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Ron Howard talks adapting Stephen Kings' The Dark Tower

Filmmakers have been trying to adapt Stephen King's The Dark Tower series for years, and in September it was confirmed that Ron Howard would be the latest director to have a stab at the project.

Howard is taking a unique approach to King's rich and complex series; the novels are extremely dense, and draw from influences as diverse as The Lord of the Rings and Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns.

Howard's adaptation is set to take the form of three movies (of which he'll direct the first at least), with an additional two television series airing between the films.

Akiva Goldsman is on scripting duties for the mammoth project, but it's not sure what Howard will direct beyond the initial movie.

Talking about the project, Howard said: "Filmically, there are tones in this that I've never used before, tones of fantasy menace and elements of horror and real fear. And there's the burden, on the characters, of this journey that's really palpable. That's what we need to get on the screen.

"I think there's something about Green Mile or a Shawshank Redemption , the complexity and the ballast of them, those are two [King adaptations] where you do get the horror and suspense that's there on the page."

Interestingly, in another Frank Darabont King adaptation, The Mist , there's a cheeky nod made to The Dark Tower via a film poster.

Talking about the large-scale, cross-media approach to the project, Howard adds: "It's different to anything I've ever done and in really interesting ways... There's this entire world and all of these references and there are the books and the graphic novels and just talking to Stephen and it's all this ongoing conversation with the material and it's really exciting.

"In all of it, he leaves a lot open to interpretation and so it gives a great deal of latitude."

Source: FirstShowing

Will this approach work for The Dark Tower or would you rather Howard left it alone? Comment now!

Matt Maytum
Matt Maytum

I'm the Deputy Editor at Total Film magazine, looking after the long-form features there, and generally obsessing over all things Nolan, Kubrick and Pixar. Over the past decade I've worked in various roles for TF online and in print, including at GamesRadar+, and you can often hear me nattering on the Inside Total Film podcast. Bucket-list-ticking career highlights have included reporting from the set of Tenet and Avengers: Infinity War, as well as covering Comic-Con, TIFF and the Sundance Film Festival.