Unplugged – Dream Artists

unp

Back when MTV was actually all about the music, they made a variety of original programming. One of the most notable of these was MTV Unplugged – a series which ran for 10 years (89-99) before returning sporadically over the next decade for a number of specials. It’s still kind of around today, but no-one cares. At its peak, the series saw artists as diverse as The Corrs, Alice In Chains, Paul McCartney, Mariah Carey, Oasis, Bjork, Duran Duran, Joe Satriani, Jay-Z, and most famously – Nirvana.

The idea behind my series of posts is simply to suggest a bunch of artists that I wished had performed an Unplugged set along with my picks of songs I think would have worked in the setting. I don’t simply mean to pick acoustic songs – Unplugged always felt more intimate – like a secret gathering of fans coming together to witness a one time event. You can play along too – share your picks in the comments or in your own blog – but rather than allowing all this silly freedom, I’m going to lay down some general rules. The band needs to play at least 70 minutes of music, but not more than 90 – so count your songs carefully. The band would banter with the crowd between tracks, but any show pushing two hours would be excessive. My only other rule is that the artist needs to play at least one song from every album – of course those artists who have upwards of 10 albums may find this difficult or impossible. In those extreme cases, maybe they get to play two shows!

So yeah, that’s kind of it. It’s the sort of silly, pure imagination, pub chat post I love, and it’s always interesting to hear who others would pick. As a side note, before I get into my choices in future posts, I wanted to suggest a similar idea for discussion or thought. I don’t think I’ve written about this before, but I can’t be expected to keep track of all my wheelings and dealings.

Basically, I’ve always wanted to be a radio DJ – not really, but in my daydreaming moods I find my brain wandering back to this again and again. I don’t mean just someone who spins a tune or adheres to a playlist, I mean someone who has a daily/nightly, regular show who is free to play and do whatever they want. One show a week would be focused on movies – with guest critics, fans, stars etc – almost like a podcast where we would look at new releases and discuss classics. Each week would maybe have a theme, like horror, comedy, Western, Coen Brothers, Oscar Winners etc etc, and we would play songs and instrumental music from films. Another night could be sports based, talking about football, wrestling, and… well, those are the only two I pay attention to anymore. There would be a night where we just follow The Human Zoo format (Youtube it) where callers phone in randomly and unscreened to say and do whatever they please.

On the music front, I would have a section each night for new, unsigned acts- basically send me your demos and I’ll play it if I like it. Playlists are entirely anti-music and undemocratic, so those are completely out the window – if we want to play 1930s Blues, followed by 90s Trance, followed by 60s Folk, followed by Black Metal, well shit, we’ll do it. On to the crux of the imagining – the live set. One night a week we would have a live band come in for a chat and to play a few songs. This wouldn’t take on the appearance of a gig, more like questions, banter, and a handful of songs. The rule though, and the fun part is that each act needs to play at least one cover (which they haven’t played before), one non-single album track, and one ‘unreleased’ song (such as a B-Side or rarity). Five song maximum, so that leaves room for a couple of more famous songs. Unfortunately this is all a dream, a personal one, but if I ever become super rich and powerful, it’s something I’d love to do. For all you rich and powerful readers of my blog – get on it – make the world a better place.

Sorry, we got off track for a moment – that’s what happens when I don’t plan or rewrite posts. Feel free to share your thoughts on any of my delusions above – what would you do if you had your own Radio Show, what artists and songs would you love to see performed in the Unplugged setting?

Advertisements

The Dark Tower Multiverse Part 3

tower

Greetings, Glancers! I’ve decided to split my final post into two; they will be shorter than the previous posts, but together would be too long and boring to wade through. Full disclosure – I haven’t read Mr Mercedes, Revival, or Finders Keepers yet. I think they are related to one another, but I’m not sure how they connect with the wider Multiverse, Dark Tower or otherwise. You guys are the experts, so take the ball and run – let me know how those works should fit in to the cinematic and televisual landscape.

Rose Madder

Best Suited As A: Movie

So many of King’s books would work well as a two part TV movie than a standalone movie for the big screen and Rose Madder is no different. One of the few novels yet to be adapted, it would be a hard sell – a woman, victim of years of domestic abuse, decides to flee from her husband and start a new life. There she learns to trust and love again, thanks in part to a painting which acts as a portal to another world. I think the material works both ways – as a single movie or drawn out into two pieces for a longer whole – two big screen movies wouldn’t work, and there isn’t enough for a whole series. Still, get a stellar actress and strong supporting cast, make the other world believable and the treat and violence palpable, and you’ll have a good movie.

Major Connections/Tie Ins: Desperation, The Regulators. DT Series

I always got the impression that there King originally intended there to be more to the character and world of Rose Madder (and Rose Daniels) but abandoned the idea. Do some of these things link to Lisey’s Story? Probably just a coincidence. The world Rose travels to… for the purpose of the multiverse you could change from the story to make it clearly a part of Roland’s world and have your connections that way. The main genuine connection is through the minor character of Cynthia Smith – one of the women Rose meets along her way. She becomes a central character in both Desperation and The Regulators so make sure it’s the same actress and we’re all good.

Desperation/The Regulators

Best Suited As A: Movie

We’ve already seen one adaptation of this. What I think would be cool would be having this told side by side in four or six parts, split evenly. One week or night you show one piece from Desperation, the following week or night you show one piece from The Regulators. That may confuse people though. I was tempted to say why not bung it all together as a whole, thought split over different parts, and call it something new, something which references both stories. That would be more confusing, but would allow for some cool creative storytelling and presentation.

Major Connections/Tie Ins – DT series. Hearts In Atlantis.

The stories are completely different, even though they feature a similar cast of characters with the same names. Desperation is a little like Children Of The Corn in that it features a desert and deserted town, home to a malevolent force. The Regulators is the twinner novel, written by Richard Bachman, but also features the creature known as Tak, this time trying to take over a typical suburban street by forcing its way into the hearts and minds of the residents. Tak isn’t actually mentioned anywhere else, but the language he uses pops up elsewhere and his Can Toi are also known as Low Men. Can Tah are mentioned in Desperation too, which will become important later.

Wolves Of The Calla

Best Suited As: A Movie

Lets get back to Roland and chums. We’ve expanded the multi-verse far enough now that we know worlds cross over and collide unexpectedly. This is the beginning of the end as far as The Dark Tower is concerned, but it can be seen as a fast paced action movie with plenty of twists and treachery. The plot will depend heavily on decisions made earlier – those in The Dark Tower series, and in Salem’s Lot. The main action takes place in Calla Bryn Sturgis as our Ka-tet have to protect the town and its children from the Wolves – creatures who comes every few years to abduct and kill – as the names and plot suggest, it’s basically The Magnificent Seven. Elsewhere we have Father Callahan’s re-appearance, trips to New York to see Calvin Tower and protect the rose, and Susannah being taken over by Mia. The Susannah stuff, personally I would downplay most of it as I don’t feel it is overly important or ‘works’, but then again the next book is Song Of Susannah, so something has to be done. We know Mia gives birth to Mordred and Mordred kills Flagg, but couldn’t you skip all of that and have Roland kill Flagg? Hell, you could just say Black Thirteen corrupted her and be done with it.

Major Crossovers and Tie Ins: Salem’s Lot. DT Series. Black House. Hearts In Atlantis.

Obviously Salem’s Lot with Father Callahan now joining the team, again how much of the story he tells in the book that should be show here depends on how much was shown in the Salem’s Lot adaptation. We start to truly learn about Breakers and their purpose – this is why The Wolves are taking the kids, to force them to Break the barriers which hold up The Tower. This is something explored further in Black House and Hearts In Atlantis with several characters crossing over or being mentioned.

Gerald’s Game

Best Suited As : A Movie

One of the few King novels which has been around for a long time which has never been adapted, though I believe something official is in the pipeline. The main argument against this is that most of the book takes place in the head of Jessie as she lies handcuffed to a bed in a remote cabin. Well, there’s always ways around such things, showing the things she thinks of, her fantasies, and memories.

Major Crossovers and Tie-Ins: Dolores Claiborne.

Dolores Claiborne is the obvious connection as both books were meant to form part of a larger work which never transpired, and both feature a lead female protagonist/narrator. Again we can be liberal with connections here and have her mention a childhood where she may have lived near other characters, seen a scary clown, been chased by strangely dressed men in outlandish cars etc, or throw in the odd vision of The Tower.

Dreamcatcher

Best Suited As: A Movie

The already released movie is one of the worst King adaptations. That ending, man… ‘Jonesyyyyy’…. terrible. Still, there’s a decent, shlocky movie in there somewhere while also focusing on the friendship of the main characters and the government/military stuff. I don’t think there’s enough material here to stretch it into a two or three part mini series, but possibly you could get a three-four hour tv movie in two parts out of it, spending more time with the childhood sections.

Major Crossovers and Tie-Ins: IT. The Dark Tower.

The main characters are from Derry and in one section we find ‘Pennywise Lives’ spray-painted on a water tower, while certain names and the number 19 all play a recurring part. I would see this as an opportunity to take things a little further – firstly, why not have the government/military showing up as being none other than The Shop, potentially with same actors from previous movies showing up. Secondly, Duddits somehow learns how to enhance or share telepathic powers – maybe he learned this from a kindly old man named Ted Brautigan. I mean, if we’re going to take liberties, lets at least make them worthwhile.

Black House

Best Suited As: A Movie

Like I said for The Talisman, I would like to see this as a mini-series, but I don’t know if there would be enough interest. Basically we should follow suit – if The Talisman was a movie, this is a movie; if it was a mini-series, this is a mini-series.

Major Crossovers and Tie-Ins: The Talisman. The Dark Tower

While much of The Talisman took place in The Territories, Black House keeps its main narrative rooted in our world. Jack Sawyer is now grown up and has repressed his early adventures, though his uncanny abilities have made him something of a super cop. As a Detective he is brought in to investigate a series of gruesome murders involving children and soon finds himself recalling his lost memories and discovering the murders are linked to the Crimson King’s search for Breakers. We have already introduced this idea into the multiverse, but for anyone new it should make sense quickly. Several key players and terms from The DT crop up and we can further connect things by having upcoming settings and characters such as The Devar-Toi and Pimli Prentiss.

One part left to go, I think. As always, please share your thoughts on how you would bring together a Marvel style Stephen King universe and which connections and stories you would like to see done right on the big or small screen!

The Dark Tower Multiverse Part 2

tower

We’re back it again. Last time I rambled on through various Stephen King works only to realize that a single post was naive. Here we are with part 2!

Salem’s Lot

We’ve already seen two versions of this – David Soul and Rob Lowe – but given how deeply it ties in to The Dark Tower as well as some other works it’s only right that we return to it.

Best Suited As A: Mini Series

It’s another book that you could cover in a single movie, but again you’d lose much of the richness, texture, and character – it’s not easy to get to know an entire town of people and then wipe them out in the space of a hundred minutes. If we wish to expand upon the character of Father Callahan, and we do, then this needs to go further.

Major Crossovers/Cameos: DT Series. Night Shift. 

Following Father Callahan’s rise and fall and years int he wilderness can be divided between a Salem’s Lot series and the later DT movies. I never found those parts overly interesting in the books as they took me out of the action and Roland’s journey, but they make for stronger ties to important characters. It’s not an easy one to work out though – in the books Callahan’s adventures continue long after the events of Salem’s Lot – who would want to watch that when Ben and Mark have already slaughtered the vampires and left? Do you create some sort of after story where Ben and Mark are slaying in another part of the country and stumble upon Callahan? Or, do you take some liberties with the overall story and have the events which occur afterwards in the book actually occur before in the series? Like this: Father Callahan is a recently disgraced priest who lost his faith and path… bla bla… seeking both solitude and a reason to keep going he relocates to the sleep town of Jerusalem’s Lot. After a few slow months/years of integrating into the community, a writer called Ben Mears arrives just as a number of mysterious deaths swoop through the town.

I think that honestly works better than some tacked on coda. You can have Callahan bare his soul to Mears and co and show that he still has some way to go on his journey of redemption, which then leads him to In World and Roland. Then in Wolves Of The Calla you can fill in the blanks without spending too much time on them – we would know already that Callahan has done wrong and has been actively pursuing the good fight. This would doubly make his character in Salem’s Lot more interesting – whether or not his faith holds or not in the face of Barlow and Straker remains to be seen. Or of course, just stick to the books – the book does end with Ben and Mark returning to the town, so I guess at that point they could find Callahan and see what he has been up to but again you would need something more exciting to end the series on – more vampire slaughter perhaps, everyone loves that.

That leaves us with the two wrap around stories from Night Shift – one which takes place around 100 years prior to the events of Salem’s Lot and one which takes place a couple of years afterwards. For the first one you could film it as a short few minutes prologue and then reference its events later in the main series as Ben investigates the history of the town. For the second, it could form part of the final stages – a family travelling through, towards Derry or Castle Rock naturally, being besieged by bloodthirsty creatures only for Ben and Mark to show up and kick ass.

The Talisman

Another opportunity to bring in the non-horror audience, this tale has the hallmarks of being another cult hit like Stand By Me. 

Best Suited As A: Movie

It’s another big book and should probably be a mini series of split into two movies, but I don’t see it getting a lot of interest outside the King hardcore, so condense into a single rip-roaring adventure and you’re all set.

Major Crossovers/Cameos: Black House/DT Series

The book has a sequel – Black House – where Jack is now all grown up. No chance of using the same actor though for that role, but there’s still potential for some characters appearing in both… The DT references only come into their own for the sequel in the books, but you can easily throw in some connections in the Talisman movie, foreshadowing and otherwise.

Pet Sematary

There’s really only one way to follow up a heroic tale of childhood adventure, and that’s with the death of a child and the destruction of a family. King’s most horrific story had a pretty good movie outing already, followed by a less pretty good sequel. If you’ve been reading these posts you’ve probably already shouted, like a loon, ‘we don’t need any more remakes’! No-one can hear you, jackass. But you’re right, we don’t really need any more remakes, especially for things like this and The Shining and many others which were done perfectly well first time around. However, this is all just fantasy so you can decide for yourself which books to adapt and slot together. Can I proceed? Good.

Best Suited As: A Movie

While the origin has its fair share of shlock, as you might imagine, theoretically you could remove much of that and have even greater impact. Don’t bill this as some gore-fest about zombie kids and cats, bill it as a horror film about grief and guilt and loss, and show the true human outcomes which such events and torments inspire.

Major Crossovers/Cameos: Misc.

There aren’t too many overt crossovers here, aside from being set near Derry. It should be simple to add in some lines about missing kids in the big city, but it being much safer out in the stick, hardy har. Alternatively, set it near Castle Rock and tie things in, or keep it further separate and tie it to the places and events of The Talisman or The Shining or The Tommyknockers or whatever. One other crossover which only comes later is with Insomnia – one of the bald doctors who works for The Crimson King is said to keep Gage’s shoe. Probably better to reference that once we get to Insomnia. 

The Waste Lands

As you will know, I already said we should release Wizard And Glass first. In that series we learned all about Roland’s past and much more about his world and mission. We can reference that here through some quick snippets cut from the Wizard And Glass series, and an impassioned yet stoic speech from Roland. But the majority of The Waste Lands movie should involve bringing Jake over from his New York and restoring his and Roland’s sanity, Susannah and The Speaking Demon, finding Oy, passing through River Crossing, on to Lud, and finally to Blaine (the pain). The frantic riddle contest seems like a thrilling enough way to end things.

Best Suited As: A Movie

There’s plenty to pack in here, but it can be fairly action packed with the Lud and Shardik set pieces prime for big screen thrills.

Major Crossovers/Cameos: DT series.

No need for a lot of crossover here – potentially the New York scenes could contain something – when Jake buys Charlie The Choo Choo from Calvin Tower’s shop there could be a store on the opposite side of the street called Needful Things which makes him uneasy. Too on the nose?

Firestarter

The Drew Barrymore Firestarter isn’t great – it’s just Carrie with a younger girl and less interesting all around. That’s a shame though because at its core we have a decent story about exploitation and shady government types, and parenthood. It’s also a good time to introduce ‘The Shop’, a group underused in King’s works but who apparently have their fingers in a lot of pies.

Best Suited As: A Movie

There’s no reason why this couldn’t be a successful enough standalone movie – it doesn’t need a huge budget and you could always make the star a teen to give it that sort of audience/direction. A short, sharp tale of rebellion and evil dealings and the power of one girl could be just what the doctor ordered.

Major Crossovers: Tommyknockers. The Mist. The Stand. Potential Dark Tower.

As suggested in Stranger Things – messing with portals to other places rarely leads to pleasant results. It’s one of the aforementioned pies that ‘The Shop’ has been fingering. They are really only mentioned in passing in other stories, but why not make them an altogether more widespread and villainous corporation? Why not make them a wing of the Sombra Corporation? In the movie we could get a quick Passover of the experiments they have planned, conducted, and are planning – from work with deadly viruses, to attempting to make contact with alien civilizations, to their work with opening doors to other worlds than these. Their headquarters should be glossy and 21st Century bland, but offer the odd unsettling Crimson sigul or well placed 19. And should it be suggested that Charlie is a breaker, or the shining, or is somehow tied to Jake Chambers, Jack Sawyer, or Danny Torrence? Maybe we should see files or a quick flash on a screen of some of these kids as proof The Shop is looking for them? Maybe it should end with Charlie actively looking for them? There’s potential for tie in here more than what is actually there in the novel, and I think that should be exploited.

The Dark Half

A bit of a meta novel which received and okay treatment thanks to George Romero. A complex one to make successfully, why not treat it as straight as possible as a noir detective novel with supernatural elements. You have sympathetic characters, familiar faces from Castle Rock, and a terrific bad guy who just wants to live – it could be a slasher movie with that thing most slasher movies lack – an interesting, fully realized villain.

Best Suited As: A Movie

Most people will have forgotten the original by this point, and why not even many hardened fans would ask for a new version, if you make it good they will come. Who wouldn’t want to see a young family being terrorized by a cunning supernatural monster who is seemingly framing them for his unspeakable crimes?

Major Crossovers/Tie Ins: The Dead Zone. Cujo. Needful Things.

No major crossovers with The Dark Tower here, but plenty with the Castle Rock world as we catch up with Alan Pangborn and a few of the other cops and citizens of that part of the world. Depending how far you wish to take the Castle Rock side of things, there can be a lot of set up here for Needful Things – why not see Pangborn’s family as they currently are, making the events of that other work all the more potent.

Tommyknockers

It’s that rarity – a Stephen King book about aliens. I mean, it’s Salem’s Lot all over again with a small town being taken over by an evil exterior force, but you can make it about obsession, about bad men in suits, about anything you want really.

Best Suited As: A Movie

You could have another mini-series sure, but I don’t think there is enough here that we won’t have seen already, not without adding in a lot of unnecessary soap opera elements. Instead, make it an action packed siege/paranoia movie and give The Shop more overt involvement – agency staff arriving in the town and apparently ‘allowing’ things to take a certain course naturally. If they can make fifteen of those Furious movies about stealing cars, they can make a decent 100 minute movie out of this.

Major Crossovers/Tie Ins: The Mist. Firestarter. Potential Dark Tower. From A Buick 8.

Now that we established The Shop as having some dodgy dealings with super-powered kids, we can explicitly show how interested they are in ships from other worlds. We could even hint that it is in fact, their own ship, designed from parts scavenged and discovered by folks who have been travelling to other worlds than these. Another nifty one could be referring Low Men somehow, or at least their modes of transport – cars mentioned in a variety of King books and shorts which somehow have the power to suck you away completely. Lets say they harnessed such a power and created an aircraft – an aircraft which could appear and disappear at any point in space and time, and which could transport any manner of weapon or disease. If they didn’t create it, it’s something they would be very interested in getting for themselves. We wouldn’t need a whole From A Buick 8 movie then, and it would set up the outlandish cars for when we get to Hearts In Atlantis.

Needful Things

Lets head back to Castle Rock again. There’s a new shop in town, perhaps one which recently moved from New York, and one which claims to have exactly what you need. Whatever could anyone need in Small Town America? You’d be surprised.

Best Suited As: A Movie

Another case of the original movie being a mild diversion rather than something truly good, this has potential to work as a minor hit. It’s not going to break box office records, but it doesn’t need a huge budget either. Remember, many of these movies could work just as well as Netflix original type things rather than getting a theatrical release. It’s a big book, but again you can break it down to its most essential parts – grieving cop, mischievous bad guy who manipulates locals, carnage ensues.

Major Crossovers/Tie Ins: The Dead Zone. Cujo. The Dark Half.

Aside from the obvious Castle Rock stuff, which should have sucked the fans in by this point, is there any way we can squeeze The Dark Tower in? Should Gaunt have some connection to Sombra? Could it be made to look as if Gaunt is actually Flagg? We could have him played by a different actor, but in a short scene he could show his true face. That’s probably unnecessary and overkill, and moving too far away from the stories. Gaunt is a Flagg type character though – we know he moves from town to town doing te same thing over and over again – maybe it could end on him moving to a town yet to be featured in our movies? I’m sure more enterprising folks than me can come up with something.

I think that’s more than enough for now. If your eyes and brains can withstand further pain, follow my blog and I’ll eventually get round to a Part Three and as always, leave your comments below!

The Dark Tower Multiverse

*As most of you know, the trailer dropped for The Dark Tower yesterday and it’s… good? I think? Anyway, this seems like the perfect time to publish this post and get dem clicks, boy!

tower.jpg

Greetings, Glancers! As most of the people who visit and comments on my humble page are movie fans and avid readers, I’m willing to bet a fair few of you are Constant Readers – Stephen King fans. Therefore I’m sure many of you will be aware of the many King works heading to screens big and small in the coming months and years. In my ‘last Dark Tower’ post a couple of years ago we knew that the series was finally being made but had no clue who was going to be involved. At the time of writing (started on 30th March 2017) we know that Idris Elba and Matthew McConnaghy will be fighting for Mid-World and more before the year is out. Viral sites have already been set up, the first official poster has been revealed, a pre-effects trailer has been leaked, and a lucky few have seen some final footage (including Uncle Stevie himself). Beyond that, the trailer for the new It movie has just dropped and a couple of months back King and JJ Abrams also gave us a teaser for a new TV show called Castle Rock which seems to focus on the many famous characters and stories which King has created over his life (something I predicted in my previous post). Neither of these works seem to tie in to The Dark Tower movie, but we might get lucky and get a few connections.

All this got me thinking about something I touched on in my last post – the wish for King’s major works (not just DT related) to be released in a similar way to how Marvel was doing things – with at least one major movie and TV show coming out each year until we were all sick of it. These are the things I dwell on when I can’t sleep and if I don’t write them I won’t sleep again, so I’m expanding on that premise for this post. Here is a suggested timeline for most of King’s books and how they should have tied together Marvel style – as always, there will be SPOILERS so tread carefully, especially for those who have not yet completed The Dark Tower series. Please note that I’m not going to cover everything here – that would take an age and this is already destined to be a long, rambling post. Almost every story King has written connects to others in some way so a few standalone TV series a la Castle Rock, Haven, Nightmares & Dreamscapes could fill in those blanks – hitting a variety of short stories while also connecting to the wider world of Derry, Castle Rock, Jerusalem’s Lot, and along the beam. Use your imagination.

The Gunslinger

We may as well start at the beginning (end?) of the Tower journey. The movie would obviously serve as an introduction to Roland’s quest as well as touching upon the critical ideas of the multiverse. The only problem I see here is that maybe you would want to start the whole franchise with a more well known story – The Stand, The Shining, or Salem’s Lot. Meh, put enough effort into the advertising and you’d be fine.

Best Suited As A: Movie

It isn’t a huge book and most of the major themes and plot elements could easily be covered in a two hour movie.

Major Crossovers/Cameos: The Dark Tower series, everything.

The Gunslinger obviously ties in with the rest of the Tower series but I don’t think this book specifically has characters or scenarios which link to books outside The Dark Tower. The most problematic piece of the puzzle is the aging of Jake Chambers – these movies are going to be years apart, yet Jake should only age a few months/couple of years over the course of the whole saga.

The Shining

Sure we’ve already had two version of it already but at least now we can make it part of the expanded universe and set up for the Doctor Sleep sequel. The story is strong enough and has enough history to pull in the crowds. The only problem is that Kubrick’s movie is so damn iconic that any updated version would be compared, probably in an ill light.

Best Suited As A: Movie

Take the Kubrick style and visuals, yet follow the book’s plot more closely like the mini-series, but make it scary! And make it about a boy, a father, and a mother – not just about jack going crazy.

Major Crossovers/Cameos: Doctor Sleep, IT

The Shining has a sequel, Doctor Sleep, which is set around 30 years after. Naturally this causes a problem with casting for any ‘surviving’ characters who appear in both works. For Danny you would clearly need a new actor, but Dick Hallorann, Wendy, and Jack could all appear in the sequel with the same actor in each role. Hallorann is referenced in IT so why not have him cameo there. In the same vein, Hallorann could easily reference the events of IT in The Shining depends on how the time setting works. According to the books, Hallorann saved the life of Mike Hanlon’s dad meaning Mike would be born later and help bring down Pennywise. The childhood section of It could be set either before or after the events of The Shining with Dick referencing one while appearing in the other – a throwaway line about adults not being able to see monsters or little kids being able to see things which grownups cannot would go a long way for all us geeks.

IT

We may as will move to this one now. The teaser trailer looks promising, so I’ll be in the Cinema checking that out in a few months.

Best Suited As A: Mini-Series

IT is huge. Sure they could strip away a lot of the frills and get down to the central story of ‘bad creature kills kids every thirty years in small town – only kids can see It and decide to fight back’ but that would be missing out on a lot of the lore, and the world King created. This would be an opportunity to begin tying together the various other worlds and stories. An eight hour mini series would be best, hell, even run that out to ten. Ten single hour episodes or four two hour shots would do nicely.

Major Crossovers/Cameos: The Dark Tower. 11/22/63. The Shining. Dreamcatcher. The Tommyknockers. Insomnia.

IT. Pennywise. A creature millions of years old which can seemingly travel between universes, IT is referenced in many other King books – more confusingly, creatures which share a lot of IT’s powers and trademarks show up elsewhere. The Dark Tower references could be confusing at this point so it would be better splitting the mini-series into two distinct parts – wait for the DT series to catch up a little before the second part of IT is released. Then all the allusions to Maturin and Turtles can be shown, subtly, and would make sense. For crossovers and cameos, the timing could be problematic given that King sets certain stories in a specific time – It features Derry in the 50s and 80s. That’s not a problem in itself as it would be easy to move each period forward a few decades to bring the story up to date for modern audiences. If you move it up to date though, you lose potential crossovers – in 11/22/63 for example Jake goes back to 1958 and meets Bev and Ritchie who discuss ‘The Clown’. We can’t really have Jake going to a different point in time. Having said that, we don’t always have to follow King so closely and the filmmakers can through in their own cameos and crossovers which don’t occur in the books. Between the release of the Childhood part of IT and the Adult part, drop some references in the other movies and shows which suggest Pennywise returning – news reports of missing kids in Derry, good old graffiti etc.

The Dead Zone

A good time to introduce Castle Rock to viewers, and a story which is ripe for retelling given the current political and social climate we find ourselves in. I haven’t watched a single episode of the TV series, but I do like the Cronenberg movie.

Best Suited As A: Movie

I’ve never felt that The Dead Zone was a good fit for the big screen, but with the right director this could be a potent and intelligent thriller, if not a commercial hit.

Major Crossovers/Cameos: Cujo. Needful Things. The Body. The Dark Half.

This is where things get difficult. People have always stated that King’s novels, especially the more horrific ones, don’t translate well to screen. That’s why I think the idea of the Castle Rock TV show(or something similar) is excellent – you can dip in and dip out of each story as the characters and events crossover. It’s difficult to see any of the above tie-ins to The Dead Zone working as standalone movies in today’s market, but even more so in imagining them as individual series. So I’ll leave it up to you – create a new show which links many of the novels and shorts related to Castle Rock together, or go for the movie option. Either way, if The Dead Zone is a movie, then we still have obvious crossovers – Sheriff Bannerman is a key player in TDZ and would still be Sheriff by the time Cujo emerged from the rabbit hole. Depending on when you set The Body (Stand By Me) Bannerman could be there as a younger actor, with the same actor in current time, or even replaced by Alan Pangborn. By the time later Castle Rock stories roll around, the references to TDZ would be minor, though certain foreshadowing of the later works could be added in TDZ – Pangborn as a younger cop, the town in need of a trinket’s shop, reports of rabid dogs, a local writer by the name of Thad Beaumont becoming successful etc.

The Drawing Of The Three

We never want to stray too far from the DT series so you want to make sure the release of each entry is not more than two years apart. Here the journey truly gets underway as we meet Detta and Eddie and learn about travelling between worlds.

Best Suited As A: Movie

Another epic, this one almost needs to be divided into two parts – how much can you really cover in a two hour movie while also getting to know the new characters? You could push it to three like LOTR but you’d need to confident in getting bums into cinema seats. Lets assume it’s going to be a major success and push for a longer run time – sorted.

Major Crossovers/Cameos: DT series, The Eyes Of The Dragon

Now that we have a few other films and shows under our belt, it’s time to really play with the multiverse. New York is important in the DT canon and in The Drawing of The Three we find out how doors between worlds work. In addition to New York, why not have a door to Derry – even one which takes us to the past so that Roland can briefly encounter some of our other characters/places? This might be too convoluted though – it might be easier for Eddie or Susannah/Odetta/Detta allude to events in movies we have already seen or some yet to be released. The main crossover is with The Eyes of The Dragon as Roland refers to Dennis, Thomas, and Flagg. There should probably be a scene – possibly post credits – which shows our good friend Flagg going through a door leading to a world investigating the first outbreaks of a superflu.

The Eyes Of The Dragon

A story which occurs in roughly the same place and time as the main DT series, this one was aimed at a younger audience but with the movie it could bridge the gap between adults and younger viewers being introduced to the whole King multiverse.

Best Suited As A: Movie

I don’t see enough interest in this to work as a TV series or even mini-series. If you go mini-series it would have to be only 2-3 parts and kept cheap. Go for the movie and you can expand upon the character of Flagg, the setting of In-World, and even give a more concrete ending.

Major Crossovers/Cameos: DT series

That concrete ending could of course link up to the events of Roland’s youth, with Flagg being defeated and angry and fleeing to Gilead for his next adventure – how about a scene with him seeing a baby Roland, or taking on the name Marten Broadcloak, or meeting with The Crimson King and discussing future plans?

The Stand

This is as good a time as any to unleash the biggie. King’s biggest novel, we get to watch the destruction of the world in the ultimate battle between Good and Evil.

Best Suited As A: Mini Series

Like the Mick Garris version – one of my favourite movies/shows ever, this needs to be told over a period of several hours. There are so many characters and the scope is so huge that a single movie just doesn’t work.

Major Crossovers/Cameos: DT Series, Night Surf.

We learn more about Flagg here, but we need to be careful to focus on this being a standalone story. The actor playing Flagg is the same, but in each world he appears in he needs to adapt to the times, the customs, and fashions so his appearance in the ‘real world’ should be different from how he looks elsewhere – King sees him as a modern Texas cowboy, almost as if he is mocking Roland’s more antiquated look. Aside from Flagg, I would keep references to The Dark Tower to a minimum – the destruction of Earth is really just a little fun bit on the side for Flagg. There is of course evidence in the books that Flagg doesn’t always ‘remember’ the things he has done and places he has visited, suggesting that moving between worlds can be detrimental to one’s sanity. Then again, Flagg is ancient so it is same to assume he has been the architect of the downfall of many civilizations and people never mentioned in any King story. Another aspect to be careful about is cementing the understanding that the world of The Stand is not the same as the world of It or other works. How this is done could prove difficult – a simple solution of course may be Flagg enquiring about Derry or Castle Rock only to be told by a confused cohort that no such town exists in Maine. Maybe he’s friends with Leland Gault and finds out that he doesn’t exist on this level of The Tower and could remark as such with a throwaway line.

We should have some connection though – the obvious one being Night Surf. There are a lot of side stories in The Stand – characters who lived and died – no great loss. Night Surf is a standalone short set in the same world and time of The Stand and is interesting enough to include as part of the mini-series. We could change things up so that one of our characters from The Stand was present during the events of Night Surf before making it to Vegas or Hemingford Home. Actually, Hemingford Home crops (ha) up in Children of The Corn and ‘He Who Walks Behind The Rows’ is basically Flagg so we could have a potential crossover there… yeah, that’s a fantastic idea, lets go with that. So, either we have a Children of The Corn movie and brings some actors over from it to The Stand or vice versa, or we skip that movie and have some creepy kids joining Flagg in Vegas with them calling him  ‘He Who Walks Behind The Rows’ or Flagg discussing how they took over a small town after the disease landed and killed any adults who passed through.

Wizard And Glass/DT Series

The book which fills in a lot of blanks in Roland’s past. And what is this – I’m releasing it before I’m releasing The Waste Lands? Madness!

Best Suited As A: TV Series

We have another choice – either allow this to be another movie – in which case it should come after The Waste Lands – or as a dedicated mini series which goes beyond the events told in the novel. The series should focus on Roland as an infant with Flagg, Farson, more history on Gunslingers, and take us through his childhood – events mentioned in The Gunslinger, events mentioned in the comics, through his relationship with Susan and the story of Wizard And Glass, as well as killing his own mother and on to Jericho Hill (where of course he lifts the Horn Of Eld). You know what – lets go all the way and throw in The Wind Through The Keyhole too. Given the amount of material to work with, I feel like this deserves to be a dedicated series, not a mere mini series. A full season of 12, or 16, or 22 episodes. Hell break it up into two seasons if you must. The series shows us how Roland came to be the man he is, what set him on his journey, we meet Cuthbert and his original Ka-tet, and we can finish on him as an adult setting out on the beam. And yes, we should also include The Little Sisters Of Eluria. That of course sets us up nicely with the introduction of vampires… For the sake of chronology, what the series should not show is the wraparound story of the actual novel – the conclusion of the Blaine story and the meeting of Flagg in The Emerald City – let’s save those for elsewhere.

Right, any more in a single post and I would be taking the piss. I think this is going to need a Part 2. Stick around for that and leave your thoughts and imaginings for a King Multiverse in the comments!

The Spac Hole Cinema

If you’re like me (and given that you consist of blood, skin, and guilt and are here reading this blog I must assume that you are) then you have probably spent many hours wondering what it would be like do own your own Cinema. Some of you posh, gold-toothed types possibly even have your own home cinema – a dark room that the kids and the wife aren’t allowed to stain with their presence – replete with a special throne and all the bestest surround stuff technology and 70 inch, HD, 10k projector screen thing. That’s not what I’m talking about, or typing about – what I mean is an actual public cinema – a multi-screen entertainment facility, a hub for movie-goers and back row neckers, one that you have designed from top to bottom and have complete dictator-like control over.

Kim-Jong-Un.jpg
‘Police Academy 7 – All day, every day! Police Academy 7 for all!’

Yes, if I had a million dollars, I probably wouldn’t invest in such a foolish endeavor. But if I had a billion dollars, by Buddha I would. I would erect an Omniplex so grand as to spit on the toes of the Gods, a Cinema with screens showing hits new and old, and pack it to bursting with ideas no sane businessman would ever contemplate.

trump4
A sane Business Man

Luckily, here in The Spac Hole ideas and dreams are the primary driver of our economy, and money is an irrelevance; if you think it and want it, it will be. Behold! I present to you The Spac Hole Cinema – the greatest Cinema in all Universes, known and otherwise. There will be one of these built in every citadel beyond the Stars and each will consist of:

  • Multiple Screens of the largest scale and highest quality. I don’t want to go overboard or be too specific, but anywhere between 5 and 10 screens is fine.
  • The seats are made of the finest quality, each with their own reclining ability, heating and vibrating controls and foot rests.
  • Each screen has its own self service shop before entering the auditorium – simply enter your snack (any food, drink, brand in existence) into our database, and it will be provided in a few short moments.
  • There is also a central restaurant where the best chefs will wine and dine you before or after your film.
  • Each screen has a Merchandise/Gift Shop which you will exit into once your movie has finished. It will have shelves stacked high with merchandise from the film you have just watched – posters, mugs, signed photographs, screenplays, copies of the movie to buy, clothes, props etc.
  • There is also a central multistorey Gift Shop which houses merchandise from both the latest releases and those you may have just missed, as well as a selection of our most popular items from the most popular films.
  • There is a Bar where you can sit and drink with friends and fans, housing a relaxed atmosphere where movie discussion is encouraged and where we invite students of film from local Schools and Universities to come and geek out or deconstruct. The resident DJ will play music from movies exclusively – hit songs from all eras and instrumental music from both films being currently shown and classics – requests are encouraged!
  • The majority of the screens will show current releases, but will not be exclusive to Hollywood only – the best of World Cinema New Releases will be shown alongside what the US has to offer.
  • There will be at least 1 screen exclusive to kids/family/animated movies.
  • There will be at least 1 screen exclusive to Classics and movies which have since dropped out of other Cinemas – the only rule being that the film must be at least 12 months old.
  • There will be at least 1 screen exclusive to TV – showing multiple episodes of a particular TV show current or old as well as the most important Sporting fixtures.
  • For both the family screen and the Classic screen we will incorporate Seasons into our schedule. For example, on the family screen we may feature a Don Bluth Season where we will show a selection of his non-Disney hits, while the Classic Screen may feature an Alfred Hitchcock Season. The Seasons will vary, from Shakespeare Season to Comedy Season to Spanish Season to Arnie Season – the merchandise shop updated accordingly for each.
  • For the TV screen, Sports Fixtures will be appropriate to the location of the Cinema, but may include football, basketball, and even WWE and TNA Sports Entertainment events, both live and classic. Pilot episodes of new series will be shown and we will also have Seasons by a particular show or writer/director/creator/star. For example, a Buffy Season may include key episodes from each Series shown three at a time over a number of weeks, while a William Shatner Season may show episodes from a variety of Series including Star Trek, TJ Hooker, 3rd Rock From The Sun, and Boston Legal.
  • As Dictator, I will have final say over which films are shown in a particular Season and which current Releases are screened. Fans may vote at an associated website for a particular movie or show, and send their ideas for a movie or TV Season.
  • At festive times of the year, namely Christmas and Halloween, we hold special yearly Seasons.The family, TV, and Classic screens will each show a selection of Christmas themed episodes and movies. For example, Christmas will see movies like Die Hard, Santa Clause The Movie, and It’s A Wonderful Life alongside Christmas Episodes of The Simpsons, Only Fools And Horses, Bottom, Friends and many more. Likewise Halloween will feature 30 days of Horror with both family oriented scares and ones reserved for adults only. During this period it is expected that audience members will come dressed in a festive manner, either as a character from a movie or in general festive fashion.

There you go. Would you like to visit my Cinema? Of course you would! Feel free to offer any suggestion on what you would like to see in your ideal Cinema, or let us know of any film you wish you’d seen on the big screen but missed out on. What sort of Movie Season would you go to if your local was showing it? If you are all good boys and girls I might make a series of posts listing the films and episodes I would show in my majestic cinematic behemoth (probably based of my other recent posts in the Walk Of Fame, Shrine, TTT serieseses). However, if you are bad boys and girls then I definitely will…

Movie.jpg
Police Academy 7 is awesome! YEAH!

Dreams: 10/24/11

1. I dreamed of work- always nasty. Work seems to invade the refuge of sleep more than Fred Kruegger. It’s even worse when you wake up and realise that it’s time to get up for work. Anyway, it was a team meeting and my boss was explaining to us all that he was a massive Pink Floyd fan. As he listed his favourite PF songs (none of which seemed to be Floyd songs)  and how they inspired his career (irony which Waters and co would be proud of no doubt) the team giggled. He seemed to think they were laughing at his terrible old fart taste in music, but really they were laughing because the names were ridiculous. Feeling like I had to stick up for him I stated that I was a fan of the big four Floyd albums, but not the early stuff so much. No one laughed. Then I woke up.

2. I dreamed I was at some sort of party/picnic with various people. Terrorists came over a hill like something from Red Dawn and began firing automatic weapons at us. They were simultaneously killing and rounding us up. Rather than running scared I hatched an ingenious plan; to use a bus as a shield and ride it down to a nearby river. I managed to lift the bus off the ground and push it towards the hill before holding onto one of the passenger windows as it raced down to the river. Never did it occur to me that if I had the strength to lift a bus that perhaps I should throw it at the bad guys. It seems I am not a hero in my dreams. The baddies saw me and fired, one round hitting me in the throat. By the mighty power of my dream passivity, I thought this didn’t matter and the wound mysteriously vanished. Soon I splashed into the river, and began to speed away with the current.

At this point a recurring dream of mine came into play- that I’m on a rollercoaster/ghost train/flume ride/first person shooter fun ride. I mved down the river, steering past logs etc only to realise that there were grizzly bears popping up every so often and trying to take a chomp out of my face. Again my new found immortality and super strength didn’t seem to make me any less afraid. Eventually I got to a junction- right seemed to be the end of the river and looked like an evil swamp, left was a slight waterfall into a came poo. Left I went. Climbing from the pool and walking forwards I found myself blocked by a bigger pool. Climbing out of it towards me was another guy I knew from the picnic. He wasn’t speaking and disconcertingly when I turned away and back he vanished and re-appeared at the other side of the pool and began to swim before me. I think this was repeated a few times. I didn’t want to get to the other side if it was some sort of time looping void, but then I thought that he had died at the picnic and was here as a ghost, swimming the same path for eternity. I also thought the pool was poisonous. Regardless I swam to the other end and beckoned the other guy to follow. He did. This seemed to knock him out of his loop. I looked around for a clue as to where we should go next. Then I woke up.

Sorry.

 

An Introduction

Ah yes, this is the place where the things that should not be are given a voice.  Our own imaginings of  that which never was, and never will (or should) be. These are the thoughts we have which should never be heard or thought by anyone. The Spac Hole is a Void, but there is just enough oxygen to give these thoughts a voice. However, there are things in the Spac Hole which have ears, and eyes, and have the power to make the unreal and unimaginable a reality.

Coming Soon…