Stephen King, as ever, has a lot of irons in the fire — but not all of those irons burn white-hot. Adaptations of his IT and Mr. Mercedes yielded positive reviews and the adaptation of Gerald’s Game making the film festival rounds (ScreenCrush’s review coming this week) has a lot of promising early buzz as well. It may shock you to learn, however, that a big-screen treatment of his popular novel series The Dark Tower premiered nationwide just a couple months ago. It’s true, you can even Google it! It is a real movie, a fact I find I have to remind myself of every time this topic comes up.

In a new interview over at Vulture (where, full disclosure, this critic also regularly runs work), King discussed everything he’s been up to lately and touched on the failed Dark Tower movie. King’s a pro with media; his quote below is critical but diplomatic:

The major challenge was to do a film based on a series of books that’s really long, about 3,000 pages. The other part of it was the decision to do a PG-13 feature adaptation of books that are extremely violent and deal with violent behavior in a fairly graphic way. That was something that had to be overcome, although I’ve gotta say, I thought [screenwriter] Akiva Goldsman did a terrific job in taking a central part of the book and turning it into what I thought was a pretty good movie. The TV series they’re developing now … we’ll see what happens with that. It would be like a complete reboot, so we’ll just have to see.

Indeed, the story stretches out over a long canvas, but hey, the U.S. versions of Harry Potter shake out to around 4,100 pages. Maybe the real lesson was not to condense multiple books defined by their arcane, elaborate plotting into a single movie?

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