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Movies studios are always looking for vacant weeks for their films. Without competition, obviously, these films have a better chance of making millions of dollars. Studios have even gone to great lengths to move the release dates of their films so that they’re not competing with another project. But Columbia and Lionsgate Films have forgone tradition and gallantly decided to go head to head, as The Dark Tower and Power Rangers, respectively, are both now going to be released on January 13th, 2017.
But that’s not the only big money movie that’s due to come out that exact same day. Because Columbia Pictures, according to Box Office Mojo, have also scheduled The Magnificent Seven for a January 13th, 2017, release date, too. Take that with a grain of salt, as IMDB still has a 2016 release date on Seven. But basically, that means that on the second Friday of 2017, you are going to have a pretty difficult decision when you’re stood at the kiosk of your local multiplex trying to figure out what to see. But what should you pick?
Well, let’s have a think – starting with The Dark Tower. This adaptation of Stephen King’s series of books has been in development for a long, frigging time. The Dark Tower tells the story of Roland Deschain, the last member of the Gunslingers, whose lineage goes all the way back to King Arthur. The story unfolds in mid-World, which is basically King’s blatant attempt to plagiarize Tolkien without being sued, and Roland has to find the Dark Tower – a rather important building because it’s believed to be the nexus of the universes. Which is clearly wrong, because Kramer found that in "The Maid" episode of Seinfeld:
Described as part fantasy, part science-fiction, part horror, and part Western, King has also admitted that his far-ranging influences include Lord Of The Rings and the work of Sergio Leone. Basically it’s perfect cinematic fodder. But it’s been stuck in cinematic purgatory for some time now. After Abrams failed to bring it to the big screen, Ron Howard and Russell Crowe both tried, but gave up. Now A Royal Affair’s Nikolaj Arcel is in control, and he’s currently re-writing the script.
Meanwhile The Power Rangers reboot is currently on the look out for its brand new mighty morphin’ team, with Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz having written the script. Basically, the film is looking to benefit from the mildly successful Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles relaunch, and it should chime in with nostalgic adults and a teenage audience.
The Magnificent Seven remake is shaping up very nicely, though. Not only is Antoine Fuqua directing – yes, I know he’s very hit and miss but when he’s good, he can be very good – but the ensemble cast looks supreme. That’s because it includes Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, and Peter Sarsgaard. Plus, with the structure of two bona-fide classics, in the shape of The Seven Samurai and the original, to work from it should be at least passable. In fact, if it comes anywhere near to matching those fine efforts, then it’ll do.