Defenders and a Gunslinger: See the Trailers, Start the Hype
In today's world, I really need my need my escapes into entertainment and storytelling. This week we got our first real look at a move and a TV show that I have been looking forward to since they went into production.
First up, the series The Defenders on Netflix.
This show is the The Avengers-type team up of the four Marvel shows on Netflix; Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist. The four heroes are coming together to save the world. With the help of Claire Temple, and Detective Misty Knight is back too!
I've been dragging my feet on Iron Fist, but this trailer may have talked me into it. Aside from that, the other three shows have been some of the best TV I've ever watched. The shows have the perfect balance of action, character, and humor. The Marvel Netflix shows are like the grown-up part of the Marvel Universe in comparison to the movies. The people are real, the struggles are felt; they don't talk-down to the audience. They assume that the viewer is bringing a level of sophistication and maturity to the experience.
In this trailer, it looks like The Defenders will continue to deliver on all that. Oh, and they totally hooked me with the outstanding use of "Come as You Are" by Nirvana. It's going to be a long wait until August. Plenty of time to watch Iron Fist, I guess.
Next is the move The Dark Tower.
I read my first Stephen King book in 7th grade, it was Pet Cemetery. That book started a life-long love of King's work. The Stand is one of my favorite books of all time, Hearts in Atlantis touched my soul and On Writing inspires me changed the way I think about creativity. IT, Misery, The Long Walk, The Green Mile, Desperation, Bag of Bones, Different Seasons, 11/22/63, King's works have been with me in a way that no other artist has.
King's The Dark Tower series was something that I pushed to the side for a long time. I'm naturally adverse to fantasy world stories. Magic, wizards, mythical beasts, all that stuff usually turns me off. And when I read that King's inspiration for the The Dark Tower Series was The Lord of the Rings, I was out.
But, a few years ago in a time between novels, I thought I'd give the first book in the series a try. The Gunslinger did what few books have ever done for me. It hooked me with the first line, “The man in Black fled across the Desert, and the Gunslinger followed.” I can't explain why, but it was perfect and I was in.
Contrary to my fantasy aversion, I love when an artist builds a huge world. The Defenders is a good example. King builds an amazing world in The Dark Tower. It takes place in what seems to be a parallel, future earth at a time after a series of apocalyptic events. There was our time, a fall, a golden age and another fall. Now Roland, the last Gunslinger; a marvelous combination of samurai, cowboy and knight; is on a quest to get The Man in Black. It is a sprawling epic about love, duty and honor.
Adapting this work for the screen has got to be daunting task. I don't expect a beat by beat retelling of the story in live action. But, capturing the essence of the world that King created is possible. And I cautiously say, based on the trailer, that it has been done. When I first heard about the casting of Idirs Elba as Roland I knew this was going to be a special project. In my imagination he was perfect, and now seeing him in action it is beautiful. Mathew McConaughey as the Man in Black is equally exciting.
It's not clear from what part of the seven-plus book series the movie's story is drawn from, there's a lot of material to work with. But, King himself is on board and excited, and so am I.