Dir: Nikolaj Arcel (12A, tbc mins)
Stephen King’s epic fantasy novel series finally gets a film adaptation after several stumbles. It was once slated to be a TV series, several top directors and actors have been attached at various points, but now the franchise is about to begin. Idris Elba stars as ‘The Gunslinger’, a Jedi like character who roams Mid-World, an alternate universe rather like the Wild West but with some added supernatural scariness. He is forever in conflict with ‘The Man in Black’, the worse than the devil Matthew McConaughey who destroys worlds with his evil. A Dark Tower is crucial in providing balance between all worlds, including Earth, but McConaughey seeks to destroy it and control all. After a boy played by Tom Taylor stumbles upon a portal that connects these worlds, he finds himself in The Gunslinger’s universe and ultimately they have to return to Earth and do battle with McConaughey. There’s a lot of back story from seven novels to fit into the running time, with rumours that this may have a flavour of King’s world rather than slavishly adhere to it. Described as The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly meets Lord of the Rings this could be an exciting fantasy entry or an overblown, complex mess. Here’s hoping the two charismatic leads can have a Sergio Leone-esque cinematic duel…with monsters.
Opens Aug 18