If Stephen King has his way, the next Dark Tower movie (should it happen) will be Rated R. After about a decade spent in development hell, a film adaptation of King’s celebrated Dark Tower series of novels has finally hit theaters. Boasting the star power of Idris Elba as heroic gunslinger Roland Deschain and Matthew McConaughey as the malevolent Man in Black, many King fans hoped that director Nikolaj Arcel would deliver them a worthy take on the source material.
Unfortunately, signs so far point to that not being the case, as reviews for The Dark Tower have typically been bad so far, resulting in the film’s paltry 17% rating on Rotten tomatoes. While that’s not quite as dismal as the score recently received by the widely-panned The Emoji Movie, it’s still hardly a number for The Dark Tower to be proud of. Still, there’s a chance that moviegoers will react more positively to the film, which is still currently expected to top the domestic box office this weekend, despite the critical ire.
For his part, King has had nothing but positive things to say about The Dark Tower’s film adaptation, although it certainly wouldn’t be the first time King’s opinion of a film based on his work has differed with either critical or fan opinion. One need only remember King’s noted dislike for Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining for proof. Still, King tells Cinema Blend that he does have one request that he would really like to see fulfilled by a potential Dark Tower 2: make it R-rated this time instead of PG-13. His reasoning is as follows.
“I understand the rationale behind the movie that is PG-13. I was totally signed off on that. I want as many people in the tent as possible, for all kinds of reasons. Part of it having to do with the dynamic between the Gunslinger and the boy. That’s a father-son relationship. But I’d love to see the next picture be R. That’s sort of where we’re coming from now, and where the movie needs to go. PG-13 was the safe spot to go. When pictures were R, the studio execs would say, ‘Well, we know that this is going to make 20% or 30% less money because we’re going to exclude a prime tenderloin part of the moviegoing public.’ I think that movie’s like Deadpool have changed that.”
Anyone familiar with King’s Dark Tower books is well aware that the series contains tons of material that would be very hard to reproduce faithfully under the restrictions of a PG-13 rating, so the author’s desire to see future films go R-rated is perfectly understandable. Still, as influential as King is in Hollywood, one wonders if studio Sony Pictures would ultimately be willing to take the risk. Sure, Deadpool broke new ground for the financial success of R-rated movies, but that doesn’t mean every R-rated blockbuster is now going to be a hit on that level.
Of course, this is assuming that Sony even makes more Dark Tower movies. While the upcoming companion TV series still seems to be a go – at least for now – it doesn’t look like Dark Tower will end up being a hugely profitable film, at least based on its projected domestic opening gross of around $20 million. The only thing keeping Dark Tower’s financial prospects from looking too bad is that it only cost $60 million to make. Still, most studio movies need to at least double their budget just to break even after marketing costs, much less turn a profit. In that respect, King may very well be getting ahead of himself, unless Dark Tower is a hit overseas.
Source: Cinema Blend
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