UPDATE: Check out our reaction to the trailer above, and the trailer itself down below!
I got chills. Did you get chills? Look, it's easy to overreact to a trailer, which is essentially a bunch of carefully calculated bits and moments stitched together to elicit an emotional response. Welp, it got one from me.
We've been waiting a long, long time for The Dark Tower to be realized on either television or the big screen -- lots of supremely talented folks have tried and failed over the years. Given the incredible state of special effects and storytelling today, I'm glad that we waited.
Today Sony Pictures has released the new trailer for The Dark Tower... And. It. Looks. Epic!
I grew up on Stephen King. The Stand ate one entire summer during high school (I was a slow reader, OK; but let's be fair, it was a massive book). The key villain in that story was Randall Flagg, who is possibly a demon or a sorcerer and surely a figure of pure evil; a monster who comes and goes throughout history, wreaking havoc. Flagg's gone by many names (The Walkin' Dude, The Dark Man, The Man in Black), and he's central to the lore in The Dark Tower series.
King doesn't write many series or franchises, but Randall Flagg has been his go-to villain in at least nine different novels... Flagg is possibly King's greatest creation, and in this trailer he's played pitch-perfect by Matthew McConaughey. Opposite Flagg is the Gunslinger, Roland Deschain, played by the amazing Idris Elba -- and this casting looks fantastic too. The trailer sets up the conflicts but doesn't give away too much either (for a change).
The major obstacle for this film is reaching a broad audience. The Dark Tower series is dense, challenging stuff -- a key reason why adapting it has proven so difficult. However, if you step back from this trailer, and view it without knowledge of King's novels, you can see how it might be a lot for a wide audience to grasp. Is this a Western? Sci-Fi? Fantasy? Yes, all of that... and much more.
I think casual movie-goers, who haven't read (or even heard of) the novels, might be slightly confused or put off. We've got multiple worlds, magic, gunfighting, monsters, and modern-day New York City. It's Game of Thrones meets Doctor Strange. And yet, audiences have flocked to see Guardians of the Galaxy and Avatar, so maybe I'm overstating things (I'm sure you'll tell me in the comments).
One thing that stands out, and I'm glad for it, is the restraint shown in special effects. Whereas your typical Marvel or DC film goes overboard on effects, The Dark Tower seems almost subdued -- director Nikolaj Arcel is focused on character over spectacle, and that's intriguing.
Overall, this trailer suggests the beginning of something awesome: the next great film franchise, which so many have waited a lifetime to see realized. A legit good vs. evil struggle between the Gunlinger: "I aim with my eye. I shoot with my mind. I kill with my heart" and the Man in Black, "Death always wins."
I. Can't. Wait!
How excited are you for The Dark Tower movie? Does this trailer meet your expectations? Let us know in the comments down below!
The Dark Tower hits theaters on August 4, 2017.
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SOURCE: Sony Pictures Entertainment