"Come on guys, you're all over the place! Wait, I'm going the wrong way, aren't I? Damnit, this is why you REHEARSE your Abbey Road recreation!"


"Come on guys, you're all over the place! Wait, I'm going the wrong way, aren't I? Damnit, this is why you REHEARSE your Abbey Road recreation!"

THE DARK TOWER

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

EXT. BATTLEFIELD, MID-WORLD

IDRIS ELBA and his dad DENNIS HAYSBERT are the only guys left alive after a battle during what looks like THE CIVIL WAR but ISN’T.

IDRIS ELBA

Shit, our nemesis Matthew McConaughey is lurking somewhere, waiting to finish us off! Let’s do that mantra we have, which allows us to focus our minds during the heat of battle!

DENNIS HAYSBERT

You mean the one that takes nearly a full minute to say, and is therefore useless during the heat of battle?

IDRIS ELBA

That’s the one. I’m sure Matthew can just do a crossword or something while he waits for us to finish.

MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY shows up and KILLS DENNIS by TELLING HIM TO DIE, and simply CATCHES IDRIS’S BULLETS out of the air.

MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY

That’s right, I can force suggest people to death and guns are useless against me, since I have the powers of the people who’ve slept with Jessica Jones! Lucky for you you’re inexplicably immune to my brainwashing, so I’ll just have to let you go.

IDRIS ELBA

But later we reveal you can shoot fire out of your hands. Am I immune to your fire also?

MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY

Uh, I guess?

IDRIS ELBA

How about all these guns lying around that you could shoot me with? Am I immune to them too?

MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY

(waves hands)

You know what, this is all just a DREEEAAAMMM WOOOOO

INT. TOM TAYLOR’S APARTMENT, KEYSTONE EARTH, NOT THAT ANY VERSION OF TAYLOR’S CHARACTER SHOULD EVEN EXIST ON KEYSTONE EARTH BUT WHATEVER

Indeed some TEENAGER in NEW YORK CITY called TOM TAYLOR wakes up from that DREAM.

TOM TAYLOR

Mom, these constant visions, they’re trying to warn me! There’s a Dark Tower which is the nexus of the whole multiverse, and it’s in trouble! In Algul Siento, the prison in Thunderclap, The Man in Black and his Taheen minions are using Breakers to destroy the Bear-Turtle Beam, which will topple the Tower and leave us all stranded in todash space!!

KATHERINE WINNICK

(reading script)

What? In my copy everything you just said has been crossed out except “Dark Tower... in trouble”. I’m pretty sure we’ve thrown out basically all of Stephen King’s impenetrable mythology.

TOM TAYLOR

Oh no, don’t tell me we’ve taken his sprawling, four-thousand page western fantasy action horror post-apocalyptic sci-fi fairytale epic, and boiled it down into a generic ninety-minute Eragon/Seventh Son/The Seeker: The Dark is Rising YA piece of shit about a kid who discovers powers and fights an evil guy who wants to rule the universe.

KATHERINE WINNICK

I’m afraid so. Now, because of all your weird-ass dreams and their attendant craziness, your evil bastard stepdad has decided to have you institutionalized.

NICHOLAS PAULING

Hey, don’t go pinning that evil-stepfather crap on me just because I’ve suggested that maybe a kid suffering from constant nightmares, psychotic delusions and bouts of uncontrolled violence might need professional help.

TOM TAYLOR

You fools, those psychiatrists are really kidnapping extra-dimensional rat people wearing human masks!! The fact that you don’t believe my deranged, paranoid blitherings makes you the WORST PARENTS EVERRR!!!

TOM flees the FAKE PSYCHIATRISTS, retreating to a CREEPY ABANDONED HOUSE.

TOM TAYLOR

Fortunately my most recent nightmare conveniently directed me to this plot-advancing house.

(house tries to eat him)

Hey, cut it out you stupid house.

(house cuts it out)

Well that was worthwhile. Oh look, an interdimensional portal machine!

He types in some COORDINATES and jumps through the PORTAL.

TOM TAYLOR

Those coordinates were also handily provided by my psychic dream! Yes I’m sure glad those premonitions showed me point-by-point how to-

EXT. DESERT, MID-WORLD

The portal dumps TOM into the middle of the DESERT.

TOM TAYLOR

(looking around)

...get stranded in a featureless wasteland without the first clue where I’m supposed to go. Wonderful. Oh well, guess I’ll pick a direction at random and just start wandering aimlessly until I blunder into Idris.

He successfully DOES THIS.

TOM TAYLOR

Hi, Idris! How goes your soul-and-sanity-destroying Ahab-like quest for the Dark Tower?

IDRIS ELBA

Actually that motivation was somewhat interesting, so we’ve ditched it in favor of a stultifyingly by-the-numbers “me want kill Matthew” plot.

TOM TAYLOR

Matthew McConaughey? Yeah, I’ve had psychic visions about that guy.

IDRIS ELBA

Some kid wanders out of nowhere and tells me he has information that could help lead me to Matthew?! That’s way too good to be true, and EXACTLY the kind of manipulative shit a trickster villain like Matthew would try to trap me with! Let’s go, stranger I immediately trust!

TOM TAYLOR

Er, aren’t you supposed to be a jaded and wary-

IDRIS ELBA

Nope, the movie version of Roland doesn’t have ANY character traits. I’m just a guy who does whatever things will take us closer to the end of the movie. Now, we need some psychics to make sense of your visions, and since we’re in the ass-end of nowhere without any sign of civilization, naturally we’ll find a psychic village full of psychics right on the other side of this forest.

TOM TAYLOR

Forest? We were in a huge desert...

IDRIS ELBA

Well now there’s a forest. Whatever, it’s fine, let’s just do this thing.

They trek through a FOREST which contains the ruins of an ancient THEME PARK, because this alternate universe is also in the future or something. Then when they camp for the night, TOM is awoken by his MOM calling to him.

KATHERINE WINNICK

Tom! What’s going on? I managed to track you down to some abandoned house and there was this weird portal, and now I’m here, I don’t understand...

TOM TAYLOR

(to camera)

See now, if some demon creature wanted to assume a form to lure me to it, this would be the logical way to go. Want to know what it actually tried to pull in the actual movie?

TOM’S DEAD DAD

Hi, Tom! It’s me, your dad, who died in a fire and whose burned remains you buried in the ground years ago! Well it turns out that instead of getting burned, I actually went to an alternate universe and now here I am hanging around some creepy forest. Doesn’t that make all kinds of sense? Bring it in, buddy!

But IDRIS wakes up and SHOOTS TOM’S FAKE DEAD DAD and it turns into some kind of GOOPY CGI BLOB! Then he SHOOTS IT SOME MORE and it turns into a DEAD BLOB.

IDRIS ELBA

Phew, that was a close thing. No harm done at least.

(skin turns weird mottled color)

(paralyzed down one side)

Oh, well, I guess I did get just a teeensy bit impaled on one of its tendrils of goop. Maybe I’ll give it a passing mention to somebody when we get to Psychicville.

(organ failure)

You know, if we have time.

(heart stops)

TOM TAYLOR

Sheesh, you and your chronic underacting. Then again, it’s not surprising that we’re shrugging off your vaguely X-Files-ish infection considering we don’t even seem all that concerned about the impending destruction of all universes.

INT. EVIL LAIR

MATTHEW is in his COMMAND CENTER, surrounded by FLUNKIES such as JACKIE EARLE HALEY.

MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY

The fact that Tom has eluded us with such boring, tension-destroying ease suggests that he may have the kind of psychic power I need to harness so I can blow up the Dark Tower and end the universe!

JACKIE EARLE HALEY

I thought you wanted to TAKE OVER the universe?

MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY

Actually I want to destroy it, then take it over. It’s a logical plan, shut up! Anyway, use your power to taste psychic abilities - which is a thing you have, apparently - to test this sample of Tom’s blood.

JACKIE EARLE HALEY

(licks blood sample, ew)

Holy shit! Tom has like a billion midichlorians, he must be a stereotypical YA pseudo-messiah!

MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY

I knew it! We should go capture him so I can plug his brain into my psychic zappy-machine!

(pause)

But do to that, I must recharge my evil energies. And sometimes you gotta go back to actually move forward. I don't mean going back to reminisce or chase ghosts, I mean going back to see where you came from. I know there are those who say you can't go back. Yes you can. Just have to look in the right place.

(winks)

(vanishes to other dimension)

(returns)

Aaah, that's better.

INT. CALLA BRYN STURGIS MAYBE?

In the PSYCHIC VILLAGE, PSYCHIC CLAUDIA KIM is MIND-MELDING with TOM.

CLAUDIA KIM

Holy shit! You have like a billion midichlorians, you must be a stereotypical YA pseudo-messiah! Matthew’s gonna want to plug your brain into his psychic zappy-machine!

TOM TAYLOR

Okay thank you, we have established all that several times in fact. This movie only has like five plot points, do we really need to keep hammering them home like this?

CLAUDIA KIM

Kinda. With the story and characters as paper-thin as they are, all we really have to fill out the time is excessive exposition and gratuitous monster attacks, so-

IDRIS ELBA

OH NO, MATTHEW HAS SENT MONSTERS TO ATTAAAACK US!

A bunch of SCARECROW-LOOKING DUDES charge into the town to try and kidnap TOM, but IDRIS shoots them all.

IDRIS ELBA

Damn, we need to hurry up to New York so we can reach Matthew’s headquarters and kill him, I don’t know how many more of these not-dangerous-seeming-at-all attacks we can withstand!

CLAUDIA KIM

Fortunately this random farming village happens to have one of those convenient portal machines in the middle of it, because seriously we all just want to shortcut this entire plot so we can end this movie and get on with our lives.

IDRIS ELBA

(sprinting through portal)

Yes fucking PLEASE! Oh and uh, since that attack on your village just now makes it clear that Matthew knows about you helping us, you should probably hide somewhere far away, immediately.

CLAUDIA KIM

Pfft, or what? Matthew will use his evil sorceror powers to interrogate and kill me?

IDRIS ELBA

Yes. If you stick around that is obviously what he will do.

CLAUDIA KIM

I’d like to see him try!

(sees him try)

(dies)

INT. HOSPITAL

Having reached NEW YORK, IDRIS and TOM finally bother having IDRIS’S BLOOD POISONING seen to.

DOCTOR

There you go, we gave you a shot of penicillin and now your infection and paralysis and even your impalement wound have all been instantly fixed forever. That’s how antibiotics work!

TOM TAYLOR

Neat! Now Idris, I’d like to go check on my mother, but on the way do you think you could whip up a few minutes of half-assed Tarzan’s New York Adventure-style hijinks?

IDRIS ELBA

Well that seems like the kind of thing that would only really work with a character with any actual personality or charm, but I’ll give it a shot.

(drinks soft drink)

I somewhat like this beverage.

(rides bus)

I have no opinion about this.

TOM TAYLOR

Yeah, this is something that should never have been attempted.

They get to TOM’S APARTMENT, only to find that MATTHEW has already stopped by and VAPORIZED TOM’S MOM!

TOM TAYLOR

OH NOOOO!!! Since Matthew knew we’d come here, he killed my mother so that I’d find her remains, shoot off random psychic energy in my distress, and thus allow them to track the psychic burst and pinpoint my location!!

IDRIS ELBA

Okayyy... it seems like a simpler plan would have been, “since Matthew knew we’d come here, he waited for us to show up”.

TOM TAYLOR

That’s a fair poi

(captured by Matthew’s minions)

IDRIS ELBA

Or he could have just waited for us at his headquarters, as we were literally planning to show up on his doorstep. Dude didn’t even have to leave the house.

INT. EVIL LAIR

MATTHEW has strapped TOM into a MACHINE which is sucking out his PSYCHIC BRAIN ENERGY and firing it at the DARK TOWER.

MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY

Bwa ha ha, I’m finally achieving my evil ambitions! All we need is for Idris to not show up, so I’m presuming we shut down the portal from New York? It’s a machine, so we can just turn it off and then Idris will have absolutely no means of getting here.

JACKIE EARLE HALEY

True, true... but why don’t I just try to beat him up instead? I have super fighting powers, apparently!

MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY

Really? Okay then, I’m guessing then your character isn’t just some weedy CEO like in the books?

JACKIE EARLE HALEY

Who the fuck even knows!

(chuckles, shrugs)

JACKIE goes to the NEW YORK side of the PORTAL and starts fighting IDRIS! They BOTH seem to have vague amounts of SUPER-STRENGTH and INVULNERABILITY all of a sudden!

JACKIE EARLE HALEY

While this scene makes no sense, at least after that crappy blob demon and those boring scarecrow guys, you finally have a formidable opponent to fight! You’ll have to show some serious skills to defeat-

(is run over by a random car, seriously he gets killed by total accident wtf)

IDRIS goes inside to kill MATTHEW and save TOM.

IDRIS ELBA

Take this, Matthew!

(shoots at Matthew)

Oh right, he can catch my bullets. But can he still catch them... NOW?

(shoots at Matthew)

Hmm, it would seem so. Oh, I know! What if I... SHOOT at him?

(shoots at Matthew)

Well that didn’t work. Fortunately I still have a trick up my sleeve!

(shoots at Matthew)

MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY

You know what they say: when all you have is a hammer, and all the nails are completely hammer-proof evil sorcerors, then you’re useless and you suck.

He hurls HALF A TON OF CONCRETE at IDRIS, who fortunately is still JUST INVULNERABLE ENOUGH to get INCAPACITATED but not DIE.

TOM TAYLOR

Come on, Idris, you can still win! Just do that interminable mantra thing!

IDRIS ELBA

Oh right, that badassery-increasing chant that I’ve been using in battle since I was like twelve, how could I forget? Seriously, how could I possibly forget, it’d be like Popeye forgetting about the existence of spinach. Oh, but Matthew, this is gonna take a while, so if you don’t mind...

MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY

(sighs)

Sure fine, I’ll just hold this fireball in my hand for the next forty-five seconds instead of using it to incinerate you. Let’s drain even MORE energy out of this snoozefest, I’m amazed it’s even possible.

MATTHEW stalks up to IDRIS as slowly as humanly possible. Finally IDRIS finishes droning through the mantra, and it fills him with DETERMINATION!

IDRIS ELBA

Aha, and now I’ll shoot a bullet at you, which you’ll try to catch, but then I’ll fire a SECOND bullet at a wall so that it ricochets INTO the first bullet, knocking it out of the way of your hand and into your heart! Clever, huh?

MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY

So your plan relies on the second bullet actually catching up to the first, even though it was fired later and is traveling towards me by a more indirect route?

IDRIS ELBA

It might be physically possible. Maybe we live in the Wanted universe, you don’t know.

MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY

Pfft, that’s so ridiculous that, even though up til now I’ve had the common sense to pay close attention to your ricocheting bullets on the off chance they were intended to achieve something, I’ll completely disregard this one and-

(perforated)

Dead-a-chump?

(dies)

IDRIS pulls TOM out of the MACHINE.

IDRIS ELBA

Well Tom, now you have nothing tying you to your old life. Wanna stay with me in Mid-World, to do the TV series they still hilariously claim is gonna happen?

TOM TAYLOR

Actually this movie is supposedly a sequel to the TV show that doesn’t exist yet. As well as being a canonical sequel to the books, despite contradicting them on almost every conceivable level.

IDRIS ELBA

What? That’s gibberish.

TOM TAYLOR

Look on the bright side, maybe that’ll mean that if the show does happen, it’ll be based on the actual stories from the books, and thus actually stand a chance of being good!

IDRIS ELBA

Tom, Tom, Tom. In one of the Dark Tower novels the bad guys are a bunch of robots in Doctor Doom cosplay. They ride robot horses and attack farmers with lightsabers and weaponized Golden Snitches, before finally being defeated by a bunch of housewives who throw dinner plates at them.

TOM TAYLOR

...Oh. Fuck it then, let’s just hope some other Stephen King adaptation comes along that’s a million times better, so we can forget this piece of shit ever existed.

END.

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