The Dark Tower is often cited as Stephen King’s magnum opus, and for very good reason. It’s an eight-part, labyrinthine saga that unfolds across a huge canvas spanning multiple genres and time periods, so you’d be forgiven if the announcement that Nikolaj Arcel’s imminent adaptation is only 95 minutes in length forced you to do a double take.
It’s not exactly what one would expect from a big-screen rendition of King’s sprawling fantasy series – but then again, The Dark Tower isn’t your typical blockbuster. Rather than crafting a direct adaptation from one of the author’s eight Dark Tower novels, the Powers That Be at Sony have instead decided to create a sequel, and the movie’s “lean, tight” script is part of the reason why Arcel was attracted to the project in the first place.
Chatting to /Film at SDCC this past weekend, the director addressed concerns over The Dark Tower‘s relatively slight runtime, before reminding budding viewers that his interpretation of Stephen King’s world is supposed to be more of an introduction to Mid-World and its colorful characters (see: the Man in Black and Roland Deschain).
The good news here…the reason why many fans are worried about the run time is that they think we are trying to do everything in this film. Which we are not. This is ideally the first film. This is an introduction to the world and the characters. It’s not meant to be all the novels and we’re just trying to cram everything in there. So that’s one thing. And the script was really lean and tight. When I got on board, the script was very short, very lean. That’s one of the things that attracted me to it. I said ‘This is smart.’ You start with a lean, mean story and you don’t try to cram everything in there. You just build the basic ideas. And if people enjoy it and if they like this world and these characters, we can start expanding.
Meanwhile, on the heels of yesterday’s suitably meta teaser, another promo for The Dark Tower has been summoned online that asks you to take a trip into a connected kingdom. But how many Easter eggs and subtle references can you spot?
Before Pennywise begins to stalk the hapless souls of Derry, Maine in It, Sony Pictures will cordially invite moviegoers on a journey toward The Dark Tower on August 4th.