Movies and their source material

Back to Article
Back to Article

Movies and their source material

Ryan Castanon, Staff Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Stephen King is a popular author of horror, supernatural fiction, and fantasy bestsellers, but over the years, the Hollywood movie business has not been kind to him. Though there are many low-quality and lesser-known Stephen King movies that emerge every few years, critically acclaimed movies like The Shawshank Redemption or The Green Mile manage to withstand the adaptation from the book to the screen. This year, there have been two Stephen King movies released, and both are prime examples of how contrasted his movies are from one another. The first one, The Dark Tower, has a 16% rating on the popular review site Rotten Tomatoes, and the second one, It, has an 87% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. This shows that Stephen King’s novels are good examples of respected source materials not always being adapted into high-quality movies.  

 

The Dark Tower is about a boy named Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor), who must find the last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain (Idris Elba), and prevent the Man in Black, Walter O’Dim (Matthew McConaughey), from destroying the Dark Tower that protects the universe and holds it together. The plot can obviously take a series of several books to get through, but the first problem the movie has is that the same plot is condensed down to an hour and a half of screen time. Due to this, the movie feels extremely rushed and readers of the book were generally disappointed with the lack of detail and complexity. Another risky move that the movie took was relying on “star power”, or the casting of popular actors such as Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba, which did not pay off for the movie in the end.

 

Now, let’s move on to the second King adaptation in question. Every twenty-seven years, in the town of Derry, the mysterious creature, It, returns to terrorize children and feed on their fear as Pennywise the Dancing Clown. But this time around, a group of children that called themselves Losers Club descend into the sewers to confront It once and for all. This is roughly the plot of It, the second Stephen King movie released this year. There are many reasons why this movie did so well, one being that there was a mini-series in 1990 with the same name and story, making the plot simpler and more familiar for people who didn’t read the book. In fact, many people even noticed that the movie came out 27 years after the mini-series. It also didn’t have to deal with the same issues as The Dark Tower, being that the source material is only a single novel rather than an entire series. Details from the story were able to be kept in the movie because of this, while also allowing the plot to not feel rushed. It was able to avoid the problem of relying on star power because most of the cast had to be child actors, the most popular of which being Finn Wolfhard from Stranger Things.

It seemed destined to do better on screen than The Dark Tower ever since it was  written. The Dark Tower is a story best told and explained through several books through a series due to the story’s complicated plot with many important parts that should not be left out. It has proven to have a simple yet effective plot that can be interpreted into different forms of entertainment. Maybe some stories are meant to stay in the books in which they were told.