In Review

The Dark Tower film: What we know so far

Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey star as Stephen King's saga comes to the big screen

Stephen King's Dark Tower series finally arrives in cinemas around the world this summer, ten years after the idea was first mooted.

A film adaptation has been in the works since 2007, first as a JJ Abrams project and then passed to Ron Howard and finally to Danish director Nikolaj Arcel, although Howard will still produce the show.

What's it about?

Unlike King's best-known works, the Dark Tower series is a Western-tinged fantasy rather than pure horror, although it has its fair spare of spine-chilling moments.

It follows gunslinger Roland Deschain's quest for the fabled tower, which takes him through a disjointed, mystical alternative world.

With eight novels totalling more than 4,000 pages, cramming the entire saga into one film was never going to be possible.

Instead, The Dark Tower will function as an extension of the saga, set after the events depicted in the final book – although given the series' love of confusing and often circular timelines, we can expect to encounter many familiar faces.

Arcel told Entertainment Weekly: "The hardcore fans of the Dark Tower series will know that this is actually a sequel to the books in a way. It has a lot of the same elements, a lot of the same characters, but it is a different journey."

Who's in it?

Luther star Idris Elba plays Deschain, the largely silent protagonist of the series, and he's got the thumbs-up from King, who contributed to the film's screenplay. He said: "I think he's a terrific actor, one of the best working in the business now."

Matthew McConaughey co-stars as ageless sorcerer the Man in Black, Deschain's elusive nemesis and chief obstacle in his quest to reach the tower.

Fifteen-year-old Tom Taylor, who starred in the BBC's hit drama Doctor Foster, plays the gunslinger's protege Jake Chambers.

When can I see it?

The Dark Tower will be released in UK cinemas on 28 July 2017. But fans of the series might have even more to look forward to, as the film's production team is currently in talks to turn the books into a TV series as well.

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