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Stephen King Thinks PG-13 Rating Hurt The Dark Tower

December 23, 2017 | Posted by Joseph Lee
Dark Tower

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Stephen King blamed the PG-13 rating for the critical failure of Sony’s The Dark Tower adaptation. The film had been in development hell for years before it was finally released this year. Here are highlights:

On the success of IT: “I knew when I saw it a year ago in Florida in a rough cut that it was going to be a hit, but I don’t think anybody knew it was going to be, you know, like $700 million dollars worldwide. I had no idea of that, but it sold a lot of books, man. You know what they say: A rising tide lifts all boats.”

On why the film was so successful: “I think one of the things that really happened was that 1990 miniseries. A whole generation of kids between the ages of 8 and 14 were scared sh—less by Tim Curry and when the new one came out it was a chance to revisit that particular experience in their childhood. Then there was this weird viral bulge in stories about creepy clowns. That was in the press all over the place. So it was a number of different things. It was the right movie at the right time.”

On the failure of The Dark Tower: “I liked everybody involved with that movie and I liked some of the casting choices for it. I liked Modi Wiczyk, the producer, the director, everybody. So you know I’m always careful what I say about it. But I will say this, okay? The real problem, as far as I’m concerned is, they went in to this movie, and I think this was a studio edict pretty much: this is going to be a PG-13 movie. It’s going to be a tentpole movie. We want to make sure that we get people in there from the ages of, let’s say, 12 right on up to whatever the target age is. Let’s say 12 to 35. That’s what we want. So it has to be PG-13, and when they did that I think that they lost a lot of the toughness of it and it became something where people went to it and said, Well yeah, but it’s really not anything that we haven’t seen before.”

On his issues with the film: “There was a decision made, too, to start it pretty much in the middle, and when they actually made the movie I had doubts about it from the beginning, and expressed them, and didn’t really get too far. Sometimes when people have made up their mind, the creative team that’s actually going to go and shoot the movie, it’s a little bit like hitting your fist against hard rubber, you know? It doesn’t really hurt, but you don’t get anywhere. It just sort of bounces back. And I thought to myself, Well, people are going to be really puzzled by this, and they were. So there was some of that problem, too.”