The Dark Tower – In Cinemas this July

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

GoodOnNetflix - The Dark Tower

For those who don’t know, The Dark Tower is a series of books by Stephen King.  He published the first (The Gunslinger) in 1982 and the last (The Wind Through the Keyhole) in 2012. They incorporate themes from multiple genres, including fantasy, Sci-Fi, horror and Western. King describes it as his magnum opus and cites The Lord of the Rings, Arthurian legend and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) as inspirations.

Jacob Oller sums up the plot as:

“…a fellowship made up of a junkie, a gunslinger, a New York kid, and a legless woman follow the path of their destinies to a magical tower which is the center of all realities…Also, an evil talking train.”

No wonder no one’s dared to adapt this epic for film before, and even this isn’t a direct adaptation. They say it’s more like a sequel that dips into the books, which is probably a good thing.

Director & Stars

I find commentary about directors and actors coming and going from film projects quite tiresome, and there’s been plenty of that for The Dark Tower. We know now that Nikolaj Arcel directs, and I’ve reviewed and recommended his Oscar-nominated film A Royal Affair (2012). Idris Elba stars as Roland, which upsets some purists and racists because in the books he’s white. I haven’t read the books, but from what I’ve read about the character, the magnetic presence of Idris Elba could be perfect for the role.  Matthew McConaughey as his antagonist has been rather less controversial. The ever-versatile actor has a great opportunity to excel in the role of Walter, a sharp-dressed, smiling warlock who is pursued by Roland.

Will The Dark Tower be Any Good?

The path to production has been fraught and there’s still no trailer yet. The movie has to capture the magic of Stephen King’s multiverse while working as a standalone film. It has to appeal to people who have read the books and to people who haven’t. Too many films have fallen between those stools. There’s no doubt that The Dark Tower is an ambitious project…I hope it succeeds!