Stephen King… I used to love you. Your legends themselves were the stuff of legend. Not a single week went by without someone bringing up Danny boy, the little Gage that got hit by a truck and dragged down the street… the murderous supernatural car that ran people down just because… the girl wearing pig’s blood at the prom… and, one of my beloved favorites, the nurse that likes to crack ankles with sledgehammers… and we all learned what rabies REALLY does to a massive domesticated pet. Your source material is pretty much all the same, but with just enough schtick to keep us coming back. It was much of the same characters, much of the same town, much of the same dialog full of dialects…. but we still loved it.
Producers loved you because they mined your source material for decades. Sometimes they twisted it to fit their own agenda or make it “audience-friendly” (cough cough… who in their right mind thinks horror is audience-friendly? That’s the whole fucking point… it’s NOT).
You even tried your own hand at directing. I remember being aghast at your choice to include AC/DC as the soundtrack to Maximum Overdrive. I think you enjoyed it, but frankly, AC/DC doesn’t scare me. I marveled at your strange choices to augment your horror with unintentional slapstick. You knew you weren’t that awesome at directing and you pulled out. That’s fine. Let others collaborate with you and make it better.
My point is… you have had decades upon decades to build a massive fan base and production credibility. You could do almost anything you wanted and the sheep will follow. There isn’t a bookshelf in the country that doesn’t bear your name, and yes I’m talking about every individual household that owns a book.
You spent the time to create and write a phenomenal series of books that I have yet to finish… and may never finish (but that’s ok), and successfully blend science fiction, fantasy and horror into one single twisted modern masterpiece that people place in such high regard as Tolkien.
The time came for you to put together The Dark Tower. Now was the perfect time for you to cash in your accrued credibility and satisfy your fan base. Now was the time to seal your fate in the annals of pop culture. We heard the movie was coming out. We heard Idris Elba and Matthew McCoughnaheygirlwhatchauptoo were cast. There were debates. There were rages. There were wadded panties. But we all held our breath.
The trailer came out. We exhaled slightly. The trailer did wonders for your anticipation, just as a trailer should do.
We all opened our mouths and waited.
You walked up, unzipped your pants, and pissed in them.
95 minutes. Out of a series of x books and two gifted actors with fantastic star power, you gave us 95 fucking minutes.
Somehow, you let the director… the producers… the studio… someone… decide… that this sprawling horror fantasy with blood, sex and gore… should be distilled to PG-13.
In the age of Game of Thrones… Westworld… Lost… and countless other serial dramas that have overtaken our lives (THANK GOD GOODBYE REALITY SHOWS)… you… the creator of this massive, proud work… YOU… let them do this to us.
YOU, kind sir, are solely responsible for this reprehensible decision.
I don’t give a fuck if you think the studios did it. I don’t fucking care if you think the director was going to make the right choices. You did this. You should have stayed involved with your work closely enough to make sure the RIGHT DECISIONS WERE MADE.
THEY WEREN’T MADE, STEPHEN. THE RIGHT DECISIONS WERE NOT MADE.
You cashed out decades of good will and fan base on 95 minutes and a PG-13 rating that was created so a horned helmet wearing priest could pull the heart out of a sacrificial victim. You let them pick a rating that explicitly allows the use of one occurrence of the f-word.
FOR THE DARK TOWER.
I will never be able to register my malcontent over this. The least I can do is avoid giving you my ticket money. I’ll do my best to wait and see if it comes up on HBO or something that I can use my existing subscription to see. Or, maybe I’ll pirate it. But I’m sure I’ll even waste the my valuable time to download it.
The real horror story here is how a single man, full of arrogance and pride, singlehandedly murdered an entire fan base in the span of 95 minutes.
I’m so disappointed.