The Dark Tower is a 2017 American dark fantasy western film directed and co-written by Nikolaj Arcel. An adaptation and continuation of Stephen King's novel series of the same name, the film stars Idris Elba as Roland Deschain, a gunslinger on a quest to protect the Dark Tower—a mythical structure which supports all realities—while Matthew McConaughey plays his nemesis, Walter Padick (The Man in Black) and Tom Taylor stars as Jake Chambers, a New York boy who becomes Roland's apprentice. Intended as the first instalment in a multimedia franchise, the film combines various elements from the eight-novel series, and takes place in both modern-day New York City and in Mid-World, Roland's Old West-style parallel universe. The film also serves as a sequel to the novels, which concluded with the revelation that Roland's quest is a cyclical time loop; the presence of the Horn of Eld, which Roland received at the end of the series and carries in the film, indicates that its events occur in the next cycle.
Efforts to adapt The Dark Tower series for the screen started in 2007, with periodic reports and official announcements. The project was shelved, before the rights were transitioned to a different production company. Development experienced starts and stops with various filmmakers and studios at different times, including Universal Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures, and Lionsgate Entertainment. The adaptation went through three major phases of planning: with J. J. Abrams from 2007 to 2009, Ron Howard from 2010 to 2015, and finally, the current iteration, announced in March 2015, produced by Sony Pictures Entertainment and Media Rights Capital, with Arcel directing and Howard remaining in a producing role.
The Dark Tower premiered at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City on July 31, 2017 and was theatrically released in the United States by Columbia Pictures on August 4, 2017. The film grossed $113 million worldwide on a $66 million budget and received generally negative reviews, with critics calling it "a dull disappointment without any set audience: incomprehensible to newbies and wildly unfaithful and simplistic to fans of King's books," though Elba's performance earned praise.