Ain't It Cool News (www.aintitcool.com)
Coaxial

What the hell' Animated DARK TOWER series at HBO' Tartakovsky involved'''

Ahoy, squirts... Quint here with an interesting hunk of rumor for you Dark Tower nutters to think over. I'm a bit skeptical of this one, being that I know King has a tight handhold on the rights to this series and I've heard there is only one filmmaker he is willing to give the rights to and it isn't Genndy Tartakovsky.

Now, I love Tartakovsky's stuff. His Clone Wars had more inventive fights, characters and storylines than anything Lucas has really shown in the first two prequels. He knows action... But his style of animation (SAMURAI JACK included) is completely wrong for this universe. It wouldn't work to tell this story. It'd be like Tartakovsky doing Miyazaki's SPIRITED AWAY... They're both master animators, but the way Miyazaki told that story was the only way it could have been told. Tartakovsky's work just wouldn't have fit.

Now, I'm no fan of Anime... Never have been. I've liked some Anime (GHOST IN THE SHELL, NINJA SCROLL, etc... you know, the tentpoles), but on the whole I'm no screaming Anime fan... BUT, I'm of the opinion that something like the Anime work that was done in KILL BILL would be a lot closer to making Roland's world work than Tartakovsky's style... But, on the other hand, I'd trust Tartakovsky to be true to the spirit of Stephen King's book.

Anyway, I'd much rather see a live action film series be made out of this series, but an animated HBO series, in the right hands, could kick some ass. I'll keep my feelers out for info on this project, but keep in mind that according to the below scooper, this is just in its pitch stage. Thousands of things get pitched every day in Hollywood. So, this could come to nothing... Hell, whoever is pitching might not even have the rights. But 'tis interesting nonetheless.

Quint,

Good day to you, sir. I recieved a bit of information I thought you might enjoy. A friend of mine works as an intern at HBO and has informed me that a fully animated Dark Tower series is in the pitch stage. She also mentioned the name Genndy Tartakovsky of Dexters Lab And Samurai Jack fame. After I changed my underoos, I grilled her for more info. She went on to descibe some storyboards that could only be the massacre in the town of Tull. More underoos soiled.

I am a skeptic at heart, but she described this scene to a tee. Now this girls idea of a good read is the back if her cereal box, so i tend to believe she saw this rather than read it.

With the impending Talisman disaster, I thought this might cheer all the King fans up a bit. Might they actually do justice to a King book that does not involve prison? Let us pray. When I hear more, you will too.

Thankee-Sai,

Speedy Parker

Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • May 14, 2004, 5:36 p.m. CST

    FIRST

    by Hairy Nutsack

  • May 14, 2004, 5:45 p.m. CST

    Irony

    by GoonF

    In another forum there was discussion about whether there should be a Dark Tower movie or not. I suggested this exact same thing and felt, from other posters suggestions, like I had 2 heads.

  • May 14, 2004, 5:48 p.m. CST

    Hacktakovsky screwing up yet another classic? Oh dear God...

    by SalvatoreGravano

    Send him back to Russia. Does he even have a Green Card? :-P

  • May 14, 2004, 6:01 p.m. CST

    It doesn't mean that it would be in a Samurai Jack/Clone Wars st

    by Smeg For Brains

    ... and Tartakovsky doesn't just know action. He knows how to make the most of animation. Sure he has been mostly doing action cartoons, but his work with Samurai Jack shows that he knows film making, and would probably be a great director in general. Anyways, he wouldn't have to use his own personal style for this series. He could hire different types of designers from those he normally works with and it could have a totally new look (though I would like the no-linework aspect of Samurai Jack to make the cut). Animation directors don't always use their own drawing styles for the basis of the designs. He created Dextor's Lab and Samurai Jack so they look like his style. With Clone Wars they saw Samurai Jack and wanted that style, so that's what he did. Also Quints choice of anime "tentpoles" is pretty hilarious. Ghost in the Shell is a mediocre movie at best (not to mention a bad translation of a great comic) and haralded only by those that are unfamiliar with anything but the most mainstream anime in America. Ninja Scroll is just bad. Really bad. Again only loved by those who don't know anything about anime. If that is the type of anime you do like then that is just sad.

  • May 14, 2004, 6:06 p.m. CST

    Anime movies...

    by KOLOBOS REXX

    ...I'd give my left nut to see the DT series as an R-rated show, animated or otherwise! But while we are on the subject of GOOD Anime, which, coincidentally, I thought "Spirited Away" was quite far from... I want, no, NEED to see "Trigun" made into a live-action film starring Johnny Depp! Who's with me?

  • May 14, 2004, 6:35 p.m. CST

    I disagree STYLISTICALLY Gendy could do it

    by sTalking_Goat

    Check out some of his darker Samurai Jack episodes. He could pull the atmophere off. What I worry about is the screenplay. How do you translate DT to screen without pussyfying it? Edddie's addiction Detta/Odetta's madness? Roland in the first book is totally unhero like. He slaughters a town and then proceeds to let his surrogate son die to chase after his nemesis? How do you make a movie with this total badass/jerk as the hero? And if they did the unthinkable and tried to combine the books, the whole thing would be a mess. Plus King would have to write it and his screenplays suck. I don't think it can be done, but then again 5 years ago I said the same thing about LOTR...

  • May 14, 2004, 6:40 p.m. CST

    I wonder....

    by Remo_Williams

    ...if it will be in 1798, 5 min installments?

  • May 14, 2004, 7:52 p.m. CST

    Anybody know who the director is King WANTS to do DT series?

    by MattyBoomStar

    Cuz we know what GREAT taste SK has in directors. He hated what Kubrick did with The Shining....which is undeniably the greatest work of art King's name will EVER be attached to. So we know he doesn't exactly have good taste. Although DePalma did do Carrie....which was good. Although the movies he did before were better. The Dark Towers are good books, art they are not, but given to the right director (like Kubrick did with The Shining - the book was okay but a classic, no way. The film is a masterpiece) it could be turned into something great. I've always felt that King comes up with great ideas, but he executes them childishly (he's not a 'good' writer), but in the hands of geniuses his work has potential to become a masterpiece.

  • May 14, 2004, 7:55 p.m. CST

    Anybody know who the director is King WANTS to do DT series?

    by MattyBoomStar

    Cuz we know what GREAT taste SK has in directors. He hated what Kubrick did with The Shining....which is undeniably the greatest work of art King's name will EVER be attached to. So we know he doesn't exactly have good taste. Although DePalma did do Carrie....which was good. Although the movies he did before were better. The Dark Towers are good books, art they are not, but given to the right director (like Kubrick did with The Shining - the book was okay but a classic, no way. The film is a masterpiece) it could be turned into something great. I've always felt that King comes up with great ideas, but he executes them childishly (he's not a 'good' writer), but in the hands of geniuses his work has potential to become a masterpiece.

  • May 14, 2004, 8:35 p.m. CST

    I was discussing this for about a year or two

    by Fernwick_

    That this movie brought to screen would be a fucked up mess just like The Stand was. This in anime style would be PERFECT! HBO style with no censors and the lack of boundaries that animation brings would be perfect for this series! Genious! I hope the book doesnt end with another friggin explosion. King has this issue with ending LOTS of his books with explosions. Its almost as if he goes, ok ok ok, ah fuck, ill just blow everything up. Examples, The Stand, The Shining, Desperation, and so on and so on. Someone else got an example of his novels, (not short stories that end with explosions?) Fernwick

  • May 14, 2004, 8:38 p.m. CST

    by SpacePhil

    First off, SalvatoreGravano -- what the hell are you talking about? "Another classic"... good God, you're not talking about the Clone Wars shorts, are you? Because then you'd be saying that Episodes I and II are "classics"... sure. Keep dreaming, kid. Anyway I tend to agree that Tartavsky's style is wrong for the Dark Tower. But an animated series?... not a bad idea. Oh, and by the way, there'd be 6859 five-minute short films. 19 cubed.

  • May 14, 2004, 9:09 p.m. CST

    Other King books that end in explosions

    by Roland1999

    ...fires, or other forms of mass destruction. Carrie 'Salem's Lot The Shining The Stand Firestarter Needful Things Black House ...and there are probably more in the books I haven't read. My guess for King's director, since he has admitted being heavily influenced by Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns, is Clint Eastwood. I can't imagine DT ever getting made as a movie, though. The guaranteed audience for a multi-film deal is way smaller than for LOTR. I can't see it being made in any other form than a 13 or 26 episode series, and it would have to be on pay cable so it could have all the sex and death the story needs.

  • May 14, 2004, 9:20 p.m. CST

    No thanks.

    by SmarkJobber

    King wouldn't waste his life's work on Genndy. No way, no how.

  • May 14, 2004, 10:32 p.m. CST

    Hey, Harry finally took down the Johnson Family Vacation banner!

    by Osmosis Jones

    Of course, now we'll have to look at the new one for the next two months... Oh yeah, The Dark Tower...completely unfilmable, in *any* medium (although Kill Bill-style anime might come close). This is King's most personal work, so I hope it won't get soiled like The Talisman is seemingly apt to be.

  • May 15, 2004, 12:24 a.m. CST

    Ralph Bakshi maybe?

    by Gere's AssGerbil

    Bakshi's career peaked just before King's did, so maybe he provided King with inspiration. At the least, King should be happy to have people draw comparisons between The Lord of the Rings and The Dark Tower.

  • Riding an anime high horse, aren't you? As for the topic, call me crazy, but I'd like to see what Tartakovsky could do in a more subdued, non-action-oriented style.

  • May 15, 2004, 1:33 a.m. CST

    Goddammit!

    by Austin7687

    This was my idea for the Animation Show DVD contest. Except I wanted to use Shinichiro Watanabe instead. He would be so much better.

  • May 15, 2004, 2:45 a.m. CST

    I'm With Goat

    by Playhouse

    They would have to be absolutely true and slavish to the source material. They'd have the opportunity to do something that truly hasn't been done in animation before. To create an epic in the true sense of the world. Seven animated films devoted to the travels of Roland's ka-tet. And don't pull the punches. Let's see Roland give up Jake and suffer through madness as a result. Let's see the drugged-out Eddie and that clothesless gunfight. And the lobsterthings on the beach gnaw off Roland's fingers. See just how nasty Detta Walker truly is. If animation is the only true way to capture the story, then go whole hog and make no apologies.

  • May 15, 2004, 6:51 a.m. CST

    Adapting the Tower...

    by badboymason

    The mistake made with adaptions is not changing things in itself. LOTR trilogy proved that some big changes can be made and still preserve the original intent of the piece. I think if treated respectfully Dark Tower could easily be adapted into a live action miniseries/maxiseries, the important things about the story is not that we SEE lobsters biting off fingers, or naked shootouts, or a profanity spouting legless black schizo. It can all be toned down for TV, cut out the language, imply the violence... its when changes get made for NO GOOD REASON that bad things happen - eg, "Why dont we make Jake a GIRL? Then we could cast some hot young chick in the role!" or "We need to make Roland more sympathetic, why dont we make it so Jake fell by accident?" etc...

  • May 15, 2004, 9:58 a.m. CST

    Hmmm...

    by Falcon-1

    I'm more inclined to believe that "The Talisman" would be better suited for animation than the Dark Tower series. In fact, I think it might actually make for an interesting concept to all the parts involving the Territories would be animated. It wouldn't save this terrible script, but it would at least make for a visually interesting film. Could it be that this person's source got the project's name wrong?

  • May 15, 2004, 10:48 a.m. CST

    Tartokousky? is that how it's spelled? Anyway

    by LeFlambeur

    His drawing style sucks. The action is directed nicely, but with Clone Wars the drawing style was completly inappropriate and beneath the kind of animation star wars should have. Oh well, at least The Matrix got animation right.

  • May 15, 2004, 1:51 p.m. CST

    HUGH JACKMAN IS ROLAND!

    by FlickChick

    Ehh, too young...Scott Glenn is Roland.

  • some wierd-ass motherfuckers right there, let me tell you. Check out metatokyo and surf on over to the boards. Personally I think anyone who types ^_^ as a smiley face needs to have thier friggin head examined. as Gabe from penny arcade said about Americans passing themselves off as the be all end all of anime: "HE'S NOT EVEN FUCKING JAPANESE!! HE'S FROM WISCONSIN, YOU FUCKS!!!"

  • May 16, 2004, 10:35 a.m. CST

    wait a minute

    by topcad

    The more I think about an animated Dark Tower, the more I like it. But it would have to be DARK. I wonder if Matt and Trey are interested. he he. South Dark Tower.

  • May 16, 2004, 12:53 p.m. CST

    Heavy Metal

    by Snobster

    If the Dark Tower series was ever animated it should NOT be in an ugly anime style. The atmosphere of the Dark Tower to me warrants the same style of animation from that Heavy Metal movie.

  • May 16, 2004, 1:08 p.m. CST

    This sounds awesome.

    by Vespalad

    I have always thought animation was the only way to go for the Dark Tower series. It takes care of so many problems live action would create. You could straight up have Roland be an animated Clint Eastwood, from young Clint to old. You dont have to worry about Jake aging. Kings work has so much stuff going on inside the characters heads, and thats a hard thing to pull off with live action, but works well in animation. Also, I would say the biggest pitfall to Kings TV adaptions were the horrible effects (the spider in IT, the lion hedges in the Shining) which really detract from the seriousness of the moment. If DT gets done, please just do it right.

  • May 16, 2004, 1:11 p.m. CST

    This sounds awesome.

    by Vespalad

    I have always thought animation was the only way to go for the Dark Tower series. It takes care of so many problems live action would create. You could straight up have Roland be an animated Clint Eastwood, from young Clint to old. You dont have to worry about Jake aging. Kings work has so much stuff going on inside the characters heads, and thats a hard thing to pull off with live action, but works well in animation. Also, I would say the biggest pitfall to Kings TV adaptions were the horrible effects (the spider in IT, the lion hedges in the Shining) which really detract from the seriousness of the moment. If DT gets done, please just do it right.

  • June 5, 2004, 2:51 p.m. CST

    Jackson and Darabant?

    by KaTetOfTheRose19

    While an animated movie might actually be closer to the book in the way stuff happens, I think a live-action movie would be a whole lot better just because it's "real". I think that it can be done, and I think that Peter Jackson and Frank Darabant should get together and direct it. Jackson has had experience with large-scale movies (Lord of the Rings) and knows what he's doing, and Darabant, in my opinion, is the best director who can take a Stephen King book and put it into movie form. The two of them together is just an amazing idea and I think they could do it.

  • June 23, 2004, 1:24 p.m. CST

    Eww for Tartakovsky

    by aragornmarsden

    Ugh. Have to say, not a fan of Tartakovsky. While he's definitely a good animator, I have kind of shuffled samurai jack off into the "half-assed anime" dept, along with the animated Van Helsing, and the new final fantasy unlimited movie. He

  • July 14, 2004, 2:02 a.m. CST

    The Dark Tower

    by Broken Saint

    A Dark Tower movie would be great, in a perfect world. However, it would never happen. Seven books in two and a half hours... Impossible to boil down. An animated series? Great idea. It would have a much better chance of being true to the books while not being "corned-up" by poor effect quality as are so many "tv movies". Would Tartovsky (?) pull it off. I'm certain that he could, but is that what I want to see of the Gunslingers? Not at all. Anime, then? Nope, too clean. Gunslingers are gritty, both in style and in texture. Now someone suggested the style of animation used in "Kill Bill". That could work quite nicely. "Heavy Metal" style? No, I don't think so. Voice talents? Roland: Michael Ironsides or Lance Henrickson Everyone else: Use unknowns

  • Dec. 29, 2004, 10:33 p.m. CST

    Crossed Fingers

    by Evil Chicken

    Genndy Tartakovsky's work is wonderful, although I do see what Quint is saying about style. The heart of the Dark Tower is the story. Tartakovsky would serve it well. After all, ALL things serve the BEAM. I hope that this comes to pass. And to that I say Thankya, so I do.