8 Reasons We’ve Lost Faith In The Dark Tower

The bad, the bad and the ugly.

The Dark Tower Poster
Warner Bros.

Roland Deschain's journey to cinema has been almost as arduous as his dimension-jumping quest to locate the Dark Tower itself.

The Gunslinger's path was obstructed at every turn, a mess of false starts, delays and even directorial departures which played out over the course of a decade, but he's finally reached reached his destination, for better or worse.

Stephen King's Dark Tower series is an epic mishmash of Lord of the Rings, Spaghetti Westerns, Arthurian legend and horror which plays out across seven core tomes.

The story follows a cowboy-knight against a post-apocalyptic backdrop, on a mission to save an entire nexus of worlds from destruction, a feat he can only achieve by reaching the Dark Tower before his nemesis the Man in Black.

Many have claimed it's unfilmable - or at least better suited to TV - and they may be correct, which is probably why director Nikolaj Arcel is bringing us a sequel of sorts rather than a direct adaptation of King's sprawling opus.

As challenging as a straight page-to-screen translation would have been, the Danish filmmaker's approach has thrown up its own set of problems, not least the lack of clarity regarding how the movie fits into King's saga.

Idris Elba looks all kinds of cool as Gunslinger Roland (quit complaining! Clint Eastwood is far too old for the role!) and Matthew McConaughey possesses enough dark charm to be our Man in Black; and yet so much about the movie already feels like it's missed the mark...

8. The Tower Is Inaccessible For Newcomers

The Dark Tower Poster
Columbia Pictures

So here's the problem with making a sort-of sequel to a 4,250-page epic - it requires the audience to have done more than a bit of light background reading beforehand.

Whatever the quality of the end product, anyone who hasn't done their homework will, at best, get less out of The Dark Tower than the initiated, and at worst leave with their brains scrambled and WTF written all over their faces.

Try explaining to a newcomer about that mysterious horn in Roland's possession and watch them stare at you more vacantly than a lobotomised Love Island contestant.

This wouldn't be an issue if Sony had gone for a straight adaptation of Stephen King's work - it didn't do Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings any harm, did it?

Those in the know will tell you that, although Dark Tower is technically a sequel, it's going to be treading similar ground to the books due to the cyclical nature of the story, but it still feels like the movie is banking on a lot of prior knowledge from cinemagoers.


Been prattling on about gaming, movies, TV, football and technology across the web for as long as I can remember. Find me on Twitter @MarkLangshaw