Instead of just letting Hollywood do what it wanted with his magnum opus, Stephen King was apparently very involved in the making of The Dark Tower.
That's what filmmaker Nikolaj Arcel said in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, just as the movie was about to open in wide release across the country.
The Dark Tower tells the story of Roland (Idris Elba), a knight/gunman from an alternate dimension known as Mid-World who is charged with protecting the title structure, which stands at the center of all universes and binds reality together. His nemesis who wants the Tower to fall is Walter, aka the Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey).
Despite scathing reviews that indicate the movie has only fleetingly adapted King's original material, Arcel insisted that the legendary author played an important role in the movie's creative process:
"He was very involved before I came on board. He was very involved after I got the job. Ultimately what he did was inform some of the more important choices and give his either thumbs-up or thumbs-down on different ideas in the script."
Furthermore, Arcel believes that King will be the one who decides how the saga of Roland the Gunslinger ends on film (or perhaps TV):
"What I definitely believe is he is the only person -- let's say when Roland finally reaches the Dark Tower some time in 2028 or 2035 (laughs), he has to be the guy who tells us what is going to happen. He's the man. That's not going to be guesswork on our part. That's going to be a discussion from Stephen. What's the last time around the wheel? How does Roland finally become enlightened enough to be able to journey this for the final time? We've already done some of this in the movie. Already Roland makes some slightly different choices than he did. That's very much part of it."
Arcel has already written the pilot for a planned Dark Tower limited TV series, which would actually act as a prequel and show us some of Roland's back history as chronicled in the fourth book in the saga, Wizard and Glass. But with reviews standing at 18% "fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes as I write this, King fans expressing disappointment over the liberties the movie takes, and box-office tracking mediocre, it's hard to imagine we'll see a TV component or more films unless those conditions change.
Do you plan to see The Dark Tower this weekend? Does knowing that King himself was involved and approved all the decisions on the movie give you more impetus to check it out?