It’s a big year for Stephen King. The first part of the fresh adaptation of It is coming later this year, but the bigger event might be the film debut of his sprawling fantasy series, The Dark Tower. Starring Idris Elba as the Gunslinger and Matthew McConaughey as his rival, the Man in Black, the movie will loosely tie other King works together.
The movie revolves around the Dark Tower, a building that holds multiple worlds — including our world and the world of the Gunslinger — together. Appropriately, it’s a series that sprinkles in references to other King novels, and serves as a sort of overarching mythology for his whole universe (King even has a Stan Lee-like cameo later in the series). The Gunslinger (and everyone else) would like the tower to keep doing that, but the Man in Black would rather see it come down.
The series of novels spans eight volumes (seven originally, plus an extra tale King wrote after the conclusion of the series), but don’t expect this to be a Harry Potter film series kind of experience. As King hinted at in a tweet, the movie is actually intended to be a sequel to the novel series, although it will draw heavily from the characters and events found in the novels. Sounds weird, but it’ll make immediate sense to anyone who has read the novels. All we’ll say is that even if you know nothing about the novels, you won’t necessarily be lost heading into the movie.
The Dark Tower hits theaters on August 4 of this year.