the dark tower image

Although we likely won’t be seeing the first trailer for director Nikolaj Arcel‘s adaptation of The Dark Tower until October at the earliest, it looks like Sony isn’t going to be leaving us high and dry. A new image has arrived from the recently wrapped film, showing off a main character, a mysterious location, and a key line of dialogue from The Gunslinger, the first novel in the Stephen King series that inspired this film.

The image was revealed on the various social media accounts of Tom Taylor, the young actor who plays the 11-year old Jake Chambers in the film. In King’s novels, Jake is a key member of Roland’s ka-tet, a trusted friend and ally who brings out the fatherly side of the lonely and vengeful Gunslinger. Taylor is a relative newcomer with only a few credits to his name, so I can’t judge this casting. But I will say this much: he’s landed one hell of a part for a kid actor, provided that the movie lives up to what’s on the page.

Here’s the image, which is a nice tease even if you don’t know a thing about this movie beyond “Idris Elba plays a dimension-hopping cowboy hunting down an evil wizard played by Matthew McConaughey“:

However, there is a little more to look into here if you’re willing to wade into MAJOR spoiler territory. Join me below, if you care to talk about this further.

There are two main things to note here. First, there’s that quote: “There are other worlds than these.” On the surface, this is a pretty direct reference to the fact that much of this series finds the main characters leaping between dimensions on their quest to save the universe. More specifically, these are the final words Jake speaks to Roland before he plummets to his apparent death in The Gunslinger. Jake does make his return to the quest in the third book, The Waste Lands, for reasons that are a little complicated and paradoxical. Since we know that the Dark Tower movie is acting as a sequel-of-sorts to the book series (which concluded with the timeline being reset and Roland beginning his quest once more), does this line imply that Jake remembers his first death? Have the events of The Gunslinger already transpired before the movie begins? After all, the movie is borrowing storylines and details from across all seven novels – this is far from a direct adaptation.

And that brings us to the question of where Jake is standing. It could be the way station where Jake first meets a dying Roland early in The Gunslinger, especially since the blinding light in the doorway and the dirty floor imply a nearby desert. However, it could also be the mansion on Dutch Hill, a Brooklyn house haunted by a demon who guards a portal connecting our world to Mid-World, the home of Roland. In The Waste Lands, Jake braves this house to reunite with Roland and it’s a weird, creepy, action-packed scene…that would have to be drastically changed to accommodate the absence of a few key characters.

The Dark Tower is set to open on February 17, 2017.

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