When it comes to the worst films based on Stephen King’s novels and short stories, then titles like » Trucks «, » The Mangler » or » Quicksilver Highway » should actually be named well ahead of » The Dark Tower «. There are several reasons why many fans will nevertheless name Nikolaj Arcel’s fantasy film first.
But first the info if you want to watch the film: VOX is showing “The Dark Tower” on March 24th at 8:15 p.m. Alternatively, you can also stream “The Dark Tower” on Netflix with a subscription.
«The Dark Tower»: Fantasy disappointment instead of the second «Lord of the Rings»
But why was «The Dark Tower» so disappointing, despite a top-class cast including Idris Elba , Matthew McConaughey , Katheryn Winnick ? Because the story of the fight between gunslinger Roland (Elba) and the man in black (McConaughey) for a dark tower that stands at the center of all worlds and holds them together is just a disdainful, around 90-minute short 08/15 fantasy story. But that’s not exactly what it is for author King and his fans. «The Dark Tower» is like Stephen King’s «Lord of the Rings», a great eight-novel epic about the struggle between good and evil.
Putting all of that into one film was impossible. So it was decided to mix individual elements from the different books somewhat wildly. To create something new, maybe independent, in this way is a very interesting approach and the result is also a sometimes quite entertaining fantasy film that could have picked up non-fans in particular. But the cinema version of «The Dark Tower» is then too bad in many respects. Suspense scenes don’t work, effects are sometimes below average, too many secondary characters remain clichés.
The FILMSTARTS review of «The Dark Tower»
Author Stephen King was also critical later: The studio had decided to make a film suitable for minors, a potential blockbuster. Those responsible decided that the film had to be made for a large audience and so the story lost a lot of its complexity and toughness.
In the end, «The Dark Tower» disappointed at the box office. Worldwide revenues of 113 million dollars are not enough, even with a moderate budget of 60 million dollars, especially since only just under 51 million dollars were turned over in the important domestic US market.
So the approach of simplifying everything enough to make The Dark Tower a mainstream fantasy flick didn’t really bring in new audiences… and angered fans.
«The Dark Tower»: The series adaptation has also failed
The fans hardly left a good hair on «The Dark Tower», but they could at least put their hopes in a streaming series. The original plan was to expand the film with a series, but this was canceled after the disappointing cinema result. Instead, the streaming service Amazon Prime Video wanted to start from scratch with a fantasy series in the footsteps of » Game Of Thrones » and tell the story of the eternal duel between Roland and the man in black from the beginning … and what many do not even know, even started to turn.
«The Walking Dead» creator Glen Mazarra joined as well as Sam Strike as a young Roland and Jasper Pääkkönen as the Man in Black. Established character actors such as Jerome Flynn («Game Of Thrones») and Michael Rooker («Guardians Of The Galaxy») were engaged for supporting roles.
But after a pilot episode, Amazon pulled the plug. The series did not have the level of the other fantasy projects that are currently being created for the streaming service, was heard from sources in the area at the time. Amazon was also working on The Wheel of Time (now out) and The Lord of the Rings (released September 2, 2022). At the time, Amazon released the scripts that had already been completed, giving other providers and TV broadcasters the opportunity to take over the series, but nobody took action.
Stephen King fans shouldn’t have too high hopes of seeing «The Dark Tower» filmed in the way Stephen King wanted it to be. But who knows what the distant future will bring. In the case of «The Lord of the Rings», it took almost 50 years until the film version was released, which then made the majority of fans happy.
The Dark Tower Trailer DF