I aim with my eye.
I do not shoot with my hand; he who shoots with his hand has forgotten the face of his father. I shoot with my mind.
I do not kill with my gun; he who kills with his gun has forgotten the face of his father. I kill with my heart.”
— Roland Deschain, The Last Gunslinger
The Dark Tower is a 2017 American science fantasy western film directed and co-written by Nikolaj Arcel. A continuation of Stephen King's novel series of the same name, the film stars Idris Elba as Roland Deschain, a gunslinger on a quest to protect the Dark Tower – a mythical structure which supports all realities – and Matthew McConaughey as his nemesis, Walter o'Dim, the Man in Black.
Intended to launch a film and television franchise, the first installment combines elements from several novels in the eight-volume series, as well as elements from The Shining and Doctor Sleep, taking place in both modern-day New York City and in Mid-World, Roland's Old West-style parallel universe. Arcel has said that fans will know the film is a sequel to the books' events. The film premiered at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City on July 31, 2017, and was theatrically released in the United States on August 4, 2017 by Columbia Pictures. The Dark Tower has grossed $27 million and received generally negative reviews, with criticism focused on its incomprehensible plot and unfaithfulness to King's novels, though Elba and McConaughey's performances received some praise.
- A Tower Stands At The Center Of The Universe Protecting Us From Darkness. It Is Said The Mind Of A Child Can Bring It Down. This film's story occurs sometime after the events of The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower.
The film opens with a small artificial neighborhood in mid-world, in the center of a large pillar of earth. It is inhabited by mostly children. “Twinners” in blue overalls playing paddy-cake, chanting, “Come and play with us. Come and play.” (A reference to The Shining.”) as well as other children are seen running around and playing, guarded by Can-Toi. An alarm goes off alerting everyone that certain kids, alerted by their wrist devices, must report inside the building. There, they are strapped into chairs and have metal plates, used to conduct their powers, placed around their heads. The Can-Toi activate the chairs, which converts the kids “Shine” into energy used to destroy The Dark Tower. Walter o’ Dim/The Man In Black (Played by Matthew McConaughey) makes his first appearance, as he is shown to be behind this. The six beams can be seen when the energy strikes the Tower. This, in turn, allows a “thinny” to open up above an unknown version of the city of New-York, shown as a brief glimpse of red cloud-fog, that allows the creatures of the Todash to escape. Jake Chambers awakens from this nightmare to an earthquake on his world. (Most likely caused by The Man In Blacks Attack on the Tower.) He is a fatherless, (His father died in a "gas explosion".) 11-year old teenager, who lives with his mother (Played by Kathryn Winnick) and step-father. He is shown to have had a close relationship with his deceased father, as the only thing he picks up and places back, is a picture of his father and him. His mother comes in to check on him, and notices he is covered in sweat, asks him if hes had another bad dream, and insists he comes to breakfast. At breakfast, he draws pictures of his recent dreams believing them to be important. He is being consumed by these dreams as he has a wall dedicated to them, in which we see the mysterious "Man in Black" who seeks to destroy the sacred "Dark Tower", the code 19-19, multiple doors, a red rose, The Dark Tower, and as well as a lone "Gunslinger". He goes to school and is shown to also have a short temper, as he punches a kid very shortly after the kid steals his book. On his way home from his psychiatric appointment, he is surprised to see what he believed to be a Can-Toi across the street from him. He is warned at the same time by a homeless man that sees them as well, that these creatures have been kidnapping “Kids like you”, “Special ones” with the power of the shine, and crossing them over to the mid-world. He is scared by this experience and rushes into his bus while being watched by the homeless man. He starts getting paranoid, and believes he is being watched by the Can-Toi. He is happy to see his friend outside his house, but they both walk into an argument between Jakes mother, and his step-father. Their argument stems from Jakes earlier fight in school and their deciding what to do with him. His mother tells him his school has been contacted by a clinic upstate that specializes in helping kids who are having a difficult time. He agrees and goes to his room to reminisce about his father. He soon decides to put everything about his dreams away and tries to fight them so as to be normal, and relieve the stress from him and his mother. He falls asleep shortly and dreams about the aftermath of a war between The Man In Black and the gunslingers army. Walter whistles as he walks up to a wounded warrior. He asks him if he can see what’s on the ‘other side’ and tells him not to be afraid of death because nothing is there. The warrior tells him to go to hell, to which Walter responds that he has been there, and then burns him alive with his dark magic. It cuts next to Roland (Played by Idris Elba) speaking with his father Steven, (Played by Dennis Haysbert) telling him that they have lost. His father informs him that they haven’t because the tower still stands, and they are still alive. Walter finds them, and starts whistling behind a mist to conceal himself. Roland urges his father not to let Walter into his head. They recite the gunslingers poem together to try and fight his magic, but Walter uses his power to stop Steven from breathing. Roland tries desperately to save his father, telling him to fight his magic, but Steven cannot and dies in his sons hands. Walter appears before them and tells Roland how he is the only person he has come across who can resist his magic, but will not be able to forever. Walter starts walking away from him, to which Roland responds to face him. Walter ignores him and keeps walking. Roland fires a single round at Walters back, but he easily catches it behind his back, and says, “The Tower will fall, Roland. Until next time, old friend.” The dream ends with Stephen Kings first lines from The Dark Tower Series, “The Man In Black fled across the desert. The Gunslinger followed.”, a glimpse of an unknown boarded up white house with a black fence and gate, and The Crimson Kings Red Eye. Jake wakes up in his house and tries to piece together his new dreams with his friend, who is told it’s too early by his father, and closes the door. Jake places his drawing of the house he saw in his dreams, on the internet and tries to find out it’s location. His step-father walks in and tells him to ‘step up’ and see the people from the clinic, sent by his school, under his mother’s acceptance. He is reluctant but goes to see them for his mothers benefit. The personnel sent seem off to Jake as he sees they have very dark veins when he shakes hands with the ‘intake administration supervisor’. He asks what exactly they do at their clinic, and his Mother gives an impatient response of trusting them due to their long work relationship with the school. The supervisor assured his mother that their clinic encourages questions and that she isn’t offended by them as it is a sign of healthy growth. Then she goes on to explain what the clinic does to Jake, who notices that the supervisors hands are cracking and twitching inhumanely, notices the ‘Scar’ found behind the driver, Toby’s left ear, and recognizes it as a sign of the Can-Tois human disguises from his dreams. He asks his mom to help him pack to get her alone, and confides in her that he believes them to be the creatures from his dream. His mom does not believe him and tells him he needs to stop his disillusionment. He tries to plead with her, and is soon interrupted by his step-father who sides with his mother. Jake tells him the only reason he wants him to leave is so he can get Jake out of his way. Jake pleads with his mother one last time, who starts to doubt her decision to have him taken. His step-father tells Jake he can either go willingly, or by force and leaves. His mother promises him that if he doesn’t like it after one week, she’ll come and get him. Jake receives a message with an address for the house, and tricks his mother into believing he’ll go. As soon as she leaves, he packs a bag full of his drawings and related items, and then tells them he’s going to the bathroom to get a toothbrush, but instead escapes through the bathroom window. The supervisor and her henchman soon see through his ruse and break down the door to try and catch him. Jake climbs up the pipes outside his window leading to the roof. Toby, the henchmen, follows him. Toby confirms Jakes suspicions when Toby gets caught on a piece of metal, and cuts his skin, revealing grey rat-fur underneath. Jakes reaches ground level through a fire escape and is almost pinched in by the supervisor and Toby, but instead crosses the street and enters a subway. The henchmen follow, but are tricked as Jake escapes through another subway entrance across the street.
After evading the monsters, Jake tracks down an abandoned house seen in one of his visions and paper sketches. Upon entering the house, he discovers a high-tech portal which he activates, and travels to another world from within an alternate dimension: Mid-World.
After wandering the land, almost becoming dehydrated due to the world's weather conditions, he encounters a stranger aiming a mystical revolver at him as he is drinking a water canteen. His name is Roland Deschain and despite brushing Jake off as a threat, he announces to him that he is seeking out the warlock magician Walter "o'Dim" Padick, in order to vanquish him and exact revenge for murdering his father Steven. Roland explains to Jake that Walter has been abducting children with psychic powers (Referenced in Kings other works as “The Shine”) and forcing them into destroying the Dark Tower that stands at a center of the universe called End-World, which will allow twisted and horrifying monsters from the darkness outside to invade and destroy all of reality. Roland takes Jake to a local village to have his visions interpreted by a seer.
Meanwhile, Walter learns of Jake's identity and journey to Mid-World. He investigates, and realizes that Jake has enough psychic potential to destroy the Tower single-handedly. He travels to New York, murders Jake's stepfather, interrogates his mother Laurie about his visions, and then incinerates her with his dark magic. Back in Mid-World, the seer explains that Roland can reach Walter's base of operations by traveling through his base in New York. Out of nowhere, Walter's demonic henchmen attack the village and almost kidnap Jake, but Roland kills them all.
Roland and Jake return to New York. When Jake returns home to check in on his parents, he finds their remains and is emotionally devastated. Nevertheless, Roland vows to avenge them and comforts him by teaching the Gunslinger's creed and the basics of gun fighting.
While Roland re-arms himself at a gun store, Walter captures Jake and takes him to his base whereupon he straps him to a machine, intending for him to collapse the Tower's Six Beams. But Jake uses his psychic powers to alert Roland to his location, and Roland battles his way through Walter's henchmen one by one which also including him killing Walter's right-hand man Sayre.
With nothing left to lose, Walter confronts and severely wounds Roland with his powers. All seems lost until Jake reminds Roland of the creed, and he recovers and shoots Walter with a trick shot, supposedly killing him on the spot. Roland then destroys the machine, reconstructing the six Beams of the Tower and saving Jake and the children.
In the aftermath, Roland declares that he must return to his own world for further adventures and offers Jake a place by his side as his companion, which Jake accepts. After enjoying Ka-tet hot dogs, the two depart for Mid-World in hopes that they will reach the Tower's nexus point and restore the dying world.
- Idris Elba as Roland Deschain
- Matthew McConaughey as Walter "o'Dim" Padick, the Man in Black, Randall Flagg
- Jackie Earle Haley as Sayre
- Tom Taylor as Jake Chambers
- Katheryn Winnick as Laurie Chambers
- Fran Kranz as Pimli
- Abbey Lee-Kershaw as Tirana
- Michael Barbieri as Timmy
- Claudia Kim as Arra Champignon
- José Zúñiga as Dr. Hotchkiss
- Nicholas Hamilton as Lucas Hanson
- De-Wet Nagel as Taheen Tech
- Dennis Haysbert as Steven Deschain
Breaking Bad actor Aaron Paul was rumored to make an appearance as Eddie Dean but the rumor has recently been denied. Eddie Dean will make a first appearance in the movie's sequel though.
The Dark Tower began filming in South Africa in April 2016. The film also shot scenes in New York. In October 2016, the film was screened to test audiences with negative results, with many labeling it confusing and messy. In response, Sony and MRC spent $6 million on reshoots to fill in the backstory of Idris Elba's character.
Follow-Up television seriesEdit
In September 2016, Entertainment Weekly reported that following the release of the film, a television series set within the same continuity is scheduled to be released in 2018. Both Elba and Taylor are set to reprise their roles as Roland and Jake, respectively. The series has been confirmed to fill in the backstory to the film, being based on King's Wizard and Glass, The Wind Through the Keyhole and with elements of The Gunslinger, starring younger actors playing young Roland and young Walter. Glen Mazzara will be the series' showrunner.
In an interview with Collider, Stephen King expressed hope for a sequel to The Dark Tower in addition to the film's follow-up television series, stating that if a sequel is made, it would have an R-rating, would include Roland wearing a hat, and that the opening scene of The Drawing of the Three, in which Roland loses two of his fingers to "lobstrosities", would be adapted. In an interview with Coming Soon, Nikolaj Arcel confirmed that this scene would be adapted, that Eddie and Susannah Dean would be included in the film, and that Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Taylor and Jackie Earle Haley would reprise their roles as Roland Deschain, Walter o'Dim, Jake Chambers and Sayre respectively.
- Walter Padick: You can't stop what's coming. Death always wins.
- Roland Deschain: I do not aim with my hand, he who aims with his hand has forgotten the face of his father. I do not shoot with my hand, I shoot with my mind. I do not kill with my gun... I kill with my heart.
- Roland Deschain: Do they have guns, and bullets in your World?
- Jake Chambers: You're gonna like Earth. A lot.
There are other worlds than these
- Hollywood Reporter
- The Dark Tower - Film and TV News Tracker (Official)
- Dark Tower: Gunslinger - News from the Movie and TV Series
- The Dark Tower Movie on IMDB
- Deadline.com - Media Rights Capital in Talks for Dark Tower Rights
- /Film - 'The Dark Tower' Could Still Become an Elaborate Movie/TV Adaptation
- Deadline.com - Cannes: Brian Grazer, Ron Howard Introduce Imagine 2.0; A Pele Pic On The Croisette, A Crowd-Funded ‘Friday Night Lights’, ‘Dark Tower’, Jay-Z And One Angry White Whale
- MRC Studios
- THE DARK TOWER BEGINS FILMING
- JOSS WHEDON FAVE FRAN KRANZ JOINS THE DARK TOWER
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