I’ve started re-reading the final three volumes of The Dark Tower series by Stephen King, starting with Wolves of the Calla. I re-read the first four shortly before these came out (in the course of about 18 months!), and now is the perfect time to revisit the third act of that story that I, among many found completely satisfying.
Third Act, hmmm. Let me explain. The first three stories, while encapsulated tales all their own, are one long act, with a beginning, a middle and an end. OK, so The Wastelands ends with a cliffhanger, but that gets settled in a short 60 pages into Wizard and Glass. That book stands as a centerpiece to the series, serving mainly to tell us a tale of Roland’s past that is a cool story in itself, but not much happens along our heroes’ journey.
The omnipresent thought I have upon re-reading this third act, has to do with the fact that a certain Hollywood phenom has optioned the rights to serialize the books to film. Will the guy who has so many people sold on a non-story like LOST, and cinematic dumbing down like Cloverfield be able to pull THIS off? Perhaps, but here’s how I’d do it.
First of all, we have to think about impact. The first impression is always the best. The problem with the first chapter of the series is its inherent cinematic blandness. It’s a great read, and a great story, but it’s confined to three un-theatrical locales. This first book should be a mini-series, or a block of episodes on television. I would call the men and women who run AMC on this. If Mad Men is any indication, this is something they might tackle. It should be 14 episodes long.
After that, it’s on to The Drawing of the Three as a whole movie, The Wastelands as a whole movie, Wizard and Glass as a whole movie, Wolves of the Calla as one whole movie, and then Song of Susannah and The Dark Tower combined into one final epic. 14 + 5 = 19.
Anyway, we’ll see what happens. Here’s some art inspired by this sweet work of fiction.