And Now, A Few Troubling Updates On Sony’s THE DARK TOWER
Over at Ain't It Cool News, our friend Eric Vespe just dropped a couple of Dark Tower-related scoops, neither of which bode well.
On the lower end of the disappointment spectrum, we've got an update about Abbey Lee's casting in the film: she's not playing the female lead, after all. Her character, Tirana, is absolutely in The Dark Tower, but will be playing essentially the same role the character played in book seven of Stephen King's series - she's one of the Crimson King's low-level emissaries, probably a Can-toi or Low-Man (a "bad guy", in other words).
If you're wondering what role such a character could possibly be playing in the very first Dark Tower movie, well, that's where we get into the far more dispiriting news: from the sound of things, quite a bit of Akiva Goldsman's script has survived The Dark Tower's directorial regime change. From AICN's report:
I've been asking several sources how much of Goldsman's draft made it into Anders Thomas Jensen's rewrite and have heard everything from “a lot of it” to “there was a page one rewrite.” From what I've been able to piece together, the former is more accurate.
The fact that the character of Tirana is in this film at all is your first indication that's true. The fact that The Dark Tower will apparently focus mainly on Jake is your second indication: he's the primary focus of the Goldsman draft. That script opened with Jake explaining the rules of Stephen King's Dark Tower universe to a deeply skeptical psychiatrist, went on to deal with Jake's attempts to make the leap into Mid-World, and eventually brought him back to "our" world for a big-ass showdown in NYC that combined elements from several books in King's series.
If this sounds like a mess, it's because the Goldsman draft is a mess.
Vespe indicates that the basic structure of the Goldsman draft is still in place, which means that this situation is as critical as I feared. Sounds like I'm not the only one who's worried, either: Vespe points out that Sony's being extremely cautious with this project, doling out a comparatively small budget (comparable to the average tentpole franchise-starter, that is) and remaining pointedly mum on their previously-discussed plans to compliment their Dark Tower movies with a Dark Tower TV show. This is a huge "wait and see" for Sony.
It's a huge "wait and see" for me, as well. If Sony's rolling with a barely-modified version of that Goldsman draft, they will be fighting an uphill battle with fans.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to pour myself a very stiff drink.
NOTE: Header illustration by Alex Rodway, who's got other badass Dark Tower fan art you can see here.