For all the success stories Stephen King properties had this year, “The Dark Tower” collapsed like a game of Jenga. While eventually grossing a little over $100 million on a $60 million budget, “Tower” was a critical disaster, hated by fans of the series, and a far cry from the building block to a new franchise that Columbia hoped it would be.
King himself weighed in on what he thought brought the movie down; having penned the seven novels that make up the “Dark Tower” books series, there’s no man on Earth so qualified to say what went so wrong. In an interview with EW, he tentatively opened up.
I liked everybody involved with that movie and I liked some of the casting choices for it. I liked Modi Wiczyk, the producer, the director, everybody. So you know I’m always careful what I say about it.But I will say this, okay? The real problem, as far as I’m concerned is, they went in to this movie, and I think this was a studio edict pretty much: this is going to be a PG-13 movie. It’s going to be a tentpole movie. We want to make sure that we get people in there from the ages of, let’s say, 12 right on up to whatever the target age is. Let’s say 12 to 35. That’s what we want. So it has to be PG-13, and when they did that I think that they lost a lot of the toughness of it and it became something where people went to it and said, Well yeah, but it’s really not anything that we haven’t seen before.
It’s ironic that the R-rated “IT” would go on to gross $700 million and become a critical darling, while Pg-13 “The Dark Tower” seems destined to topple into obscurity. Next time someone gets the inkling to adapt a King tale (and of course that will be damn soon) hopefully they’ll take notice.