It seems like the big-screen adaptation of Stephen King's The Dark Tower has been in the works for ages, with little in the way of actual progress being made. Even when casting began on the epic story, some fans were likely wondering if it would actually get made this time. Well, now chances seem pretty good, as principle photography on the project has begun.
Sony Pictures made the announcement that The Dark Tower has started filming at CinemaCon, one of many major movie announcements made during the day. This one likely had a number of Stephen King fans breathing a sigh of relief, however, since it seemed there was always something getting in the way of the film moving forward. Director Nikolaj Arcel's adaptation is slated to be the first part of The Dark Tower series, with this initial offering being based on the first book The Gunslinger.
Steady progress has been made on the film in recent months, with stars Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey being officially added to the film just last month after being courted since late last year. Elba will play gunslinger Roland Deschain in the film, while McConaughey will play the villainous Man in Black. Relative newcomer Tom Taylor will play Jake Chambers, a boy from the real world who gets pulled in to Deschain's quest. There are a few other key roles that have not been officially filled, though with filming commencing there should be more announcements about casting soon.
This is exciting for King fans, as The Dark Tower series has a devoted fan base. Studios have struggled to adapt the series for years, with talk of various approaches such as multiple films or films with full seasons of a television show in between. King and a few others (such as Ron Howard) have long held that the series was still going to be adapted, but after so many false starts it began to seem like a dream that just wasn't going to come true.
With an anticipated February 2017 release, things should continue moving quickly. There's no word yet on the amount of practical effects vs. CGI that will be in the film, though it's unlikely to be a CGI extravaganza given the relatively short production time and the February release. While Deadpool has proven that February doesn't have to be the month where movies go to die, it's unlikely that Sony would try to release a major FX-heavy blockbuster so early in the year.
The Dark Tower is slated for release on February 17, 2017.