Excited for the big screen adaptation of Stephen King's sprawling novel series The Dark Tower? Well, you have to postpone that excitement for a few more months. Sony Pictures has decided to push the movie into a more sunny summer frame.
That's right, the Gunslinger's journey has hit a slight snag. The apocalyptic thriller was originally supposed to arrive on February 17, which is just four months away. The movie now shifts to summer 2017, though a firm release date has not been announced. The movie features Idris Elba in the headlining role as Roland the Gunslinger. And this movie is said to be more of a sequel to the books than a straight up adaptation.
Matthew McConaughey takes on the villain role as a sorcerer known as the Man in Black. Both he and the Gunslinger are on a quest to find a mythical Dark Tower that merges countless dimensions. Nikolaj Arcel directed the movie, with principle photography having wrapped this past July.
Sony Pictures believed they only needed six months for post-production, but that proved to be a grave miscalculation. Now, the studio, along with production company MRC have decided to delay the movie and finish with a new timeframe in place. The team is planning to announce the change to theater chains later this month.
Most of the extra work that needs to be done is on the VFX. The film also needs more of a promotional push, which will start happening in the days and weeks ahead. In early October, the first trailer for the movie leaked, which was met with enthusiasm by fans, even though the visual effects were rough and unfinished. It doesn't sound like Dark Tower is in dire trouble. And the movie is said to be under budget at just $60 million, which is almost unheard of for this type of summer tentpole fantasy epic. It would have costs millions more to speed up the production, which also factored into the delay. One source tells this to Entertainment Weekly.
"It's a very fiscally responsible budget, and trying to stay in budget to make money and stay profitable means the VFX won't be finished in time [for February],. Now that there's more time, they're not paying rush charges to get the effects where they need to be."
Dark Tower is planned as a multi-platform franchise with a spin-off TV show long in the works along with other media tie-ins. The completed trailer was expected to drop in December, but it isn't known if that is still the case. And the movie dropped out of EW's recent PopFest celebration which takes a look at upcoming movies and TV shows to get excited about in the back half of 2016 and all of 2017.
Sony Pictures will issue a formal announcement as soon as a new Dark Tower release date is settled on. It could be planted in August 2017, which has become a more competitive breeding ground for blockbusters in what was once known as the dog day of release frames. In recent years, Guardians of the Galaxy and Suicide Squad have found much success in this late season placement. Right now, some big films are landing in that last month of summer, including Alien: Covenant, CHiPS, Emojimovie and the Flatliners remake. But every weekend in May, June and July has been staked out by a huge franchise.
The Dark Tower encompasses 7 books and quite a few short stories, not to mention quite a few crossovers with unrelated Stephen King books. There has already been a comic book series which proved to be quite popular. The movie was forever in the making, with Ron Howard at one time trying to mount a big screen adaptation of the property. He is now sitting in the prodder's chair for this version. Stephen King himself is not directly involved, but he has acted as a consultant, which brings some authenticity to the project. The screenplay is from Akiva Goldsman with Anders Thomas Jensen and director Nikolaj Arcel also contributing.