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Video: 'The Dark Tower' Shoots From The Heart In First Trailer

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After years of attempts to bring Stephen King's epic dark fantasy/science fantasy/horror/Western series to cinematic life, and months of confusion over the stalled marketing campaign, The Dark Tower finally has a real trailer. Watch below as Idris Elba shows off his ability to load guns very quickly, Matthew McConaughey clenches his jaw very menacingly, and beams of light shoot into the sky over Manhattan with CGI splendor. Also, don't miss out on the Overlook Hotel/Shining easter egg!

I asked my colleague Nell Casey, a King devotee and Dark Tower expert, to weigh in on the adaptation: "I'm excited for the grandness of it. To capture King's opus into a film or even a trilogy has always felt kind of impossible to me." There have been good King adaptations (Green Mile, Shawshank, The Mist, Carrie, The Shining—even if King hated that last one), but this is the first one where the studio threw enough money at it to get the scale right. "This is about the destruction of worlds, man!" she said. "We need to bring out the big guns, which it seems like they have."

Other tidbits for people who may or may not be familiar with the books: it's hard to understate how important guns are to Roland (Elba). The Man In Black (McConaughey) is like the Joker, but with magic (or Sauron with a sense of humor). There are two major characters from the books who we don't see in the trailer (they're apparently not in this movie at all, unless they're being saved for a surprise). The beams of light we see throughout the trailer represent paths to other worlds (and...other sequels?).

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And most importantly, this movie is a "continuation" of Roland/MiB's story from the books, so you can almost throw the novels out the window...even though they're the source material. "So that's fun! One of the 'problems' as a reader from a devoted fan base is finding all the changes/inaccuracies in the adaptation, which can be distracting," Nell added when I refused to stop pestering her with questions about the film. "Here, I can just watch this movie in peace and go with Roland on his journey as opposed to trying to shoehorn this new story into the one I'm familiar with."