McConaughey IS the Man in Black. Idris Elba IS the Gunslinger. Stephen King IS the author of the source material “Dark Tower” series. Everyone hopes this DOES become a franchise.
Behold, the trailer for Danish director’s Nikolaj Arcel’s adaptation of “The Dark Tower” series by Stephen King.
“For thousands of generations the gunslingers were knights sworn to protect us from the coming of the dark,” Elba says.
Tom Taylor plays Jake Chambers, our POV character, a kid who starts dreaming of another world. He brings Roland Deschain aka “The Gunslinger” to our world, which is in mortal danger from the Man in Black, aka McConaughey’s Walter Padick.
South by Southwest horror fans (and possibly a few unsuspecting film festival attendees who wandered into the Vimeo theater on Saturday night) got a sneak peek at scenes from two upcoming horror movies: “It” and “Annabelle 2.”
Dubbed “Face Your Fears,” the panel featured directors Andrés Muschietti presenting “It” and David F. Sandberg with “Annabelle 2.”
“It” stars Bill Skarsgaard (yes, those Skarsgaards) as Pennywise, the evil clown we first learned to fear in Stephen King’s 1986 novel of the same name. Skarsgaard played vampire Roman Godfrey in the TV series “Hemlock Grove,” so we know he can go dark. Muschietti, who directed the 2013 horror film “Mama,” said he kept Skarsgaard away from the child actors in the film when not shooting, to heighten the fear factor.
Fans of King’s books have lived through some highs and lows when those novels are turned into films. But this one has already received a stamp of approval from the man himself. The scenes shown at SXSW were delightfully suspenseful, and the brief glimpses we got of Pennywise were downright terrifying without feeling at all hokey. The film, with its gang of kids in the 1980s banding together against an evil force, will no doubt draw some of the “Stranger Things” crowd as well (“Stranger” star Finn Wolfhard also stars in “It.”) “It” hits theaters Sept. 8; I can’t wait to see more.
As for “Annabelle 2,” well… sequels are often problematic. 2014’s “Annabelle” wasn’t nearly as good as its inspiration, “The Conjuring” (though “Conjuring had the benefit of the fantastic Vera Farmiga).
Do we really need another creepy doll movie? The clips shown at SXSW were full of the kind of jump scares that can start to feel repetitive. And the main victim of the evil forces at work here appears to be a young orphan girl with a physical disability — which feels a little bit like playing all the victim cards at once.
But Sanberg directed 2016’s horror hit “Lights Out,” so diehard fans of the genre may want to give it a chance when it opens Aug. 11.