This is an update on my September 2016 post about the highly anticipated film based on Stephen King’s series The Dark Tower. The movie was originally due out this month. However, according to the latest Simon & Schuster newsletter, the film is now slated to open in U.S. theaters on July 28, 2017. It stars Idris Elba as The Gunslinger and Matthew McConaughey as his nemesis, The Man in Black.
Since Simon & Schuster is Stephen King’s publisher, they are releasing a companion book for the movie on June 13, 2017. It is called The Dark Tower: The Art of the Film by Daniel Wallace and is currently available for pre-order on the publisher’s website, http://www.simonandschuster.com, for $40.00. I just checked, and it is also available for pre-order on Amazon at the same price, and eligible for Prime.
As you might well guess, Simon & Schuster is more excited than a 6-year-old on Christmas Eve about this film and exhorts everyone to buy The Gunslinger today and get reading, because the movie is based upon the first book. However, if you google The Dark Tower film, you will find other opinions about the script. Stephen King did not write the screenplay, but he is a producer. I suggest following him on Twitter to get the scoop. He’s in a position to get what he wants, so if he doesn’t know what’s going on, who does? Apparently this is no ordinary adaptation, and I gather that fans familiar with the whole series will appreciate the movie most.
If you do at least want to read The Gunslinger, my advice is to buy the latest edition (2003 copyright). The paperback cover is goldish brown with a picture of the gunslinger in a long riding coat, and “SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE” at the bottom. This edition features an enjoyable Introduction by Stephen King entitled On Being Nineteen (and a Few Other Things). He also wrote the Foreword, in which he explains why he revised certain parts of the series. Fortunately, he left the first sentence intact. It is generally regarded as one of the top most intriguing openers to any novel in English:
“The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed.” I recommend trailing after him and his “ka-tet” as they are summoned individually by the gunslinger Roland from their ordinary 20th century American lives, each one living 20 years apart from the others: Eddie, Susannah, and my favorite, Jake, the 11-year-old. We’re not in Kansas anymore! Actually, we’re in Oklahoma…aren’t we?…are we?…where are we really?…anyhow?…anywhen?