The man in black fled across the desert, and The Dark Tower trailer followed. After languishing for years in the development wastelands, Stephen King’s sprawling fantasy epic series The Dark Tower makes the leap to the big screen this summer. King’s series of eight novels have been kicking around Hollywood since at least 2007, jumping from studio to studio, when first J.J. Abrams and then Ron Howard attempted to bring the saga to both the big and small screen.
Now A Royal Affair director Nikolaj Arcel has the reigns, and he’s ushering The Dark Tower in with Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey in the leads. In the film, 11-year-old Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor) discovers clues about an alternate dimension known as Mid-World. The boy eventually finds himself sucked into this dimension, where he befriends Roland Deschain (Elba), a gunslinger on a quest to reach the mythical Dark Tower. Along the way, the duo is pursued by the evil man in black, Walter Padick (McConaughey). Katheryn Winnick, Jackie Earle Haley, and Abbey Lee Kershaw round out the cast.
Fans of King’s book, particularly the first book in the series, The Gunslinger, will quickly notice this film adaptation is playing fast and loose with the source material. The film is using Jake to introduce us into this world, while the books are primarily focused on Roland. On top of that, the man in black is known as Flagg in the books — also the name of the villain from King’s The Stand. Here, perhaps to avoid association with Josh Boone’s currently-on-hold adaptation of The Stand, the character has been dubbed Walter Padick. King confirmed some of the changes in source material when he appeared on an Entertainment Weekly podcast. “It starts sort of the middle of the story rather than the beginning,” the author said, “which may upset some of the fans a little bit, but they’ll get behind it because it is the story.”
Stephen King adaptations are at an all-time-high lately, with a TV remake of The Mist, a new film adaptation of It, a Netflix take on Gerald’s Game and the series Castle Rock all on the horizon. The Dark Tower was originally slated to open in February 2017 but was bumped back to July and then August. Up until now, marketing for the film has been rather scarce. Now the official trailer is here to introduce us to Mid-World and beyond.
There are other worlds than these. Stephen King’s The Dark Tower, the ambitious and expansive story from one of the world’s most celebrated authors, makes its launch to the big screen. The last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain (Idris Elba), has been locked in an eternal battle with Walter O’Dim, also known as the Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey), determined to prevent him from toppling the Dark Tower, which holds the universe together. With the fate of the worlds at stake, good and evil will collide in the ultimate battle as only Roland can defend the Tower from the Man in Black.
The Dark Tower opens August 4, 2017.