the dark tower trailer

Longtime fans of Stephen King’s lengthy seven-book saga The Dark Tower weren’t exactly thrilled with the film adaptation’s first trailer. Instead of being a straightforward retelling of The Gunslinger, the first story in King’s saga, director Nikolaj Arcel’s movie picks and chooses aspects from multiple books in the series, leaving fans wondering what they’re in for when the movie finally hits theaters.

Now Arcel has confirmed something King himself hinted at over a year ago: The Dark Tower movie is actually a continuation of the story that began in King’s novels. Read on to find out more, but beware – spoilers lie ahead.

One last warning, people: spoilers are about to start flying like Roland Deschain’s bullets over here.

Last May, King posted this on Twitter:

At the time, our own Dark Tower superfan Jacob Hall speculated that message could mean the movie plays out after the events of the seventh and final book in the series, and Arcel has now confirmed that’s definitely the case in an interview with IGN.

“It is, in fact, a continuation. It is actually a canon continuation. That’s exactly what we intended and what Stephen King signed off on. What really got me excited was when he tweeted ‘last time around.’ It was just so cool.”

So here’s how this whole thing will work. In the seventh and final book in the saga, Roland the Gunslinger faces off against the villainous Crimson King, climbs the titular Dark Tower, and realizes that he’s gone on this long journey multiple times before. It always ends with his memory being erased and him getting thrown back in time to start over again on his quest, but at the end of the book, something has changed: this time, he’s carrying the magical Horn of Eld, a family heirloom that has major significance in the story.

Thanks to King’s tweet and some footage of star Idris Elba carrying the Horn in the movie, and Arcel’s confirmation, we now know for certain that the movie will serve as the new version of Roland’s path to the Tower, complete with the Horn. And since he has it this time and has never had it before, this could be the journey that finally breaks his Sisyphean cycle forever.

I’ve only read the first book in the series, so all of this is a little foreign to me. But if you’re looking for some more The Dark Tower knowledge from someone who knows all of the source material like the back of his hand, be sure to check out Jacob’s extensive trailer breakdown right here.

The Dark Tower arrives in theaters on August 4, 2017.

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