After a long period of silence, the marketing is starting to ramp up for the film version of Stephen King's The Dark Tower.
Following the premiere last month of the first official trailer, Sony Pictures has now unveiled three fresh spots for The Dark Tower that are going to run on TV. There's a bit of new footage in each, but essentially these 30-second spots boil down the story in a way that presumably makes it understandable for viewers not familiar with King's magnum opus.
The first one is heavy on the action and gunplay while reaffirming some of Roland's (Idris Elba) personal code:
The second clip sets up the conflict and stakes between Roland and Walter, a.k.a. the Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey):
The third ad focuses almost exclusively on the Man in Black and his mission to kill Roland and destroy the Dark Tower:
Trailers and TV spots are notoriously unreliable barometers of how a movie ultimately looks and plays because they can be edited in so many different ways that they make the source material unrecognizable (you could probably find a way to cut this Dark Tower footage and make it look like a comedy if you tried hard enough). So one can't realistically judge this adaptation of The Dark Tower based solely on these spots or the initial trailer.
But it's becoming clear that the studio is selling the movie as an action-adventure story with some supernatural and even post-apocalyptic elements, and it's difficult at this point to see whether the complexity, surrealism and deep characterization of King's tale have made it to the screen intact, not to mention the rich and truly weird mythology that underlies the entire eight-novel saga. There are hints of all that in these spots but not quite a full picture yet.
We still have about two months to go before The Dark Tower arrives, and it's certainly one of the bigger question marks of this year's summer movie season. But the fact that the marketing is now finally starting up is an encouraging sign. What do you make of these latest spots and what feeling are you getting about this highly anticipated yet potentially controversial adaptation?
The Dark Tower is out in theaters August 4.