Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey battle for the world in new The Dark Tower trailer

Ben Bussey
UK Movies Writer

The long in-development big screen adaptation of Stephen King’s epic series ‘The Dark Tower’ is nearly here, and it promises to be an epic spectacle with two of today’s greatest screen actors.

While perhaps not as well-known as King’s more horrific work like ‘Carrie,’ ‘Pet Sematary’ and ‘It’ (the latter of which also has a movie adaptation due later this year), many readers – and King himself – consider ‘The Dark Tower’ to be the author’s crowning achievement.

Kicking off with his 1982 novel ‘The Gunslinger,’ King unfurled the story of ‘The Dark Tower’ with a further eight novels written over the course of thirty years, drawing to a close with 2012’s ‘The Wind Through the Keyhole.’

Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba in ‘The Dark Tower’ (credit: Sony)

The saga is an unorthodox blend of western, science fiction and fantasy hopping back and forth through time and space. At its heart, however, is the classic battle between a hero and a villain – and it’s this aspect of the story that the new trailer for ‘The Dark Tower’ really emphasises.

Idris Elba is Ronald Deschain, and as his voiceover tells us he is the last of an other-worldly order of Knights known as the Gunslingers, sworn to protect the mystical Dark Tower which maintains balance in the universe.

Academy Award winner Matthew McConaughey, meanwhile, is the demonic Man in Black, who seeks to destroy the tower so evil may reign. McConaughey’s character is a key figure from not only the ‘Dark Tower’ series, but a number of other Stephen King books; he is also the principal antagonist in ‘The Stand.’

Credit: Sony

This new film from director Nikolaj Arcel  (JJ Abrams and Ron Howard were previously linked during the film’s decade in development) is reportedly not a direct adaptation of any one of King’s ‘Dark Tower’ novels, serving instead as a semi-sequel, utilising elements of the existing books – but also remaining accessible to audiences unfamiliar with the source material.

Hopes are high that if ‘The Dark Tower’ is successful, further films (and potentially a tie-in TV series) may follow – but will it prove a big enough hit? We shall see.

‘The Dark Tower’ opens in UK cinemas on 18 August.

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