5 Things This Servant Of The Beam Would Love To See In Mike Flanagan's Upcoming Dark Tower Adaptation

Roland the Gunslinger in The Dark Tower
(Image credit: Michael Whelan/Suntup)

You know, for a time, Frank Darabont was “the Stephen King guy.” Having written and directed three Stephen King masterpieces — those being The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, and The Mist — if there was anybody who was going to tackle the gargantuan The Dark Tower series, I wanted it to be him. But, then we actually got a Dark Tower movie (not from Darabont), and, well, it sucked. How bad was it? So bad, that I think the Dark Tower adaptation was even more disappointing than the Avatar: The Last Airbender movie. And let me tell you. The Last Airbender had issues.     

Now, it appears that Mike Flanagan is the new de facto Stephen King guy. He first adapted one of Stephen King’s “unfilmable” books (Gerald’s Game)...to amazing results, and then tackled The Shining sequel, Dr. Sleep, which everyone should watch since it’s phenomenal. And, Flanagan is going to try his gunslinging hand at adapting The Dark Tower (hell, our resident Stephen King fanatic, Eric Eisenberg, has already dreamed up eight actors who would be terrific as Roland). Since I’m also a huge fan of these novels, I thought I’d discuss five things that I would also personally love to see in this future adaptation. Because all things serve the beam. 

Oh, and MAJOR spoilers for The Dark Tower series if you’ve never read the books.    

The Dark Tower

(Image credit: Sony Pictures Releasing)

Each Book Handled Separately, Rather Than A Hodgepodge Like The Movie Adaptation 

Many moons ago, I ranked all eight Dark Tower books, as each novel is unique in its own special way. For example, Book 4, Wizard and Glass is a love story set in Roland’s past, while Book 5, Wolves of the Calla, is a zany, out-there western/fantasy story with one of the most bizarre climaxes ever put to the page. Why, then, did the movie version have such a hodgepodge of ideas from the series (Like, what was Roland doing with the Horn of Eld?), rather than just starting from the beginning? No, just no.      

If we’re going to do this over, let’s start at Book 1, The Gunslinger, and go from there. According to Deadline, Flanagan says he envisions this as a five season series, with two stand-alone features. And, since there are eight books in the series (I’ll get into The Wind Through the Keyhole in a bit), I think that five seasons and two movies checks out quite nicely at seven segments. But again, let’s talk about that eighth book. 

A tiger in The Wind Through the Keyhole book cover

(Image credit: Grant)

Proper Placement/Treatment Of The Wind Through The Keyhole 

So, as any Dark Tower fan can tell you, The Wind Through the Keyhole is the odd book in the series. Taking place story-wise between Wizard and Glass, and Wolves of the Calla, it was actually the last book Stephen King wrote for the series, as it came out after Book 7. In this way, most fans consider it Book 4.5, since it’s not really necessary to get the overall experience, but, it does add a great deal of depth to Roland’s story, as it’s really a story WITHIN a story. It also has his ka-tet waiting out a storm, so, while it’s not exactly essential to the saga, it’s still a nice little addition.

That’s why I’d want to see it in the new series. Even so, I’m not saying that I want to see A WHOLE SEASON dedicated to it. In fact, if the episodes are about an hour long each, I could even see two episodes being dedicated to the events in the story. But, I –  and I’m pretty sure most Dark Tower fans – do want to see it somewhere in the series, since it features a really cool shapeshifter, and who doesn’t want to see that?  

Idris Elba in The Dark Tower

(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

A White Roland, And A Black Susannah Odetta Holmes OR, A Black Roland And A White Susannah Odetta Holmes 

Okay, so this next point might sound weird coming from a black guy writing this article, but I want Roland to be white this time around. Nothing against Idris Elba, as I think he did the best he could with the abysmal material he had. But, racism is actually a REALLY important plot point in my favorite book in the series, The Drawing of the Three, as Susannah Odetta Holmes (later Susannah Dean) is racist to Roland because of her second personality, Detta Walker, which Susannah isn’t fully aware of until later on in the story. 

I NEED to see that storyline. The Drawing of the Three is my favorite book mainly because I love how Roland has to navigate all of his physical troubles in the story (The Lobstrosities!) as well as all of his emotional troubles involving Detta despising him. So, in that way, I want Roland to either be white with a Black Susannah (as seen in the book), or, a Black Roland, with a white Susannah. Honestly, I’d much rather see the former rather than the latter, but I definitely want to see at least one of those scenarios. There’s just too much juicy conflict to ignore.  

Pennywise leaps from the screen in IT

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Characters From Other Stephen King Stories Worked Into The Narrative  

Now, this one may be very difficult to actually pull off, but how cool would it be if Pennywise from It, or Father Callahan from Salem’s Lot made an appearance in this upcoming series? One of the coolest things about The Dark Tower is all of the characters from other Stephen King stories who flit in and out of the narrative throughout the eight books. I mean, the first novel starts with this very line: “The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed,” with the “man in black” being Randall Flagg (a.k.a. Walter Paddick), the central antagonist of The Stand, as well as a villain in several other Stephen King stories.   

Thankfully, Flanagan seems to have the kind of vision that The Dark Tower deserves, as I’m sure he’s going to try to be as faithful to the text as possible. Now, whether that means we hear about the other stories these characters actually COME from is a different matter altogether, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw some low men in yellow coats, like in Hearts in Atlantis, somewhere in the series. That’s how big a fan he seems to be of these books, which brings me to my last wish.    

Stephen King on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

(Image credit: CBS Media Ventures)

Stephen King Actually In The Story Itself, Just As He Is In The Books  

Okay, so I know this might be the most controversial desire on this list, but can we PLEASE get Stephen King in this upcoming series? Now, I’m well aware that some fans HATE the fact that King is actually in The Dark Tower series, and for some fans, I know that this was the part where they got off the hype train (the Blaine the Mono, if you will) and never looked back. But, one of my favorite parts of the entire story is when Roland actually MEETS the author. 

This isn’t just some throwaway part in the story, but actually integral to the entire narrative. So, if Mike Flanagan really wants to stay committed to the story that King laid out, I think it’s going to be necessary to actually have Sai King in this series. At least, that’s what I would love to see. 

And, those are just FIVE things that I want to see in this upcoming adaptation. But, what do you think? For more news on all things The Dark Tower, make sure to journey here often.  

Rich Knight
Content Producer

Rich is a Jersey boy, through and through. He graduated from Rutgers University (Go, R.U.!), and thinks the Garden State is the best state in the country. That said, he’ll take Chicago Deep Dish pizza over a New York slice any day of the week. Don’t hate. When he’s not watching his two kids, he’s usually working on a novel, watching vintage movies, or reading some obscure book.