SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - The Essential Movie Preview - Matthew Pel­lett

It took Peter Jack­son three marathon movies to bring The Lord Of The Rings’ “un­filmable” 1,300-or-so pages to cin­e­matic glory, so spare a thought for Dan­ish di­rec­tor Niko­laj Ar­cel, whose job is to con­dense a to­tal of 3,824 pages (vol­umes de­pen­dent) of Stephen King’s seven-book mag­num opus into a sin­gle film. And that not in­signif­i­cant task con­ve­niently ig­nores the saga’s re­cent eighth en­try (a fur­ther 355 pages) and the dozens of King nov­els in­ex­orably teth­ered to the se­ries’ wider plot.

It’s there­fore more re­al­is­tic to con­sider 2017’s The Dark Tower less as a retelling of King’s com­plete post-apoc­a­lyp­tic Western and more an adapted novella tak­ing part in its uni­verse; quite pos­si­bly one that’s set af­ter the con­clu­sion of the fi­nal book if a re­cent tweet by Stephen King is to be taken at face value. With the in­creas­ingly in-de­mand Idris Elba wear­ing the cow­boy boots of wan­der­ing gun­slinger Roland Deschain, and Matthew McConaughey cast as his di­a­bol­i­cal ad­ver­sary the Man in Black, the pieces are in place for this to be one of the most mem­o­rable films based on King’s works. Elba’s the per­fect ac­tor to play a role orig­i­nally mod­elled on Clint East­wood’s Man With No Name, and while the lone movie’s run­ning time means that the ap­pear­ance of Roland’s full Ka-Tet is highly ques­tion­able, even a slen­der visit to the deserts of Mid-World and its caul­dron of magic, mon­sters and ma­ni­a­cal ma­chines should be more than enough to dou­ble up as a door­way through which a new au­di­ence is drawn to seek out the full Dark Tower saga.

Matthew McConaughey suit­ably at­tired for his part.

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