When I was younger, my family had a rule. “Read the book first, then watch the movie.” As I’ve gotten older, the rule has mostly faded, but otherwise remained in place. I re-read The Hobbit before the movies came out. I flipped through the Hunger Games trilogy before watching the series. Full disclosure: I use this rule as an excuse not to watch Game of Thrones—I haven’t read the books. (Nor do I plan to.)
I bring this up because The Dark Tower comes out in a week, and it looked interesting. However, much like Lord of the Rings, Hunger Games, and countless other fandoms, it is based on a book. In this case, a series of five books written by Stephen King.
In preparation for the release, I picked up a copy of the first book in the series, The Gunslinger, from my local public library.
I only made it through the first section, before 1) the due date came up, and 2) I quit reading it.
The first part of the book is very much a western; I will give it that. But it is so in the sense of the wandering cowboy-gunslinger archetype stopping in at a town and trying to fix its problems, while also going on his usual revenge quest.
I won’t get into the exact details for fear of having to throw up a disclaimer. I will say that I hope this movie is a terrible adaptation of the source material. Because, if it was a good adaptation, it’s going to be uncomfortable to watch.
As in, “Rated R” uncomfortable to watch.
I shouldn’t have much to worry about. The movie’s supposed to be PG-13, so it either skips the first few chapters of the book or tells it differently. Or it’s an adaptation of the entire series in one film.
Nevertheless, I probably won’t go see the movie opening night. Or the first few months it’s out. If ever. And I’m not sure if I’ll finish the books either, so I have a valid excuse for skipping the movie.
But if I watch the movie, it’ll be because it stars Idris Elba.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to crack open a copy of Ready Player One. The trailer dropped last week, and it looks interesting.