Ron Howard Says The Dark Tower Should’ve Had More Horror

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Oh, Ronnie H. It’s been a while since you’ve had a major hit on your hands now, huh? You tried to save Solo: A Star Wars Story, you desperately tried to add some heart to the lifeless post-Fox seasons of Arrested Development, and, most hurtfully, you failed to produce a faithful adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower, allowing an inexperienced, visionless director to tackle a massive project. At least now, in hindsight, you can reflect on what really went wrong: the pursuit of PG-13, and a lack of grit.

In a recent interview with the Happy Sad Confused Podcast, Ron Howard was asked about The Dark Tower‘s under-performance, and what could have made the film better. Right off the bat, the Apollo 13 director said that the pic should have been more of a horror story. “I think that it landed in a place…that it could be PG-13 and sort of a boy’s adventure,” he said of the initial focus. “I think if we could’ve made a darker, more hard-boiled look and make it The Gunslinger’s character study more than Jake,” Howard says, “I think in retrospect that would’ve been more exciting.”

Later on in the podcast, the Happy Days star claimed that the length of the film was an issue, too, admitting that they should have “straight-on tackled it as television first.” Ironic now that the book is indeed being adapted into a new show, run by the guy who helmed seasons 2 and 3 of…The Walking Dead. Yikes.

“I do think it was just a sense of maybe too much listening to what you think that the marketplace is calling for instead of the essence of what Stephen King was giving us,” Howard concludes, surprising nobody.

Dang, man, what’s it going to take to get another good adaptation of King? I just don’t get it. The new Pet Semetary was really underwhelming and I just lost all faith in the television adaptation of The Dark Tower upon the discovery of Glen Mazzara’s involvement. Then again, they are trying Salem’s Lot again, so who knows?

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