It doesn’t take a Stephen King super-fan to spot the two major easter eggs in the first trailer for The Dark Tower, but as Constant Readers (King’s nickname for his loyal fanbase) can tell you, that’s probably just the tip of the iceberg. King’s epic novel series is, among other things, a riveting piece of meta-fiction that ties all of his works (and worlds) together, so it’s inevitable that this summer’s highly-anticipated film adaptation will have more than a few easter eggs for casual fans and Constant Readers alike to discover — and King himself is giving you a head start.
The Dark Tower
Marketing for big-budget blockbusters has become so predictable that you can now mark the passage of time between any given month and a film’s release date by the number of TV spots and featurettes you’ve seen. Despite a handful of early viral promotions, Sony’s approach to marketing The Dark Tower has been fairly unusual in comparison to how other studios typically handle films of similar size and budget. That they didn’t release a trailer (or even a proper teaser) for such a highly-anticipated blockbuster until today, just three months out from release, seemed strange — to say the least. And yet that delayed marketing tactic feels more like a teachable moment than a cautionary tale.
If you’re a huge Stephen King fan (like me!), then you undoubtedly noticed two fairly huge easter eggs in the first trailer for The Dark Tower, which finally — after months of anticipation and growing concern — debuted online early this morning. Those less familiar with the SKU (the Stephen King Universe) may have missed the pair of references to two of King’s most iconic stories, both of which have also been adapted before.
By this point in a big film’s marketing cycle, we typically would have seen a couple trailers, a ton of posters, lengthy magazine pieces, the works. In contrast, there has been so little concrete info out there on The Dark Tower, which opens in theaters in almost exactly three months, that some people (like, y’know, me) began to doubt whether the movie would open on time, or even if it existed at all.
If you read our summer movie preview yesterday you might have seen The Dark Tower on our list and thought, ‘Wait, what?! That’s coming out in August?’ Yes, your eyeballs will finally see the long awaited Stephen King adaptation in just three months, but the average moviegoer wouldn’t know it from the complete lack of marketing. We haven’t even seen a trailer yet, and last month the release was pushed back a week. But now, finally, we have officially confirmation of the trailer’s arrival.
The calendar may have four seasons, but Hollywood’s calendar only really has two at this point: summer and awards, and summer seems to last longer and longer ever year. Though the start of May has long been the unofficial kickoff of the S.M.S., 2017 has already seen a King Kong movie, a ghost in a shell, and the fate of Fast & Furious franchise. The change from April to May is something of a formality in 2017. Once the Oscars are over, the summer begins.
While decades of film journalism has taught us to treat Hollywood insiders as the sole source of movie rumors, there are plenty of places to go for production updates if you know where to look. Movie studios are businesses, after all, and business have to do things like file for copyrights, pull permits, and, sometimes, submit films and trailers to government agencies for review. That’s how we are able to bring you today’s update on the long-anticipated trailer for Columbia Pictures’ The Dark Tower adaptation. It didn’t come from some studio executive sending text messages on the sly; it came from the Consumer Protection agency of British Columbia.
The Dark Tower movie hasn’t even dropped a first trailer, let alone confirmation a TV arm of the franchise will ever come to fruition. Still, executive producer Ron Howard at least remains optimistic, saying “creatively, it could work very well.”
In yet another setback in the series of them that has dogged The Dark Tower since its inception (not unlike the quest of Roland Deschain himself), the movie has been pushed back one whole week from July 28 to August 4.
With Sony being uncharacteristically quiet when it comes to The Dark Tower movie, fans have learned to take any new marketing material with a grain of salt. So when a fantastic new poster for the film found its way online last night, people who would normally be ecstatic about a new look at the upcoming release hesitated. Was this an official release from Sony or another piece of fan art masquerading as the real thing?