The Dark Tower Trailer Is A Mixed Bag For Stephen King Fans

Stephen King‘s The Dark Tower series has long been a work that attracted seriously devoted fans. That means a lot of people are happy to know that a movie adaptation is coming, but it also makes for a lot of room for disappointment. Of course, it also means that every choice in the production is likely to have some group threatening to start a riot. ¬†Far more than your average adaptation, working through the normal production headaches of something with a die-hard fanbase is likely to stir up both love and hate. Every casting choice is going to start a debate, and every image or video clip released is as likely to cause a panic as it is to raise interest in the film.

As if this weren’t bad enough simply because the book series has so many fans, the books also seem particularly difficult to film. The first book especially is so filled with world and character building that figuring out what you can film is tricky.

Well, at this point the debates have had time to run out of steam, because the movie hits August 4th, but the release of the trailer may well fire them up again.

Even as fans wondered/complained about many of the choices, it largely seemed that they were overshadowed by the desire to get the film, even if one was unhappy about certain things. The trailer seems to make all the conversations come flooding back. Why? For two main reasons. One, it’s unclear what story is happening. There’s a certain suggestion that we are getting the whole series, and beyond, in one movie. Moreover, it isn’t impossible that we aren’t even that closely connected. At the end of the day, this might just be something that is closer to “inspired by” the series, perhaps in the sense that the recent Ghost in the Shell connects to the original anime. Two, it looks goofy.

On the one hand, it’s hard to imagine that fans of the books won’t feel forced to revisit everything. Is Idris Elba a good choice to take on the role of Roland? Well, yes. He still seems just about perfect. Is Matthew McConaughey a good choice for the Man in Black? I won’t even answer the rest of the these. Is Danish director Nikolaj Arcel, the right guy to take the reins here? Is this writing crew (who brought you things like – The 5th Wave, Angels & Demons, I Am Legend, Lost in Space, Batman & Robin, and a lot of Danish stuff you don’t know) the right team to develop this?

Once you get past those questions, there’s very little of Roland and his quest, or the Man in Black’s wicked badassness, and a lot of weirdly goofball antics. I have to admit that I don’t remember if the book includes Roland’s ability to load his guns by throwing bullets in the air and catching them in the revolver’s chambers, but if it is you have to cut it out of the movie. At the very least, keep it out of the trailer, because if you’re giving me an idea of what’s headed my way, things like that aren’t helping your cause.

Love it or hate it, you’re at least one step closer to getting to love it or hate it.

Take a look above, and let us know what you think.


Marc Eastman
Marc Eastman is the owner and operator of Are You Screening? and has been writing film reviews for over a decade, and several branches of the internet's film review world have seen his name. He is also a member of The Broadcast Film Critics Association and The Broadcast Television Journalists Association.

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