When it comes to Stephen King works, perhaps the one considered most difficult to adapt to visual media is the seven-book sprawling epic that the popular horror-supernatural writer considers his magnum opus, “The Dark Tower”. The herculean task of creating a movie treatment for the literary series was such that it went through two high-profile directors – JJ Abrams and Ron Howard – before settling with Nikolaj Arcel for Columbia Pictures (with Howard as producer).

Further grumblings developed with the casting of Idris Elba in the lead role of the Gunslinger Roland, assumed to be a Caucasian character.

Nevertheless, production went on to filming, and with an August 2017 premiere set, Columbia has finally dropped a full trailer for their film adaptation of King’s epic, “The Dark Tower”. Though to be specific, it’s less an adaptation and more a sequel.

Story retread

The first trailer for “The Dark Tower” revealed a young New York boy named Jake (Tom Taylor), who is plagued by visions of a post-apocalyptic other-world, where a gunslinger is chasing a man in black while headed for an ominous dark tower. While trying to follow his visions, Jake stumbles through a portal in an abandoned house and into the realm in his visions, Mid-World.

Here he meets Roland the gunslinger (Elba).

Roland tells Jake that the Dark Tower is a “linchpin” that supports the numerous worlds in existence – Jake’s Earth and Roland’s Mid-World – and that the Man in Black (Matthew Mcconaughey) hopes to reach it in order to become ruler of all existence. But the tower is also in danger of collapsing itself, and so Roland with Jake much get to its location to stop everything from being destroyed.

So far the film’s plot seems to follow the events of the first book, but Stephen King himself posted a spoiler on Twitter last year that heavily hints at the movie being a straight sequel to his novels rather than an adaptation. The hint is a relic possessed by Roland in the books but lost in his journey, only to be returned to him in the seventh book’s twist ending.

TV series ‘sequel’

Although no word has been given regarding a sequel film in the works, it has already been announced since September that a TV series will chronicle the adventures of a younger Roland from before the events of the movie, likely based on a similar recounting of the Gunslinger’s youth in the fourth “Dark Tower” book, “Wizard and Glass”.

Despite this, both Idris Elba and Tom Taylor have been tapped to reprise their film characters, implying that the series could be framed as a series of extended flashbacks. “The Dark Tower”, directed by Nikolaj Arcel, is set to premiere in cinemas on August 4.