Ever since a tweet of a very important prop was posted to Twitter last winter, fans have assumed that the upcoming Dark Tower movie is a sequel to the books. And now, the film's director has confirmed that.
Roland and Jake (Idris Elba and Tom Taylor) stroll through New York in The Dark Tower. Image: Sony
"It is, in fact, a continuation," director Nik Arcel told IGN. "It is a canon continuation. That's exactly what we intended and what Stephen King has signed off on."
The tweet in question is the one below which, if you're read the books, speaks volumes.
To explain why that horn and text is so important, it's necessary to spoil the ending of King's series. So if you are planning on reading the books before The Dark Tower is out in August (which I recently did) you may want to go away. But if not, keep reading. Just know that the movie has been structured and conceived so it's not necessary to have any knowledge of the books, which also fits in with the world.
OK, so at the end of the seventh book, The Dark Tower, Roland makes it to the top of the Dark Tower. Finally. And there he realises that though he's saved the world, it's his destiny to repeat his journey again and again and again. The book then ends just as the first book began... with one very small but very crucial difference. We realise that Roland now has the Horn of Eld, a relic from his past that he discarded in the book version of the story.
Since the Roland at the end of the books now has the Horn, it suggests that this time, the story of Roland's journey to the Dark Tower will be different. And the text "Last Time Around" makes it sound like, finally, after thousands of years, the story we see in the movie (or movies, if it all works out) will be his final trip.
So no. The Dark Tower movie is not a 1:1 adaptation of the books. It's a sequel to the books and a pseudo-reboot as well. Which, according to Arcel, King was happy about. After seeing the film for the first time, the author wrote to the director. "He said 'This is not exactly my novel but this is very much the spirt and the tone and I'm very happy.'"
The Dark Tower opens August 17. Watch the full interview below.