Fans of The Dark Tower are used to waiting, counting the months and years between books, wanting to see how the journey of Roland Deschain and his ka-tet continued and eventually ended. Well, they're back in the waiting game, as the film version of Stephen King's epic, which connects nearly every piece of writing he's ever done, has been delayed from its February 17, 2017 release date to sometime in summer 2017, EW reports.
The Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey starring film finished principal photography in July 2016, but sources say the move is needed to complete visual effects and develop a better promotional campaign; the latter is evident in that we're three months out from the original release date and there are zero trailers and not a single official poster released for the film (just a handful of stills from the film have been released); it essentially hasn't been promoted at all.
Nikolaj Arcel directed the film, which rumors say will depict the "next cycle" of Roland (Elba) and his journey to reach the titular Dark Tower, a nexus of all realities. An internal Sony Pictures trailer leaked in October that showed Roland chasing the mysterious Man in Black (McConaughey) and jumping through realities, but was also missing over half its visual effects, lending credence to the rumored reason for delay.
Sony has not yet confirmed the delay.
If the film is delayed to the summer 2017 window, that could mean anytime from May to mid-August, the "summer" movie schedule. Where it could fall is a relatively tough call. May has Guardians of the Galaxy, Sony's Barbie film, Baywatch reboot starring The Rock, and the final friday sees Sony's Life and Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean sequel both released.
June is relatively clear for Sony, who has a comedy on June 23, but is packed with genre films that would directly compete with The Dark Tower: Wonder Woman, The Mummy, World War Z 2, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, and Transformers: The Last Knight all hit in June, so it's likely out.
July might be even worse for Sony adding a film, with Spider-Man: Homecoming due on July 7, and Jumanji on July 28. They could conceivably throw this movie between them, but they'd be competing with themselves - not to mention Fox's War for the Planet of the Apes and the comic book scifi epic Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets both coming in the interim weeks.
August, then, is most likely for The Dark Tower. The month has only Alien: Covenant as a major genre release, and Sony has only Flatliners, a horror remake due out that month (on August 18). They could conceivably bump that film, even just a week, to release The Dark Tower on the 11th or 18th of August.
Any way you slice it, this is bad news for Sony Pictures, who after Underworld and Resident Evil sequels in January has nothing on the schedule until a comedy March 17 - which is directly competing with Beauty and the Beast, and comes out a week after Kong: Skull Island and a week before Power Rangers, so don't expect it to be a major breakout success. The Dark Tower also has a spin-off TV series and multiple film sequels planned, so a delay to one is likely a delay to all.
For now, fans of the franchise can re-read the eight novels, short stories, comic book series, and the over thirty other Stephen King novels that tie into it. But seeing Roland come to life on the big screen will most likely have to wait.