It. Has. Arrived.
No, not that It. That comes later.
I’m talking about The Dark Tower film trailer.
After weeks of silence, after months of anticipation (years, really, if you think about all the build up and back-and-forths leading up to this), the trailer finally arrived on Wednesday. Here’s the clip, in case you missed it:
Now, before I divulge my thoughts on this, let me provide some background and context.
My Road to the Tower
I finished the original seven-book series in 2009 or thereabouts, and while it’s been quite some time since flipping through those pages, reading the saga has been among the most enjoyable experiences of my creative life.
Those close to me know how much I love this story line. It may actually be taking place of my previous lifelong love for the Back to the Future trilogy. Yes, I said it, and I’m well aware that they’re different mediums altogether, one being a book series, one being a film trilogy, but I don’t care. They both have had lasting and deep inspiration in my life.
Anyway, one friend of mine actually gave me a first edition copy of the final book of the series as a wedding gift. This version, which is packaged in two volumes, came not only signed by King himself, but by artist Michael Whalen. This friend also gave me copies of the two-volume The Dark Tower: A Concordance by Robin Furth. I’m forever grateful for both.
Now I should probably clarify that my experience with the Dark Tower multiverse has been limited to the original seven books with some minor scanning of the comics. I’ve read “The Little Sisters of Eluria” from King’s Everything’s Eventual collection, and I have a copy of The Wind through The Keyhole, a later installment that takes place between the Wizard and Glass and Wolves of the Calla. This one I have yet to read, so I have some work to do before the film arrives this August (though I’m not sure if this even plays into the film or the proposed TV series). The photo at the top of this post highlights my collection of the books, save The Gunslinger, which I’ve loaned to my brother in law.
Since the announcement years ago about intention for a film and TV series, myself and a few other devout fans and good friends of mine have been speculating as to what was actually going to happen. And I will say that we’ve been rather excited in lieu of the latest developments.
Thoughts on the New Trailer
I’ve seen a mixed bag of reactions to this new trailer, and to that I’m not surprised. A lot of people tend to get irritated when good things are adapted into film. They look at it as a money-making ploy. They’re not entirely wrong in this assumption, I feel, but I don’t think it’s really always the case, and I certainly don’t feel this is the case here. Not all book-to-film adaptations suck. There are plenty of examples to go around about this.
Fans of The Dark Tower truly feel connected to the series (not to say others don’t to their respective favorite written works that have been adapted, but there’s a truly unique culture around this series and I’m glad to be apart of it). So it’s not unnatural to see some be opposed to the idea of a film. But any notion that this doesn’t honor the original books is I think at best misguided, especially given the way they’re approaching the material with the film (warning: that link contains mild spoilers for the story line).
My personal take? I’m all in on this. I know it’s not a mirror image of what’s in the books, but again, that’s not the point of what they’re doing here. What they’re doing is brilliant in the context of the original story. Also, I love the casting choices for this film. And when I saw the back-and-forth between Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba on Twitter Tuesday, I felt like it were Christmas Eve and I was 8 years old again. I’m that excited. Between this, It and the unrelated Alien: Covenant, there are some true gems coming to theaters this year.
Now the question I keep asking myself is: will I make time to reread the series between now and August?