Previewed: The Dark Tower (Nikolaj Arcel)

So after what has seemed an absolute age, Stephen King’s magnum opus ‘The Dark Tower’ novel has finally received some released marketing for its film adaptation.

Starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey (as the gunslinger Roland, and the formidable Man In Black respectively), this film adaptation has been in development hell for over ten years. However, with Sony establishing how to film the notoriously difficult novel, the first pieces of marketing material has been released online. With a specific tone and otherworldly concept, the film is looking increasingly promising with every piece of new information released.

With many fans of the original source material, and the narrative being placed over eight extensive novels, ‘The Dark Tower’ could well become the most popular piece of fantasy cinema, spawning an extended franchise and television companion pieces.  For every Lord of the Rings however there is also a franchise that resonates very much like Eragon commercially and critically. For fans of the genre (being one myself) much hope will be placed on ‘The Dark Tower’ being like the former and establishing King’s vision on the big screen. Whatever the outcome, ‘The Dark Tower’ looks to be one of the most exciting releases of the year.

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The Teaser Poster

Playing with perspective, The Dark Tower’s first poster hints at the multiple dimensions that play a large part of the epic fantasy series. Showcasing a New York street (be it upside down), that depicts the title tower in its centre, the poster highlights aspects that are going to be present within the film.

It is also worth noting the size and scale of the two figures against this silhouette, giving a sense of dread that the tower gives them. Overall the design is a perfect example of film teasing, which highlights how well the film began its advertisement.

Dark Tower Roland

The Roland Character Poster

Highlighting the films protagonist, Roland (the Gunslinger) this character poster is expertly stylised with a neon blue glow. It also showcases the principle weapon choice of the lead, with his pose being dynamic and as such indicating a quest or movement, which ties into the overall story arc of the character. Note how his face is hidden from the camera, which indicates a mysterious quality to the role.

Dark Tower Man in Black

The Man In Black Character Poster

The films big-bad, this poster hints at the threat of this character through the colour choice of red used throughout the design. The flaming embers that surround the character also highlight a dark and dangerous personality – positioning him from the outset as the villain of the film. This characters face is not hidden, but at the same time does not look directly into the camera – stylised but also depicted of his antagonistic persona.

roland big.jpg

Symbolism is heavily used in these two posters, with the colours flipped to indicate the role they have on finding the Tower. Also the tagline of the poster is the same but for one word ‘Protect’ and ‘Destroy’, each indicating a binary of whats to come. The final symbolic design trait is the direction in which they are walking. Roland is moving across the frame from left to right while the Man In Black is shown to be moving in an opposite direction. This feeds into the schemata of the viewer, where throughout cinema good characters have also been shown to move this way across screen, whereas villains walk the opposite. By feeding into the audience schema, the marketers are able to use subconscious understanding to resonate particular aspects.

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