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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!