Over the course of 30 years from 1982 to 2012, Stephen King churned out 8 books to tell the complete story of his epic saga, The Dark Tower. Now that the tale is getting the feature film treatment from director Nikolaj Arcel, fans were understandably hoping to see a deep dive into the mythology that makes the conflict between The Gunslinger (Idris Elba) and The Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey) so engaging. However, it’s looking like this first installment of the retelling of The Dark Tower is going to be on the shorter side of things.
The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has clocked The Dark Tower in at 95 minutes, a brisk pace that suggests the big-screen adaptation will be more likely to keep the action focus that was teased in the marketing material rather than taking the time to linger on philosophical quandaries or lengthy historical asides. There’s nothing wrong with the lean and mean runtime, especially if it reflects a strong edit that gets audiences engaged and anxious to see more. But for just how much this movie is going to feel like King’s work remains to be seen.
Also starring Tom Taylor and Katheryn Winnick, The Dark Tower opens August 4th in the U.S. and August 18th in the U.K.
Here’s the official synopsis for The Dark Tower:
There are other worlds than these. Stephen King’s The Dark Tower, the ambitious and expansive story from one of the world’s most celebrated authors, makes its launch to the big screen. The last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain (Idris Elba), has been locked in an eternal battle with Walter O’Dim, also known as the Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey), determined to prevent him from toppling the Dark Tower, which holds the universe together. With the fate of the worlds at stake, good and evil will collide in the ultimate battle as only Roland can defend the Tower from the Man in Black.