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3 Things That Would Also Work As A Movie And TV Show, Besides Dark Tower

Fan sites are trumpeting the news today that Stephen King‘s Dark Tower has been greenlit for a film adaptation. But for television, or movies, you ask?

Both.  The idea is to have a trilogy of movies that aren’t completely consecutive, narrative-wise.  The story in between each movie will be done as a television show that will run in between the theatrical releases.

We’ve never read the Dark Tower series, but we find ourselves really intrigued by this proposed method of adaptation.  It is an extremely elegant solution to adapting a serial story that nevertheless really needs a big screen and big budget to do it justice, without the necessary serialization that occurs in miniseries.  And we’ve seen it before, in an incredibly successful way.  Remember Clone Wars?

We’d like to see this approach put towards other works as well, even though, as some have rightfully pointed out, it is unorthodox, logistically tricky, and incredibly expensive.

A few examples:

  • Bone

Bone is something of the odd one out here, in that it would probably best be done as a high budget live action movie with plenty of motion capture for the non-human characters, and its television incarnation, for budget reasons, would have to be animated.

The way I see it, it would be best to start off with a movie, probably covering up through the end of The Great Cow Race, the point at which all the main characters have been introduced and the basic conflicts have been set up, but there’s still a certain amount of closure before the plot moves on.  Then we could probably stay in television territory until it came time to cap off the whole story in Treasure Hunters and Crown of Horns.

  • Otherland

Sometimes I think I’m the only person in the world who has read Tad WilliamsOtherland series, and I’ve even read it twice.  Though it is four books, it is essentially one story, with more than a dozen main characters, told over the course of four seven-hundred-page paperback books.

Each book builds slowly to a climax, usually the kind of big events that raise more questions and start more plot threads than they finish.  And so it seems natural that a seasons if the television show might be punctuated regularly with a movie that brings all the characters together at the end of City of Golden Shadow, covers the events at Troy in Mountain of Black Glass, and the wrapping of the entire story in Sea of Silver Light.  Believe me when I say that a visual adaptation of this story would be incredibly exciting to fans.  The length is daunting, but there is a lot of creativity in there.

  • Sandman

Well, if you must make a film adaptation of Sandman, Mr. Kripke, if you absolutely must, this might be a good way to do it. That way we can get the big budget film effects for events like those of Season of Mists (think of the ensemble cast!), A Game of You (the most self contained of the volumes), Brief Lives (a classic buddy/road trip plot), and The Kindly Ones (high-fantasy/horror); but can still keep the serial format that would most suit the shorter stories in the series, like Hob Gadling’s introduction, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the story of Emperor Norton, and Orpheus’ tale.

I wouldn’t even care if no actor wanted to play Dream for all of those different adaptations.  In fact, I think I’d prefer seeing his character spread out over different people.

The downside here is that the large but contained stories in Sandman don’t occur with much rhythm, and their placement would probably be confusing to those unfamiliar with the comics. Also, the final bits of the story would occur in the television show, not on the big screen.

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