Over the past few days, we've gotten a slew of updates on The Dark Tower, including new photos and plot details. With production continuing on this long-awaited adaptation of Stephen King's novel, several set photos have surfaced, which have lead to an intriguing theory that this movie isn't exactly an adaptation of the Dark Tower books, but a sequel to them. Today we have even more photos from this long awaited movie, along with confirmation that this project is in fact a sequel to the novels.
The speculation began when set photos revealed that Roland has come into possession of the Horn of Eld. Stephen King's final novel ends as the first novel began, with Roland Deschain (Idris Elba) chasing the Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey), but this time, he holds the Horn of Eld, which was long thought to be missing. Director Nikolaj Arcel confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that this movie is in fact a "secret sequel" to the books.
"The hardcore fans of The Dark Tower series will know that this is actually a sequel to the books in a way. It has a lot of the same elements, a lot of the same characters, but it is a different journey."
Many had speculated this was the case after Abbey Lee was cast as Tirana, a character who doesn't appear until the last novel. This report also confirms that two iconic characters from the novel, Eddie, a "reformed heroin junkie" and Susannah, an amputee with multiple personalities, will not be featured in this movie, although there may be references to them. If Sony Pictures does move ahead with a sequel, though, both characters are "guaranteed" to be cast in a follow-up. Here's what Nikolaj Arcel had to say about these characters.
"They're certainly out there. I think the entire story deserves to be told and should be told. I would certainly be disappointed in myself or my collaborators if we didn't bring them in. They're such a huge part of the story."
Stephen King added that he's "fine" with leaving Eddie and Susannah out for now, adding that he knows "exactly" where writer Akiva Goldsman plans on introducing them. Yesterday we showed you photos of Walter, a.k.a. The Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey) in a place called the Dixie Pig, where supernatural entities disguise themselves as human. Today we have new photos of Idris Elba and Tom Taylor as Roland Deschain and Jake Chambers. One of the photos from yesterday featured Roland brandishing his revolvers, which the actor revealed are quite special.
"Forged from Excalibur. A very special weapon. He's not just a shoot 'em up type cowboy."
Our report from yesterday teased that Roland despises Walter because he previously destroyed Mid-World and killed everyone The Gunslinger loved. If Walter accomplishes his mission and destroys The Dark Tower, every one of the dimensions that meet at this iconic location will crumble. Director Nikolaj Arcel added more about Roland's state of mind when we first meet him in this movie.
"In the beginning of the story Roland is kind of a lost soul. All he's thinking about is killing the Man in Black, his arch nemesis. He's all about revenge. He's all about trying to track down this man who has hurt him throughout his entire life. Taken away his friends. Taken away like his father, his mother. Everybody. The love of his life... So this is where we find him. He's a man blinded by the longing for revenge. That's where Jake finds him."
In the books, Roland crosses paths with a teenage boy named Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor), who lives in our world and possesses a powerful psychic gift known as The Shine. The Man in Black wants to exploit this power to find new worlds to destroy, with Roland finding new purpose in protecting this boy. Screenwriter Akiva Goldsman teased that Jake's entry into the story is this adaptation's biggest "structural conceit."
"The single biggest structural conceit is Jake as the point of entry," he says. "Doesn't every kid at one point think that the things in the shadows are real? Doesn't every little boy imagine that there is a world that you can't quite see? New York is literally like that. There's the feeling of a labyrinth behind the face of the city, and I think that's really consistent with a child's imagination and the sense of a magical world hiding just beneath the surface."
It isn't known how much longer production will last on The Dark Tower, which is scheduled for release on February 17, 2017. The supporting cast also includes Abbey Lee, Katheryn Winnick and Michael Barbieri, with Nikolaj Arcel directing from an adapted screenplay by Akiva Goldsman and Jeff Pinkner. Take a look at the latest photos with Idris Elba and Tom Taylor, and stay tuned for more on The Dark Tower.