10 Things You Need To Know Before Watching THE DARK TOWER Movie

10 Things You Need To Know Before Watching THE DARK TOWER Movie

10 Things You Need To Know Before Watching THE DARK TOWER Movie

Sony recently released the first trailer for The Dark Tower, but if you're curious about what to expect from the film or have read the books and need a refresher, you'll want to check out our guide!



It took Sony a while to release it, but the first trailer for The Dark Tower finally found its way online last week. However, something I've noticed is that a lot of you don't know what to expect from the movie and whether you should have an encyclopedic knowledge of the source material before watching it. That's why I've put together this handy feature explaining everything you could possibly want to know.

An epic tale telling the story of Gunslinger Roland Deschain (Idris Elba) and his arch-nemesis The Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey), The Dark Tower revolves around the quest for, well, The Dark Tower. It’s located at the centre of reality, and should it fall, reality as we know it – in every dimension – will be destroyed and the darkness within will be unleashed, so the stakes are pretty damn high!

So, whether you’re new to this property or a hardcore fan of the books, what you’ll find here is your ultimate guide to The Dark Tower with everything we know so far. From the characters to the story and how it differs from the source material, if you’re at all curious as to why you should be counting down the days until this is released, the answers are here. Some book spoilers do follow from here.


10. It Won't Directly Adapt Stephen King's Novels


Stephen King told the story of The Dark Tower over eight novels, while Marvel Comics has since released a number of titles which have either adapted certain moments from the books or ones which were simply mentioned in passing. It’s a massive story, and so it’s easy to see why there was at one point talk of both a series of films and TV shows which would have aired between them so the story could be told in its entirety.

As great as The Dark Tower is, there’s a lot in there which wouldn’t really work on the big screen (Stephen King appears as a key character in a pretty terrible subplot in later novels for example), so it could be argued that a direct adaptation would never have worked. So, if not an adaptation, what is it?


9. It's Actually A Sequel To Them


At the end of the final novel, we learn that Roland has made the journey to The Dark Tower many times before and that every time he gets there, he’s sent back to do it all over again with no memory of the previous cycle. The Gunslinger made it clear that Roland cares more about reaching the Tower than his friends or actually saving reality, and the general consensus for why he gets sent back is that he’s being punished for his callous nature.

However, in the journey we read about, Roland learns to care about people again and is rewarded with the Horn of Eld, a mysterious weapon he left behind in previous cycles. What difference that will make is unclear, but this movie tells Roland’s final journey to the Tower.


8. It Takes Place In Mid-World And Present Day New York


Due to the time in which they were written, the trips that Roland and company made to New York in The Dark Tower novels alternated between the 1960s – 90s. The movie however will be set in our time, though set photos have pointed to it being an alternate version of the city as the taxis are blue.

That’s nothing new for the series as it revealed that there are countless worlds, all with slightly different things about them. What exactly is Mid-World then? That’s the dimension Roland hails from. There are relics there from our world, but those are long forgotten about in this war torn reality. Roland meanwhile is a descendent of Arthur, though as a Gunslinger, he wields not a sword, but two revolvers. He’s now the last of his kind.


7. The Importance Of Jake Chambers


In The Gunslinger (the first of The Dark Tower novels), Roland is tracking The Man in Black through the desert, but meets a young boy named Jake Chambers along the way. The last thing he remembers is dying after being pushed in front of a car, only to then wake up in Mid-World.

He joins Roland on his quest, but he lets the boy fall to his death so he can continue to pursue his nemesis. While Jake is eventually brought back through a very complicated set of circumstances, the big screen version of the character will be a good five years older and meets Roland in present day New York when both he and The Man in Black track him down. Why? It turns out that he has psychic powers which could be used to destroy all of reality.


6. Why You Should Fear The Man In Black


The Man in Black is hiding out in a place known as the Devar-toi when the movie begins, an idyllic community/prison in an alternate dimension where kidnapped psychics are compelled to use their powers in order to destroy The Dark Tower by breaking the beams which hold everything together.

Should they succeed, every universe ever will be wiped out and a darkness will be released which consumes everything. However, when The Man in Black learns of Jake Chambers – perhaps the most powerful psychic yet and the one who could break the beams once and for all – the villain heads to New York City in order to bring him back with him and finally accomplish his task. Roland, however, will be standing in his way.


5. Two Fan-Favourite Supporting Characters Are Being Shelved


In The Drawing of the Three (the second novel), Roland brings a junkie called Eddie and a woman with no legs and a split personality called Odetta into his world to help him on his quest. Odetta’s personalities are later merged to create Susannah, Eddie kicks his addiction, and they’re joined by Jake who Roland manages to travel through time to save.

How? There are doors in this world which passage between different times and realities. This foursome is joined by Billy Bumbler Oy, a cross between a dog and badger with limited vocabulary skills, and thus Roland’s ka-tet is created. However, only Roland and Jake will appear in this movie as it has been confirmed that the other characters are being saved for the next instalment!


4. Stephen King Helped Shape The Story


Stephen King has understandably not been a fan of many of the big screen adaptations of his novels, but director/co-writer Nikolaj Arcel and co-writer Akiva Goldsman worked closely with him while putting this movie together, and King even made a few revisions to the script.

That included cutting down Roland’s dialogue (he’s not much of a talker in the books and lets his actions speak for him), and seeing as King has given the movie his blessing to finish the Gunslinger’s story, fans should be very happy indeed. Of course, it’s also worth noting that the fact that this is a follow-up to the novels is something only those who have read them will pick up on. The Dark Tower is otherwise a new story which will be easily accessible to all.


3. The Gunslinger


Stephen King has confirmed that the movie will kick off with the first line from The Gunslinger – “The man in Black fled across the Desert, and the Gunslinger followed.” – but the majority of material being used here hails not from that book, but later instalments. While it’s thought that we’ll still visit Tull, The Dark Tower will be waste no time in introducing us to Richard Sayre and the rest of the can-toi; they’re essentially giant rats disguised as humans!

The Dixie Pig will also appear, and that is a base in New York City where these monsters (including bloodsuckers and spellcasters) all congregate to worship The Crimson King and follow the orders of The Man in Black, the most feared figure in this community. Oh, and they also eat humans while there, so expect things to get quite gory!


2. The Crimson King


Who or what is The Crimson King? That’s something fans of The Dark Tower books spent years wondering, only for the eventual reveal to come as a pretty major disappointment. There, his main goal was to bring an end to all reality so he can rule over the darkness which will be unleashed by the destruction of The Dark Tower.

The movie will take things in a similar direction, as he’s been described as, “an insane, god-like entity who will be resurrected to rule the chaos of these collapsed worlds” should the Man in Black’s mission succeed. That actually sounds a little better than the books where he was pretty much a crazy Santa Clause lookalike who screamed “EEEEEE!” at Roland before easily being stopped.


1. Why You Should Be Excited To Meet Roland Deschain


In The Dark Tower novels, Roland is white. Described very much as a Clint Eastwood type, his race only really comes into play when he’s confronted by the racist Detta Holmes, one of Susannah’s personalities. There are otherwise a few references to his cold blue eyes, but beyond that, it has zero impact on the story.

Even so, some fans have taken umbrage with this version of Roland being black, but Stephen King has given the casting of Idris Elba his blessing, and the British actor is undeniably perfect for this role. The last of his kind, he’s thought to be hundreds of years old (time works differently in the broken down Mid-World) and everything we’ve seen from the movie so far points to Elba being the best possible pick.

Are you excited for The Dark Tower movie? Do you think it will live up to the novels or are you excited for something new? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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