In Review

The Dark Tower: Will the new film satisfy Stephen King's fans?

Idris Elba battles the forces of darkness in the first trailer for the highly anticipated adaptation

Idris Elba, Dark Tower

Critics have been scrutinising the first trailer for Stephen King's The Dark Tower in the hope of discovering what the highly anticipated film adaptation will bring.

King's eight-book series spans fantasy, western, sci-fi and horror, but director Nikolaj Arcel has taken elements from the first novel, The Gunslinger, and other novels in the series to give a take of the tale.

It centres on a boy named Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor) and his discovery of a hidden dimension called Mid-World, in which he meets gunslinging knight Roland (Idris Elba) who protects him from dark forces such as an evil sorcerer named Walter Padick (Matthew McConaughey).

In the trailer, Jake describes his visions of a gunslinger and a man in black to a child psychologist, who tells him they're merely dreams. Nevertheless, they turn out to be real when the young boy discovers a creepy house which leads him to Mid-World and meets Roland.

The gunslinger tells Jake "there aren't any gunslingers anymore" and warns that "the Man in Black" is worse than the devil.

He also explains his modus operandi, saying: "I do not kill with my gun; I kill with my heart."

After watching the clip, Consequences of Sound says that despite its "on-going reservations" about The Dark Tower, such as delays and reshoots, "there's actually a lot to love about this two-and-half-minute trailer".

It adds that "Elba looks perfect for the role as Roland Deschain", while "locations are inspired enough to take us out of our dreary reality".

On the other hand, "the adrenalised action and [Young Adult] overtones" continue to have them "biting our fingernails aplenty".

Dirk Libbey on CinemaBlend says King's fans are both excited and confused about the project.

News that the film was not a traditional adaptation but a new interpretation of the novels, had many wondering whether they see their favourite scenes played out on the big screen, he continues, with a warning that the news is good for anybody who didn't like the way the books concluded, but "many won't be pleased".

Sarah Fallon on Wired says it's time for fans to adjust their expectations and that they can't expect the film to capture all of the novels' rich and complicated array of "nested tales, back-storied characters and exuberant world-building".

She also questions whether the focus on "the sorts of binary struggles promised in the trailer" will satisfy."Apocalyptic shoot-outs between cowboy knights and creepy monster-things are fun enough to watch," but King's books offer other worlds than these "and we need to find them", says Fallon.

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