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I Still Don’t Know How to Feel About This Dark Tower Adaptation

The second Dark Tower trailer has landed, and it … looks a lot like the first one. While it’s definitely aiming for more of an action-apocalypse tone than the Jake-heavy first trailer, it recycles a lot of the same footage.

As io9 points out, this is … not a great sign. While it’s true that the first trailer basically showed off the whole plot and all the cool scenes, ensuring that there wasn’t much more footage left to show, this second trailer fits into a larger lack of marketing for a film that’s less than a month away. When a studio pulls back from marketing and publicity, it often signals a lack of confidence in a film. And if even the studio doesn’t believe in its own film, you have to wonder how bad it is. What are they hiding?

That said, it’s worth pointing out that this movie didn’t have the tentpole production costs to necessitate a marketing blitz. With an estimated budget of $60 million, it’s nowhere near something like Wonder Woman ($149 million) or The Avengers ($220 million). While it’s the most high-profile adaptation of a Stephen King property this year, $60 million is actually pretty middle-of-the-road as far as Hollywood budgets go. So there isn’t necessarily a ton riding on this for Sony, even though they’ve laid the groundwork for a TV spinoff.

I just don’t know. On the one hand, I like not seeing every single beat of a film before I get into the theater, and studios have marketed the life out of other movies—like Suicide Squad, which turned out messy and critically panned anyway. Their judgment isn’t exactly golden. On the other hand, The Dark Tower was always going to be difficult to adapt, and I can easily see this film going off the rails. These trailers seem to suggest that’s what happened.

But. But but but. This movie stars a lonely, heroic Idris Elba who kills with his heart facing off against Matthew “Scenery and Cigs for Breakfast” McConaughey as basically-the-Devil. Can they really screw that up?

There’s only one thing I know for sure. When The Dark Tower arrives on August 4, it will achieve the impossible: ruining an Idris Elba vs. Matthew McConaughey showdown, or successfully adapting King’s sprawling novels into a three-act film. I’ll just have to wait to see and which one.

(Via Nerdist and io9; image via screengrab of Sony Pictures’ trailer)

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