The Flickering Myth team reacts…
Should we be worried about The Dark Tower? After all, we’re only four months from release and the first trailer only landed yesterday [watch it here]. It invokes memories of a few years ago when 20th Century Fox held back trailers for Fantastic Four because there was a lot of trouble brewing behind the scenes. The same thing happened last year when Sony kept delaying the first trailer for their Ghostbusters remake. Can we expect to see similar stories coming out of The Dark Tower once the dust has settled?
We’ll soon find out but for now, let’s see what the Flickering Myth staff thought of the trailer.
Shaun Munro: I’m cautiously optimistic after this trailer for a solid three-star action flick. Idris Elba is clearly crushing it as the Gunslinger, and the general production looks incredibly stick. Still not sure about the kid, though.
Martin Carr: Agree with Shaun on this. The action sequences look solid, Elba sells the grizzled gunslinger well, while McConaughey be thy name gives us moody and stylishly evil in glimpses. However this is a vast epic story beyond condensing, in my opinion. It will fall short of expectations if people who have read the books decide to judge things based on that criteria. I hope for more but feel things will get less fantastical and more formulaic the more we go on. Some things should never be adapted….
Ben Robins: I knew literally zilch about the book or the series or what the hell any of it is about before watching this trailer, and I’m still a little hazy. But on a world-building, action-heavy fantasy level, it looks entertaining. Love what they’ve done with Elba’s character. A little worried McConnaughey is just gonna be playing an evil version of himself, but I’m sure it’s more complicated than that. As it stands, as someone with zero attachment to the franchise, I’d be interested in seeing it.
Anghus Houvouras: Looks entertaining enough. I’m all for some dark fantasy. But if we’re being honest about our reactions, here was mine: Where are the women at? I can’t recall a trailer that featured like, no women whatsoever. I know there were a couple of shots of a Mom character, but that trailer was so bereft of women it felt like the public restrooms on Fire Island. I’m unfamiliar with the source material so I was filling in a lot of gaps. There was kind of a raw sexual tension between Elba and McCoughnahey. And the plot has a lot of entendre. Devil Man McCoughnahey and Gunslinger Elba are battling over a large phallic ‘dark tower’. Elba wants to see this ‘dark tower’ stand mightily and tall. Devil Man McCoughnahey wants to tear it down rendering Elba’s dark tower ineffective and flaccid. Could be a fascinating mix of fantasy and FANTASY. They should call it THE NEVERENDING AMMO STORY.
Tai Freligh: I’m torn. Stephen King is my favourite author and the Dark Tower books are my favourite series of his. There are seven books in the series and I know you have to do some condensing, but I’m not sure how you can tell the story without automatically losing something. I have heard that it’s a mishmash of the first three books. I’m currently rereading the series and am halfway through the third book. I don’t remember seeing the tower this early in the series, but I guess you need to get to it quicker for the movie. This movie is one of my top three for the year, but I’m still nervous. Elba and Mccoughnahey look great and the movie looks super stylish, but I’m withholding judgement for the time being.
Helen Murdoch: Big Stephen King fan, but never got round to reading this series. Trailer looks solid and entertaining enough. Hoping that McConaughey and Idris will have some decent chemistry and the action will be good. Liked the final part where he shot through everything. Fingers crossed!
Ricky Church: Having never read the series, I don’t have the same level of expectations or concerns as some Dark Tower/King fans may have. The trailer at least looks like it will be an entertaining film and Elba a solid lead. Even McConaughey looks like he’ll be different in this role and from their brief interactions seems like he and Elba have good chemistry with each other. I don’t know though if this is one I’m interested in seeing in theatres or wait for Blu-Ray/Netflix for. Hopefully fans of the series will be happy with the final product.
Samuel Brace: I am not entitled to a faithful adaptation. I know this. But this still irks me. Trailers can be deceiving. Let’s hope this trailer is deceiving.
AJ Black: Personally I thought it looked really generic. You can’t beat Elba or McConaughey (when he gets the right part) but this just screamed Hollywood blockbuster to me without any of the tone of the books. It’s certainly nothing like the first Dark Tower book. Eh. Not buzzing for this sadly.
Rob James Kojder: I know nothing about the Stephen King novels from which this is based on (apparently the movie is a sequel to the books anyway), but all of that struck me as surprisingly bland from a storytelling perspective. Matthew McConaughey is the Devil and wants to unleash hell on earth, some kid sees visions of it and enlists Idris Elba from another world to save the day. What does give me some hope is the style the movie has; that gun reload at the end is absurd but also pretty awesome. I expected a really complex narrative though so that’s disappointing. The actors also seem like they’re having fun so that’s good.
Hmm, so not an overly positive reaction. While fans of the book series are excited to see it on the big screen, there is some trepidation about the film’s actual quality. It feels like those fears on a murky production history are justified…
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 Knight Warrior, 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 is set for release on August 4th, and sees Nikolaj Arcel (A Royal Affair) directing a cast that includes Idris Elba (Luther) as Roland Deschain, Matthew McConaughey (Interstellar) as the Man in Black, Tom Taylor (Doctor Foster) as Jake Chambers, Abbey Lee (Mad Max: Fury Road) as Tirana, Fran Kranz (The Cabin in the Woods) as Pimli, Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen) as Richard Sayre, Michael Barbieri (Little Men) as Timmy, Claudia Kim (Avengers: Age of Ultron) as Arra Champignon and Katheryn Winnick (Vikings) as Laurie Chambers.