What You Need To Know About Stephen King And ‘The Dark Tower’ Film

Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series has been beloved by fans who enjoy King’s fantastical stories. The three-part film series will be directed by Nikolaj Arcel, with the screenplay being written by Avika Goldsman, Anders Thomas Jensen, and Jeff Pinkner. They have a lot of material to work with here, over 4,000 pages from the books to be exact. This includes shorts stories and prequel comics that take place within the same universe. This will be a dense piece of work and it is a mystery how they will handle it all.

Indiewire reports that production of the first Dark Tower film has started in Cape Town, South Africa. The film is slated for worldwide release in February 2017. The film stars Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey as lead characters. Here is the first photo released of Elba on the Dark Tower set.

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[Image via Columbia Pictures]

Since there is so much information to take in about the books and the film, it’s best you understand what is going on through a breakdown of production details. There will be some spoilers for the Dark Tower series so bare that in mind…

What Is The Dark Tower Based On?
Sony has been tight-lipped about the film plot but knowing about the books might help you understand what you’re up against.

Hitflix describes The Dark Tower series as a western/fantasy film as it includes high noon shootouts in a fantasy world. Imagine 3:10 to Yuma combined with the fantastical elements of Lord of The Rings for reference. This story follows Roland, a powerful gunslinging cowboy on a quest to reach the Dark Tower of mid-world. Roland is not alone on his journey. He is accompanied by Eddie Dean, Odetta Holmes, and Jake Chambers, and they too are headed to the tower to finds things they have lost. A powerful force is drawing them closer and closer to the tower, and if they are to defeat the enemy, “the man in black,” their journey might end happily.

When Is The Dark Tower Set?
According to Cinema Blend, the series is set in mid-world which appears to be an alternate reality parallel to our own. Some readers have interpreted the setting to be a post-apocalyptic future wasteland with supernatural and fantastical elements including flashbacks, witchcraft, and time travel. In King’s world, all roads lead to the Dark Tower, and as long as everyone stays the course, they might live through this journey.

What does Steven King have to say about this?
What you learn as a reader of the Dark Tower is that it is a circular story, possibly never-ending. Over the seven books, you see Roland has been on this journey his entire life, which has been relatively long. He has had to go through this many times in his life but he has yet to get it right. Fans of the series should take a step back and look at what Stephen King has had to say about the series and the film.

He spoke to the folks at the EW podcast and told them the film is not an origin story. King is taking a radical approach and beginning the story in the middle of the series. This is a smart move as there is just too much material to cover even in three films. In addition, King has promised a new book that will finally be the complete ending to Roland’s story which means he will have to use the Horn of Eld for things to finally end.

This is a new approach to episodic filmmaking and it will be interesting to see how the characters are developed halfway through their journey.

[Image via Grant Publishing]