It all started with a simple, yet intriguing opening, “The Man in Black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.” That line gave little information, and left so much to the imagination. The Man in Black seemed the obvious villain with a name as mysterious as that, but who was he? Why was he fleeing? Who was this gunslinger, and why was he following the Man in Black? What is a gunslinger? The Dark Tower is one of my favorite series of books from Stephen King. It is a sprawling, dark, dimension-hopping, time-shifting adventure that follows the gunslinger, Roland Deschain, in his quest to stop the Man in Black and then reach his ultimate goal, the Dark Tower where he must face the Crimson King. The story spans seven books (plus an eighth short story) and is filled with intricate landscapes, ominous trains, wolves, demons, vampires, a bumbler named Oy, and even an appearance by the man himself, Stephen King.
Roland stumbles upon doorways to other worlds and other times, which leads him to the companions who will become his “ka-tet”. A young boy named Jake Chambers, a heroin addict named Eddie Dean, and a troubled, split personality, legless woman named Odetta Holmes/Detta Walker, who later becomes Susannah Dean. Roland must teach Eddie and Detta to become gunslingers to aid him in his quest to follow the Path of the Beam through Mid-World to the Dark Tower.
It is unclear if the movie will cover all of the books, only a portion, or be an altered version, but I cannot wait to see it. Idris Elba was not who I pictured playing the part of Roland in my mind’s eye while reading the books (I always pictured Clint Eastwood in Unforgiven), but I think he will bring another level of intensity and grittiness to the character. As for the Man in Black, Walter O’Dim, I can only hope that Matthew McConaughey will bring a True Detective level performance to this evil entity. The first preview looks amazing, and the images that have been released have me wanting to read the series all over again… if only I had the time. If you want to read the books before the movie hits the theaters, you can find them at Amazon. Or, you can just take a look at the first trailer below and let us know your thoughts about the Dark Tower movie.