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Everything You Missed In The Leaked Dark Tower Trailer

Fans of Stephen King's epic fantasy Dark Tower series got an unexpected glimpse into Mid-World on October 10, 2016, when a very rough cut of an unreleased trailer made its way into the wilds of the internet via a leak on Sony Pictures Taiwan's YouTube channel. It's not clear how the leak occurred, but it is obvious the trailer was both legitimate—with actual film footage and dialogue—and not ready for public viewing. Clocking in at two minutes, the leaked trailer is of poor and grainy quality, with a clearly unfinished audio mix as well as incomplete special effects and green screen shots included.

The fact that it leaked at all is actually kind of sad; it's unfair to the filmmakers and actors who are working so hard to bring the Dark Tower books to life on the big screen. That being said, as a diehard Dark Tower fan, I had to watch it immediately, and I don't regret doing so. Recently, I wrote an article about my wild speculations regarding what would go down in the movie when it hits theaters February 17, 2017—and this trailer changes some of my perceptions. Before we get to my new conclusions, let's take a look at a shot-by-shot breakdown of the trailer. At the time of this writing, I couldn't find any live versions online, but I have included screenshots of some of the best clips to go along with my analysis. Fair warning, everything below this point contains spoilers for the entire Dark Tower book series and related Stephen King lore, as well as the Dark Tower movie.

Opening slate

0:00 – 0:02 Reads "Sony Pictures Intl ELD, Outsider Intl V1, TRT 1:56, Temp Pix/Mix 10.04.16 Industry Creative." I included this because it's important to verify that this is a legitimate trailer. The slate card gives us some valuable information: this is an official trailer that is currently in production. The working title for this trailer is "Outsider," and will be an international release. "V1" indicates it's the first version of the trailer, which has a total running time of 1:56, and was created on October 4, 2016. It leaked six days later.

What happens in one world echoes in others

0:02 – 0:04 Roland's hand holding one of his guns. Buildings burn in the background. This probably is Tull.

0:05 – 0:07 Randall Flagg, a.k.a. the Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey), walks towards a futuristic-looking open door or passage. It may be a room beneath the Dixie Pig.

0:08 – 0:09 Flagg, in a den or office, places a rose quartz orb on a metal stand (pictured above). This is obviously "Maerlyn's grapefruit," the pink scrying sphere possessed by Rhea of the Coos in the books.

0:10 – 0:12 A flash of light, with shattered glass or stone flying as a person is pulled through a purple portal; an unfinished GFX shot showing what appears to be Jake falling from the air, landing on his back on the floor of the Dutch Hill mansion. Voiceover by Roland: "What happens in one world echoes in others."

0:10 A street intersection in New York City. Smoke fills the air and fragments of stone fly as pedestrians run in all directions. Flagg's legs and long coat appear to be visible in the foreground of the shot, which is probably part of a battle with Roland.

0:11 Flagg looks up from a table inscribed with ley lines, where the pink sphere sits in its metal stand.

0:12 – 0:13 The aftermath of an explosion at an antique store or some other kind of shop in NYC. Smoke still hangs in the air as NYPD and NYFD patrolmen carry civilians towards a waiting ambulance. We see Roland walking down a NYC street or alley filled with smoke and rubble as firefighters rush past him in the other direction. A red brick building on the right matches early set photos of the Dixie Pig's exterior, so we're likely seeing Roland escaping the aftermath of the battle. He is alone.

There's another world out there

0:14 – 0:17 Jake wakes up startled in his bed and looks around his room in confusion.

0:20 – 0:23 Jake stands in front of a wall in his bedroom which is covered with dozens of his drawings and sketches of the visions from his dreams.

0:23 – 0:24 A sketchbook on a desk, open to a page showing the Dark Tower on an empty plain with two suns in the sky.

0:24 – 0:28 A therapist meets with Jake and looks with concern at the drawings spread before him. Voiceover (therapist): "These dreams, these visions—they persist." Jake looks up from his sketchbook in the therapist's office and gazes out the window as he replies, "They're not dreams; there's another world out there."

Darkness. Fire. The Man in Black.

0:28 – End: Musical cover of "Behind Blue Eyes" plays intermittently in background

0:28 – 0:35 Jake walks rapidly down a NYC street, avoiding several men who appear to be staring at him or following him. Jake stops in his tracks and stares wide-eyed at a man who presses his fingers into his cheek, appearing to "adjust" his face. (Presumably these are all Low Men, and the face-adjusting shot will have GFX added to make it more bizarre).

0:36 – 0:38 Closeup of Jake drawing in his sketchbook (unable to see what he is drawing). Voiceover (Jake): "I see the same thing every night—"

0:38 – 0:39 Closeup of Roland, looking upset/emotional—he's looking up at a burning building. Jake's voice over continues: "Darkness,"

0:40 – 0:41 Wide shot of burning town—looks mostly like wooden clapboard buildings; probably Tull. A few people are running through the streets away from the flames. Jake's VO continues: "Fire."

0:41 – 0:42 Flagg opens a door and enters a darkened room. Jake: "The Man in Black." Flagg walks through the interior of the Dixie Pig, various criminals and Low Men bow and stare at his back as he walks past them.

I feel like I'm supposed to do something

0:43 – 0:48 Jake bent over his sketchbook; an aerial shot of modern-day NYC at night, Jake looking up at his therapist. Jake: "Billions of people—they all die." The therapist flips a page in the drawings he is examining, then looks away from Jake, a troubled expression on his face.

0:48 – 0:51 Jake stands in front of his bedroom wall of drawings, examining them closely. The camera centers on a drawing that is clearly of Roland, holding one of his ancient guns. Jake: "I feel like I'm supposed to do something; I just don't know what it is."

0:52 – 0:56 Jake stands on a street in NYC, and looks up from a drawing of an old house to an abandoned building in front of him. The drawing is clearly of the same house. He begins to walk towards it.

0:57 – 1:00 Jake rips boards off a broken window. He presses a button on a futuristic panel, and a screen on the panel comes to life. Behind him, the wall lights up behind the broken lathing in a pattern reminiscent of circuit boards.

1:01 – 1:05 The sound of portal powering up, akin to a jet engine; Jake walks towards the portal. Unfinished GFX showing bright light spilling from the portal. He walks towards it and jumps through.

You're the only one who can save us

1:07 – 1:09 Jake lands on the hard-packed dirt of what is clearly the Mohaine Desert, still wearing his hoodie. Unfinished GFX shows the purple-white light of the portal disappearing behind him.

1:10 – 1:14 Roland approaches the camera through the desert. Roland voiceover: "Who are you?" Jake looks up at him from where he's seated. He's no longer wearing the hoodie. Jake voiceover: "It's you." Roland eyes him suspiciously. He may believe the boy is a mirage or a vision sent by Flagg.

1:15 – 1:18 Jake shows Roland the drawing he made of the gunslinger. Jake voiceover: "I dreamt about you." Roland picks something up from the desert ground and looks back at Jake. Jake voiceover: "You're the only one who can save us."

1:19 – 1:21 Closeup of Roland's gun belt. In a forest, Roland pulls both guns and aims up at something well above him at the level of the trees and begins to fire. Jake crouches on the ground next to him, staring up.

1:22 – 1:23 Roland aims a gun at an unseen foe as buildings burn behind him—apparently in Tull.

1:23 Roland and Jake walk along the rocky shore of a lake or bay.

The war is over, and we lost

1:24 -1:26 Randall Flagg sits in an ornate chair and asks an offscreen Roland, "Did you tell the kid that everyone who walks with you dies by my hand?" Shot cuts to Flagg violently clamping his hand over the mouth of a beautiful young woman with her hair in a braid.

1:27 Jake and what appears to be the same girl flee a burning building as the ceiling collapses. This could be the interior of the Dixie Pig.

1:28 Flagg strides through an intersection in NYC.

1:29 – 1:30 Roland and Jake sit atop an industrial building in NYC. Roland voiceover: "The war is over, and we lost."

1:30 – 1:31 In the dark forest, Jake skids to a halt and stares up in fright at something unseen.

1:31 – 1:32 The pinnacle of the Dark Tower, surrounded by black clouds with a fiery red swirling maelstrom in the sky behind it.

He destroys everything he touches

1:33 – 1:34 Jake and Roland sitting on the building again. Jake voiceover: "Your world might be gone, but mine isn't." Cut to a shot of Roland looking up at a dark sky crackling with electricity. Cut to Roland and Jake walking together down a NYC sidewalk.

1:35 – 1:36 Cooks are cut down by gunfire or an explosion in a kitchen.

1:36 Six or seven figures are strapped into a circle of chairs in a futuristic chamber. A glowing light grows at the center of the circle as Flagg and another person watch. Unknown voiceover: "He destroys everything he touches."

1:37 Flagg walks past figures seated in front of computer terminals, and gestures with his hand at something offscreen.

1:38 Roland lands hard on the ground following a blast of some sort in a NYC street, rubble strewn everywhere.

No more

1:39 What appear to be children in school uniforms sprint across grass in front of a building. They could be Jake's classmates in New York City, or residents of Tull.

1:40 A ceiling collapses in what may be a science lab in a school.

1:40 Roland looks at someone offscreen, and says "No more."

1:41 Roland shoots his gun from a window or balcony of an industrial building at what appears to be a falling gas or propane canister. A large explosion fills the courtyard below.

1:42 – 1:43 Jake hangs from some sort of scaffolding and looks up in a panic. This might be our "go then, there are other worlds than these," moment—if there is one.

I do not aim with my hand; I aim with my eye

1:44 – 1:45 A hunchbacked creature with four legs, a long and whiplike tail, spiked back and pointy ears approaches through the dark forest. While Jake stands agape, Roland charges past him, shooting at the creature. A closeup of its face fills the screen, with what appear to be rodent-like teeth. Its face is either rotting away to expose the skull or perhaps armored in some manner. We cut to a shot of Roland on a NYC street, crossing his arms and shooting both guns at once. Roland voiceover: "I do not aim with my hand; I aim with my eye."

1:46 – 1:47 Roland leaps off a balcony in an indoor shopping center or mall, shooting at four figures walking with guns below. The legs of at least two dead bodies can be seen in a corner of the shot.

I do not kill with my gun; I kill with my heart

1:47 – 1:52 A man leaps through the dark onto the burning roof of a wooden building. We see a closeup of Roland shooting his gun directly to the side without looking, and a bullet hole appears in the mirror of an old-fashioned wooden medicine cabinet. Roland pushes aside clothing hanging from a clothesline in the dark. A figure is shot in the head as it runs through a field of very tall grass, with a fire burning in the distance. Roland's gun is seen as he moves towards the clothesline in the previous shot. Roland looks up from the ground and fires his gun at something offscreen. Roland voiceover: "I do not kill with my gun; I kill with my heart."

1:52 – 1:59 End title cards and premiere date.

New plot details

After watching the trailer, it became clear to me that my original guesswork for the plot in my last article wasn't 100 percent correct. The trailer lays out a definite narrative for the basics of the plot, while leaving a lot to the imagination. But here's what we can infer:

Jake Chambers has been having dreams—troubling dreams—for quite some time. They inspire his dozens upon dozens of drawings, which depict his visions of destruction, fire, the gunslinger, and the Dark Tower. He's seeing a therapist to discuss these dreams, which isn't much help.

At some point, he begins to notice strange people following him and watching him as he goes about his day. These are obviously the "Low Men" who work for Randall Flagg. Jake takes off in search of some sort of clue to his dreams, and comes across the Dutch Hill mansion. Upon entering, he finds strange electronic equipment built into the walls of the abandoned house. After activating one of these electronic panels, a portal to the Mohaine desert opens in front of him, and he jumps through.

The man in black fled across the desert

There's no way the story can't include Roland pursuing Flagg through the desert. I believe this is how he ends up encountering Jake; he finds the boy as he's trailing Flagg. This lines up with the story of the books—it simply leaves out the Way Station. After Jake tells Roland of his visions and dreams, the pair will continue to follow Flagg and attempt to find a way back to New York City. As seen in different clips of the trailer, the pair will journey through the desert, along a beach, and through a forest. In the forest, they'll encounter a what I believe is a portal guardian.

The creature Roland battles in the dark forest is clearly a portal guardian, but it doesn't appear to be Shardik, the bear that appeared in the Dark Tower books. I've re-watched these clips several times, and based on the anatomy of the creature (including its long tail and rodent-like teeth), I believe it's a rat. This fits in with Dark Tower lore, as one of the guardians of the Dark Tower's beams is a rat. This further confirms the theory that this will be a new journey for Roland—and this time, they'll follow the Beam of the Rat, Way of the Fish.

See the rat, both fierce and wise

Fans of the Dark Tower series will know that the portal guardians tend to be named after famous animals in literature or mythology. For example, the Bear guardian was named "Shardik" after the 1974 fantasy novel by Richard Adams. I'm sure the filmmakers will throw us a bit of fanservice by also letting us know the name of this monstrous rat. For this particular guardian, there are several good pop culture candidates it could be named after: Nicodemus from Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, Templeton from Charlotte's Web, or even Splinter from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Personally, I'm rooting for Nicodemus, but given that the rat in the trailer has gigantic spikes protruding from its back, Splinter may be more appropriate.

Flagg's plans

After defeating the guardian, Roland and Jake can use the portal it guards to travel back to New York City. The pair will then need to go in search of Randall Flagg. Flagg obviously has the pink seeing sphere, which Roland will want to take if possible. Additionally, Jake fears that Flagg is planning to destroy our world.

The figures reclining in a circle of chairs in an underground chamber are probably "breakers"—humans gifted with the power of telekinesis, used by Flagg to destroy the beams holding up the Dark Tower. They may be using the pink orb as a focus for their power. Roland and Jake will need to stop these breakers if they want to save our world—and the Tower—from total destruction.

The burning town

I believe the scenes showing a burning town are likely a depiction of Tull. The construction appears "old west" and not modern. Roland clearly engages in a gun battle there, burning part of the town down and hunting people through the night. Even though it seems likely we'll see the story of Tull onscreen, I don't think Jake will be a part of that story. Remember, Roland travels through Tull before the Mohaine desert in the books. These scenes will likely be part of a flashback, in which Roland will tell Jake the story of Tull sometime during their journey.

What about Eddie and Susannah?

There are no characters in the trailer who could be Eddie or Susannah, confirming early predictions that The Dark Tower wouldn't include them. There's a short clip with Flagg squeezing the face of a woman with braided hair, and another female also appears in a clip with Jake, fleeing the burning interior of a building—which I believe to be the Dixie Pig. It's unclear if these two women are the same character.

I've seen suggestions that one of these characters might be Susan Delgado, but I don't think there's any evidence to support that. I think her story will be saved for a later film or television series. Instead, it seems more likely that this is either a completely new character—perhaps a love interest for Jake—or a sidekick of Flagg's, probably a female "Low Man." It could be the character Tirana, who caused lots of confusion for fans when her casting was announced last year. If there are actually two different women in the trailer, then there could be both a Flagg sidekick and a different woman—perhaps a breaker Jake rescues.

Will Jake die?

This one is debatable, but I'm going with no—at least not in this film. In my last article, I predicted that Jake wouldn't die under the Cyclopean Mountains as he does in the books. From the footage in the trailer and in several photos from the sets, we've seen Jake and Roland together in New York City, so we know both of them make it through the portal back. While this doesn't rule out a potential death for Jake later in New York City, it's reasonable to assume he's safe up until that point.

That being said, I don't see Jake in the later clips with Roland fighting at the Dixie Pig, so Jake could be held captive by Flagg. There's clearly a scene between Flagg or Roland when he taunts him about "the kid," so this may be the point where they are separated. There's clearly a gun battle not only at the Dixie Pig, but also in some sort of indoor shopping center or mall. Roland may need to rescue Jake from the Low Men before they can get on with their mission.

It's also possible that Jake is never in danger, but is elsewhere offscreen assisting Roland. Someone had to drop that propane canister for Roland to shoot in the trailer—maybe it's Jake. There have also been early clandestine photos taken during filming that show Roland and Jake meeting and exchanging a hug on a street in New York; I'm guessing this is when they're reunited after being separated.

Final thoughts

Despite the grainy quality and obviously unfinished special effects, I'm super-excited for this movie—perhaps even more than I was before. It's clear that this story will serve as a sequel to the original Dark Tower books, and not as a direct adaptation. It'll be awesome to explore Mid-World with Roland, Jake, and any others who join the ka-tet, allowing us as fans to see things in a new light without being closely tied to the storyline of the books. Above all, I'm very excited that Jake will likely survive instead of being sacrificed by Roland, and we're going to see a new portal guardian for the first time. I hope you enjoyed this breakdown of the trailer, and if you have any ideas about the movie you want to share, hit me up on Twitter!