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Plot Details Of Dark Tower Movie Accidentally Revealed

Devotees of Stephen King's Dark Tower books have endured an excruciating wait for a successful adaptation of the epic series. After watching the project languish in development hell for nearly ten years, fans were stunned when Sony suddenly announced that a Dark Tower movie would be released in 2017—and many have been left confused by the few details that have leaked thus far. However, new information has recently come to light, and King himself may have cleared up everything with a single tweet. Want to know more? Then take a seat, and let's have a little palaver about Roland of Gilead and his ka-tet's long journey to a theater near you.

[Spoiler Warning: the details and photos shown below contain spoilers for the entire Dark Tower book series and possibly the upcoming film. You've been warned.]

The world has moved on

Serious efforts to adapt the Dark Tower books for the big screen started back in 2007. The project has gone through multiple iterations since then, with different directors, studios, and screenwriters attached. The current film was announced by Sony Pictures Entertainment in 2015, and is directed by Nikolaj Arcel, with Ron Howard producing. It's scheduled to be released on February 17, 2017.

Servants of Ka

Full casting details haven't yet been released, but we do know a few of the main players—led by Idris Elba, who's starring as the series' main protagonist, Roland Deschain. Despite Roland being white in the books, King loves the choice of Elba. "For me the character is still the character. It's almost a Sergio Leone character, like the Man with No Name," he explained. "He can be white or black, it makes no difference to me. I think it opens all kind of exciting possibilities for the backstory."

Elba's involvement does raise some questions, however. In the books, Susannah is a black amputee from 1964, and she's quite unhappy about being yanked out of her world by a grizzled white man. How will the casting of Elba change that dynamic? "Some fans are asking, understandably, 'What about the racial tension?'" Arcel said. "But as the story progresses, that will be made clear—how we'll deal with all those things."

Matthew McConaughey has been cast as Walter, the "Man in Black." Newcomer Tom Taylor will play the role of Jake Chambers. We've heard nothing about Susannah or Eddie, the other major characters from the book. Several minor characters have been cast, including Pimli, Richard Sayre, Tirana, and Susan Delgado. Fans have assumed the movie would cover the events of the first book in the series, The Gunslinger, and perhaps parts of its follow-up, The Drawing of the Three. The absence of Susannah and Eddie leaves many book readers nervous that director Arcel will stray far from the path of the Beam with this adaption.

All things serve the Beam

We know very little about the plot—most of the information we have has been gleaned from interviews and set photos. Ain't It Cool News reviewed a draft of the script from when Howard was still directing the film. Apparently, this script still forms the basis of the current production, and the article has tons of tantalizing details. When you pair the script's details with concept art created for Howard's original vision by illustrator Gregory Hill, we may have a good idea of what's in store for us in the upcoming movie.

King confirmed in his Entertainment Weekly interview that the movie will open with the first line of the book: "The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed." Filming began in South Africa, which has several locations that would be appropriate for the Mohaine Desert featured in The Gunslinger. The lead actors were later spotted filming in various locations around New York City during the first week of July 2016. Some notable locations include the mansion on Dutch Hill from The Waste Lands, and the Dixie Pig from Wolves of the Calla and Song of Susannah.

There are other worlds than these

Ron Howard was attached to direct the adaptation a few years ago, and his premise included a multi-part franchise that would tell the story on both the big screen and in a television series. Howard stayed on as producer when Sony picked up the project. We've learned that while the current film is a stand-alone project, Howard's original multi-part vision is still possible if the February release is successful. So what exactly will this movie include? Both the author and the director have offered up some clues in recent interviews.

"[The movie] starts in the middle of the story instead of at the beginning, which may upset some of the fans a little bit, but they'll get behind it, because it is the story," King explained. While Arcel wouldn't state outright which books his movie will cover, he did say, "A lot of it takes place in our day, in the modern world."

King also responded to questions about Roland's younger days, which we read about in Wizard and Glass. Although Susan Delgado has been cast, it seems that we will not see the story of Mejis in this film. King indicated that current plans are to cover that tale elsewhere: "They're still holding on to this idea that they can do a TV series, and they've got it pegged for that."

There'll be water if King wills it

For those keeping count at home, we've got sets and characters from at least four different Dark Tower books, but no Susannah or Eddie. Needless to say, the dribbles of information we've received have left us with more questions than answers. Will the storyline be drastically condensed for the big screen? Will the plot even be recognizable once Sony is done with it? Perhaps we should first hear what Sai King has to say on the matter.

Yes, that's really the Horn of Eld. This tweet has huge implications for the storyline of this movie (and any other projects that follow it). Roland did not have the Horn in the books—he'd carelessly left it behind following the Battle of Jericho Hill. When Roland ascends the Tower in the final book—stop here if you haven't read the series yet!—he opens a door and steps back out into the desert seen at the start of his tale. It's implied that he's taken this same journey times beyond counting, but never gotten it right. Each time, he's forced to start over again, with no memory of those previous attempts. There's one major difference at the end of the books, though—when he starts over this time, he has the Horn of Eld.

The tweet's implication is clear: this is the story of Roland's journey following the conclusion of the book series. The movie doesn't have to stick closely to the books, because it can now exist in its own timeline. This is completely new Dark Tower canon, which can unfold on the screen very differently than the story in the books. For additional confirmation, one of the set photos taken in July 2016 clearly shows the Horn of Eld peeking out of Roland's gunna sack, tucked neatly in next to his ammunition.

After getting this news about the movie's place in the overall Dark Tower timeline, we feel much more confident about the plot details we've heard so far. Seeing Mid-World on the big screen for the first time should be amazing—we'll set our watch and warrant on it. If we learn more information about the movie, you can be sure that you'll hear it here first. Until then, long days and pleasant nights to you.