series is NOT going to be an adaptation of the book series. Nope. Instead, this movie series is a CONTINUATION, or a sequel if you like, to the books. It will start out where the last book in the series left off.
If you are a reader and you have not read this series I highly recommend you do so immediately. I mean it, right now, go.
Since the book has been out for several years now I am not going to feel even the slightest bit of guilt for posting a few spoilers here. Like this one: At the end of the entire series, Roland finally makes it to the end of his journey and reaches the Dark Tower. He climbs the stairs to the top floor, finds a door and opens it.
Beyond the door is light, so naturally he walks through…and finds himself back at the beginning. In the desert chasing the Man in Black. His memory of his previous journey slowly fades away and he is just left back at the beginning of the story. However, there is one key difference mentioned at the end of that book.
Roland had been in possession of the Horn of Eld, a mythical artifact that was somehow very important to his quest, but he lost it in battle many years earlier. Now, after walking through the door at the top of the tower he has it once more. Roland has made this journey many times before, this entire story is like Roland’s purgatory as he works to redeem his tarnished soul. So he had the horn, the story ended there.
But now, this movie series is in the works, and it has been confirmed by the writers and director that Roland HAS the Horn of Eld. This means that we are not going to just be seeing a version of his journey from the books as a movie. We are going to get to see his NEXT journey. Now he has the Horn, things may go easier for him because of that. Now he is a black guy, things with Detta could absolutely go way easier this time around as a black man.
Before this bit of information was released in Entertainment Weekly, I and many other fans were a bit upset with the change made in Roland. It is a pretty big change to make to a main protagonist of such a long and arduous story. People were upset because it seemed unneccessary and many thought, myself included, that it was exclusively about being PC and they were going to mess up the whole story just to make Roland a black guy for no good reason.
But that was before I read this article, this part in particular:
By the end of the books, Roland has come into possession of an artifact known as the Horn of Eld, which (vaguespoiler warning) symbolizes a cosmic reset button. Every time Roland starts the quest over again, the journey changes in big and small ways. In the movie, he already has this tool (you can see it peeking out of his bag in the image above), which means the film is not so much an adaptation as a continuation.
You can read the coverage by Entertainment Weekly yourself and see all of the images from the upcoming film. They have compiled several articles and listed them together as one here.
So, if you haven’t read the books, do yourself a favor and go out and get them and read them before next February. Then, come back here and geek out with me!