The official runtime of movies don't make the news too often, but often times movies will make headlines for how long they are. Although it's quite the opposite for The Dark Tower. The official runtime for The Dark Tower adaptation has been revealed to be 95 minutes, which many think is far too short for a movie of this size and scope, which will kick off a trilogy of adaptations. We reported last month that author Stephen King himself had in fact seen the movie for the first time, and while he added that the film was, "not exactly my novel," he stated it still kept the spirit and tone, and that he was "very happy" with the finished product, although that report never revealed the runtime.
The runtime was revealed by the British Board of Film Classification, which gave the film a 12A rating, which allows viewers under the age of 12 to be admitted when accompanied by an adult guardian, essentially the equivalent of America's PG-13 rating. Given the complex nature of Stephen King's books, the runtime has surprised many, with some predicting that the adaptation could focus too much on the action, and too little on the story of The Gunslinger (Idris Elba) and The Man In Black (Matthew McConaughey). Naturally, no one will know for sure until the movie hits theaters on August 4, but the runtime has sent up some red flags for many fans.
This summer, like most summers before it, the cinematic landscape has been dominated by films with bloated runtime like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (137 minutes), Transformers: The Last Knight (149 minutes), Wonder Woman (141 minutes) and last weekend's winner War For the Planet of the Apes (140 minutes). On one hand, fans may think that a much-shorter Dark Tower movie is a refreshing change of pace from all of these blockbusters that go far beyond the two-hour realm, but for die-hard Stephen King fans, it may also be a disappointment if it doesn't delve deep enough into the books for their liking. We'll find out for sure how the fans will react when The Dark Tower hits theaters on August 4.
While this movie is most certainly based on Stephen King's iconic eight-novel series, there has been talk that it is actually a continuation of the novels, as opposed to an adaptation of them. This theory surfaced after Stephen King tweeted out a photo of the Horn of Eld, which Roland Deschain didn't come into possession of until the last book in Stephen King's series. This theory was bolstered by the casting of Abbey Lee as Tirana, a minor character who doesn't appear until the final novel. Then again, that theory appeared to have been shut down when the Horn was not seen at all in the trailer, although other fans speculated that the horn could have been in the shoulder bag he's seen carrying around.
It's possible that this story is merely being tackled from a completely different angle. It was recently confirmed that Idris Elba himself will return as The Gunslinger in The Dark Tower TV series, with producer Akiva Goldsman confirming that the first episode has been written, which will showcase Roland's origin story, and will be based on the fourth novel in the series, Wizard and Glass. There hasn't been any official notice about when the series will start production, but it is believed that this show will air between all of The Dark Tower movies. While there is certainly plenty from the eight-novel book series to explore in a film trilogy and an ongoing TV series, it remains to be seen if fans will be satisfied with a 95-minute Dark Tower movie.