Mike Flanagan and Stephen King are a couple born in horror heaven

Mike Flanagan has quickly become one of the most recognizable names in horror as of late. From his first major film Eye to the hit horror series The Hill House haunt on Netflix in 2018 which earned him a number of additional series after its success, he has made quite a name for himself in the genre. Flanagan has also tackled projects related to acclaimed horror author Stephen King in recent years, including Gerald’s game and Doctor Sleep, resulting in some of the best King adaptations in years. Flanagan is the perfect person to continue adapting Stephen King’s novels, as he does so with great respect for the source material, even when he has to make changes. This makes his recent announcement that he has obtained the rights to Stephen King’s fantasy (and let’s be honest: sci-fi, horror, western) epic The Black Tower all the more exciting. Flanagan is the perfect person for the job.


Flanagan has proven his prowess with streaks

Bev-Keane-Midnight Mass
Image via Netflix

While his previous two adaptations of novels by King were in the cinema, The Black Tower it is planned to be a long-running series. If we know anything about Flanagan, it’s that he knows how to direct a horror series. The Hill House haunt and Midnight snack specifically attest to it, as well as The haunting of Bly Manor and The midnight club. This selection of series shows that it knows how to handle different degrees of storytelling: from house on the hill, which plays like a ten hour movie, a The midnight club, which has an anthological element.

RELATED: Mike Flanagan reveals what ‘The Midnight Club’ season 2 would have included after series cancellation

Each series manages to bring its greatest strengths to the fore: strong, well-thought-out characters and hope, as well as heart, in the face of horrific desolation. Even though each of his stories have a great tragedy, they are incredibly moving films and series. Dani (Victoria Pedretti) from The haunting of Bly Manor, Danny (Ewan McGregor) from Doctor SleepRiley (Zach Gilford) from Midnight snack they are all tragic tearjerker protagonists at the end of their respective character arcs.

Flanagan also shows that he can create a compelling story that plays out for as long as needed. When adapting novels, changes are needed to put that story on screen. Not everything from a book is going to translate well visually, and it’s up to the director to make the right changes to the story. But there’s a fine line there. Making changes is difficult. There’s a risk of doing it wrong and completely derailing the book’s themes, yet in his last two adaptations of King’s work, he’s done it very well.

This isn’t the first time he’s adapted King

doctor-sleep-ewan-mcgregor
Image via Warner Bros.

Gerald’s game and Doctor Sleep were probably the most challenging projects Flanagan has tackled when it comes to adapting a novel. Both had major drawbacks, for different reasons. Gerald’s game it had been widely described as unadaptable, consisting mostly of a woman handcuffed to a bedpost, remaining in one room for most of the story. Putting it on screen would be a challenge. And Flanagan did just that, crafting one of Stephen King’s most iconic and faithful adaptations that, to some extent, improved upon the novel’s themes of survivors.

Doctor Sleep it was a whole other beast. A sequel to the iconic story of The brilliant, one must know the history of Stephen King and its adaptations. Most fans would probably already know that King despises Stanley Kubrick‘S adaptation of The brilliant. While it has become an iconic horror film, it is a very unfaithful adaptation of the novel, going so far as to change the character arcs. Doctor Sleep it shouldn’t exist, or rather, it’s very surprising (and welcome) that it does. A passionate project for Flanagan, it needed to not only respect the source material of both books, but also Kubrick’s original version The brilliant, as this is what is known in pop culture. It’s an immensely fine line to walk. In fact, Flanagan noted that he only moved forward with King’s blessing, and even got King to reevaluate his thoughts on Kubrick’s work. The brilliant after seeing Doctor Sleep. It also handles changing elements quite well. No one feels out of character or thematically out of the novel on which he is based. In adapting works like this, Flanagan clearly spends a lot of time and effort crafting the same story for the film’s visual language.

Why Flanagan is perfect for The Black Tower

Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey in The Dark Tower

The Black Tower The series has been in development hell for a while, often never getting started, so it came as a shock when Mike Flanagan announced that he has the rights to the series and plans to adapt it himself. The only project that managed to slip through the cracks and get done in the past was the rushed 2017 The Black Tower movie that bombed and was quickly forgotten. Excluding the ill-fated 2017 film starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConoaughey (which serves as both a messy adaptation and a sequel) and an unreleased pilot episode of a planned series on Amazon Prime, all signs pointing to all The Black Tower projects are dead. Now it looks like there might be a chance to see it again, and it’s a good chance, given that it’s in the hands of horror master Mike Flanagan.

The Black Tower it’s always going to be difficult to adapt to live action, simply because it spans so widely with the genre. A fantasy story at heart, but also has important helpings of the horror, sci-fi and western genres at its core. It couldn’t be done The Black Tower without one of those elements, they are intrinsically part of it. Beyond that, many aspects can be decidedly strange and not work in live action as in other book-to-film adaptations of King (particularly the ending of IT). Then there’s the added fact that some things will inevitably have to be cut or changed for the good of the show, that’s how adaptations work. So why is Mike Flanagan so perfect for the job? He’s done it before.

As mentioned, Flanagan has already worked on two Stephen King projects. Both Gerald’s game and Doctor Sleep fans shocked by the way they adapted their respective novels, even if the latter was an unfortunate box office bomb. What Flanagan seems to be good at is reigning in King’s weirder absurd elements just enough to make them work on screen, but keeping the same spirit. Much of Doctor Sleep’St the ending is very different from that of the book, but it respects the themes of recovery a lot. Flanagan also explained how members of the True Knot die, called cycling, where their skin becomes transparent. Clearly Flanagan is still open to some of the weirder elements that come with King.

fans of The Black Tower now I look forward to hearing more developments on this project in the future. While much of it is still on the table, as there’s no guarantee it will be made, it’s nice to know that this beloved series is in such capable hands. Flanagan is clearly very emotionally invested in this adaptation, as he has wanted to make it work for many years and now may have a good chance of moving the project forward. If anyone can do justice to The Black TowerMike Flanagan is the one for the job.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *