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Annual Top Films Lists

Top 25 Most Anticipated Studio Films of 2017: #4. Nikolaj Arcel’s The Dark Tower

The Dark Tower

Director: Nikolaj Arcel
Writer: Nikolaj Arcel

It’s an undertaking years in the making, but 2017 will see the first cinematic adaptation of Stephen King’s famed Western series, The Dark Tower. Across eight novels, King charts the saga of a gunslinger named Roland, while the film is meant to be a quasi-sequel to where the novels ended. Several elements of note have us incredibly excited for this venture, including the casting of Idris Elba as the revered gunslinger. But at the helm is Danish director Nikolaj Arcel (who had to learn English before filming commenced), a scribe who earned his genre cred by penning the 2009 adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, as well as Mikkel Norgaard’s 2013 title The Keeper of Lost Causes. Arcel’s last directorial effort secured him international renown as well, the period drama A Royal Scandal (2012), which starred Mads Mikkelsen and Alicia Vikander. Arcel had a hand in adapting the screenplay alongside Akiva Goldsman, Jeff Pinkner, and most excitingly, fellow Dane Anders Thomas Jensen, the lauded scribe who recently directed the highly enjoyable dark comedy Men & Chicken (2015). Tom Holkenberg (aka XL Junkie), who recently provided the score for Deadpool, Martin Koolhoven’s Brimstone, as well as the upcoming Justice League, adds an extra level of excitement, as does Matthew McConaughey as a villainous sorcerer.

Cast: Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, Katheryn Winnick, Jackie Earle Haley, Fran Kranz

Production Co./Producer(s): Sony Pictures Entertainment, Media Rights Capital, Weed Road Pictures, Imagine Entertainment.

U.S. Distributor: Colombia Pictures.

Release Date: Colombia has The Dark Tower set to drop on July 28, 2017, so count this as our most anticipated title of Blockbuster season amidst a plethora of superhero films and various franchise stepping stones.

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Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2021: France (Bruno Dumont), Passing (Rebecca Hall) and Nightmare Alley (Guillermo Del Toro). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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