dark tower images

Yesterday brought a barrage of new information concerning The Dark Tower, Nikolaj Arcel‘s currently filming adaptation/remix of Stephen King‘s horror/fantasy/western book series. The onslaught continues today with a series of new images from film, showing off Idris Elba‘s Roland, Tom Taylor‘s Jake Chambers, and post-apocalyptic land known as Mid-World. Oh, and also New York City.

But before we get to the images, we have some choice quotes to go through. Like with yesterday’s coverage, all of this comes from a series of articles being published at Entertainment Weekly and if you want to read more details and see more images, you’ll click that link.

First up, here’s co-writer/director Nikolaj Arcel describing Idris Elba’s Roland Deschain, the last Gunslinger (think of a combination between cowboy and knight) who is pursuing Matthew McConaughey‘s villainous warlock across dimensions to save the universe from an evil plot to topple the Dark Tower, the nexus of all universes. That’s a lot to take in, but Roland is up to the task:

He’s supernatural. He’s a knight of Mid-World. He has fast healing abilities. He’s not that easy to kill, and also, by the way, it’s very hard to get to him. He’s such a formidable fighter, gunslinger, and in battle it’s very hard to best the gunslinger.

While Roland is the hero of The Dark Tower, the story revolves around the young Jake Chambers, a psychic boy living in our world who finds himself targeted by the forces of both good and evil. Here’s co-writer Akiva Goldsman explaining how they use Jake as a point-of-view character for the audience and why a large section of the film is set in New York City (a large departure from the books):

The single biggest structural conceit is Jake as the point of entry. Doesn’t every kid at one point think that the things in the shadows are real? Doesn’t every little boy imagine that there is a world that you can’t quite see? New York is literally like that. There’s the feeling of a labyrinth behind the face of the city, and I think that’s really consistent with a child’s imagination and the sense of a magical world hiding just beneath the surface.

Although the film version can’t make it explicit due to various film rights being scattered across studios, The Dark Tower will follow in the books’ footsteps and suggest that this series is the tissue that connects every story and novel King has ever written. For example, Jake’s psychic abilities are referred to as “the Shine,” a direct reference to the powers showcased by Danny Torrance in The Shining. Entertainment Weekly confirmed this in a separate chat with King.

I’ve already made peace with the fact that The Dark Tower won’t be a straightforward adaptation – a slightly spoiler-y detail from the EW article above reveals that a key set piece from the third book, The Wastelands, has made its way into the first film. However, everyone’s heart seems to be in the right place and the released images look great. As a longtime fan of the books, it’s hard to look at the images of Roland and Jake wandering through Mid-World and not get excited.

The Dark Tower opens on February 17, 2017.

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