Earlier this year, Stephen King fans and audiences around the globe took their first steps into Mid-World in Nikolaj Arcel's The Dark Tower, a sci-fi/fantasy hybrid that followed young Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor) on a mission between worlds to embark in the battle being waged between the Gunslinger (Idris Elba) and the Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey). The move felt... incomplete. And now that it is working it way to DVD and Blu-ray, we're seeing deleted scenes like the following, which could have filled in some crucial gaps:
This clip might not seem like an action-packed addition. But what it does do is show Jake exploring an unseen corner of Mid-World after arriving from our own Earth. He's looking for the man from his dreams, a gun-toting cowboy-type warrior named Roland (Idris Elba). And he stops in a tavern -- which probably isn't Tull, a town used in Stephen King's first book, but could serve as a representative of this important waystop on Roland's long journey.
The clip also goes to show that Nikolaj Arcel shot more material that didn't make the final cut of The Dark Tower, and now I'm pushing for him to get an extended director's cut to see what else should have been in the movie, but didn't make it past the proverbial knife of the editing booth. Shaping the Dark Tower into a workable story was always going to present challenges. There's a LOT of ground that needs to be covered in establishing the world of Roland, and the place that Jake assumes in it. Scenes like this, while small, provide welcome color and flavor to what is supposed to be a rich world. I'm glad we are finally getting to see it.
Will we get to see more? The future of The Dark Tower story is up in the air at the moment. The movie was supposed to spawn sequels, and maybe even a TV series. But this has been a mixed year for Stephen King fans. The adaptation of King's horror novel IT continues to crush at the box office. Nikolaj Arcel's The Dark Tower, though, didn't immediately connect with audiences as it tried to translate book one of King's eponymous Dark Tower saga to the big screen. And so future chapters are looked at as a gamble.
Who knows? Maybe if more people gravitate to The Dark Tower now that it is on home video, it will prove that interest exists, and further stories need to be told. We will find out, in time. The Dark Tower 4K, Blu-ray and DVD will be on stands on Tuesday, October 31.