The much awaited Hollywood Sci-Fi action horror movie The Dark Tower will finally release this Friday. LiveInStyle tells you what you can expect from it!
In a year dominated by Disney (with gems such as Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2, The Last Jedi, Spiderman: Homecoming and more), the fear was that Sony Pictures Entertainment’s much delayed The Dark Tower, based on Stephen King’s famous 8-novel series by the same name that he wrote between 1982 and 2004, will go unnoticed. But going by the online buzz about the movie, fans of the book can’t wait to see the film.
A combination of Sci-Fi, horror and action, the movie boasts a stellar cast. British actor Idris Elba (of The Wire and Luther fame) plays Roland Deschain the last gunslinger on a quest to protect the mythical Black Tower in the Mid-World, which holds all of the world’s realities. He is pitted against Hollywood superstar Matthew McConaughey as the Man in Black, who is determined to destroy it.
Hollywood’s love affair with Stephen King has gone on for nearly four decades now. Starting with Brian de Palma’s Carrie in 1976, there have been numerous TV and movie adaptations of his novels and short stories. And if The Dark Tower isn’t enough to give you the chills and thrills this year, there’s more to look forward. Based on the second adaptation of his 1986 novel (a tale about an evil clown whose history of violence and murder dates back to centuries), the film is expected to be out next month. It will be followed by Gerald’s Game (a tale about bondage went wrong), and a TV series based on his short story, The Mist. For all those who have never read his books or haven’t even heard of him, this is the perfect year to discover the great writer of scary novels.
Unlike his other books, The Dark Tower did not have a smooth ride to the silver screen. J.J. Abrams first worked on it for two years between 2007 and 2009. He was followed by the legendary Ron Howard, whose plans included three films and a TV series with Javier Bardem in the lead. He gave up after five years. He is now credited as a producer. The movie, whose production eventually began in South Africa in April last year, is directed by Danish film maker Nikolaj Arcel, famous for his 2012 film A Royal Affair. Parts of it were shot in New York as well.
For all those who haven’t read the book, here is the gist of the story: Roland Deschain (the dashing Idris Elba) is a gunslinger who resides in a post-apocalyptic, parallel world known as the Mid-World which has begun to fall apart. The story revolves around the Dark Tower that serves as the centre of all universe. Walter O’Dim (the suave McConaughey), who has already inflicted destruction and despair upon the people of the Mid-World, is determined to destroy the Dark Tower, while Roland accompanied by a young boy, Tom Taylor (as Jake), has taken up the task of saving it. It is a film packed with Matrix style action, flying bullets, and terrific fight scenes.
The movie is not a straight adaptation of the first novel in the Dark Tower series, The Gunslinger. It borrows heavily from several books in the series and is set in an alternate timeline where certain aspects of the story have been re-imagined as well. As Director Nikolaj Arcel said in a recent media interview, “Just like there are eight books, this is one film, and there are so many stories that are not being told yet. We didn’t try to cram the entire saga into one film, at all.” Of course, all the changes were done in consultation Stephen King who is credited as a producer.
In an interview with Complex, Idris Elba talked about his training process for the role. “Interestingly enough at the time I was training to be a professional K1 fighter so was locked into a hard training schedule and gun training around that. Turned out naturally I have a good aim. I used a variety of guns to practice with in rehearsals, but actually, in production, we only used one type of gun.”
When asked about his experience of working with McConaughey, he exclaimed, “Matthew joined the film nine weeks after we started working extensively in South Africa. What that meant was that I avoided seeing him until we had the scene where we meet for the first time, which was great for the actual chemistry on the film. Of course, Matthew’s a wonderful actor; he brings real depth and a sense of humour to the character. The Man in Black is one of Stephen King’s great characters—he is a likeable bad guy”.
McConaughey, as is well known, was one of the top contenders for the lead role in Marvel’s sequel, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 2 and had turned down the offer for The Dark Tower initially, before coming back on board after reading the new script. As he said in an interview with Playboy magazine, “The Dark Tower script was well written, I like the director [Nikolaj Arcel] and his take on it, and I can be the creator, the author of the Man in Black — a.k.a. The Devil — in my version of this Stephen King novel. We’ve done the first one. It’s a fantastic thriller that takes place in another realm, an alternate universe, but it’s very much grounded”.
Dark, brooding and heavy on CGI, the film prides itself on its remarkable visuals. You get a glimpse of it from the trailer: the ravaged landscape, Roland’s magic and machinery, and the surreal setting will transport you into another world. The post production team took a long time to get it right and hence the delay in the release of the film. It was originally supposed to have hit the theatres on February 17, then on July 28. And it is here finally.