What’s in a Poster?: ‘The Dark Tower’ and Other Worlds Than These

Earlier this week, Stephen King revealed the first poster for The Dark Tower film adaptation. This was welcome news for fans, considering that marketing for the film has been relatively quiet. To date, there has not been an official teaser trailer, let alone a full cut. Yes, there was a leaked trailer with terrible quality back in the fall, but I refuse to acknowledge that. King deserves us to be our best selves! So in the meantime, this poster is all we have.

Luckily, the revealed poster is a veritable treasure trove of information. Here are the 7 details and questions the poster revealed about the upcoming film. Make sure to read them before the world moves on.

The Dark Tower


Our protagonists

Roland Deschain of Gilead and Jake Chambers of New York City: it should be obvious, but these are the identities of the two folks at the bottom of the poster, and undoubtedly the protagonists. Much like its namesake book series, The Dark Tower will likely spend quite a bit of time on the relationship between Roland and Jake, which goes from two broken strangers sharing a fire, to a father-son bond. That bond is integral to the story, and Roland’s journey. Speaking of journey…

The Focus of the Story

The Tower. In case the title didn’t make it clear, this modern epic focuses on one thing: Roland’s quest for the Dark Tower. This poster makes it explicitly clear that the film will not deviate from this basic point. The negative space in the middle outlines what is clearly a tower, making the focal point of the poster not what is, but rather what is not present.

For those who haven’t read the books, The Dark Tower is a nexus point of space-time. It is “the center” of all worlds, all realities. And it is Roland’s destination, for he is determined to climb the Tower and see what is at the top. However, standing in his way…

The Antagonist

At the top (or bottom?) right of the poster is The Man in Black, Roland’s nemesis. He is a trickster sorcerer, and servant to the Crimson King. Honestly, it’s far too complex to explain, but boiling it down to the bare minimum: The Man in Black is Roland’s Darth Vader, and the Crimson King is the Emperor. The Man in Black intends to stop Roland from reaching the Tower…or does he? Saying anything else is a possible spoiler. The important part is that Matthew McConaughey seems to have a perfect grasp of the character, telling Entertainment Weekly,

I revere him. He’s really the only true adversary I have…He’s very precious to me. I almost don’t want to see him go…My love, my adoration, my muse, my shadow, is Roland.

Antagonist Part 2

Sitting on a car off to the Man in Black’s right is a pale individual, who looks a little off. He’s too small to make out, but considering his proximity to the Man in Black, it’s safe to assume he’s another antagonist. Our best guess, based on his Gollum-like paleness and strange skull shape, is that he’s a Can-Toi, also known as Low-Men. They are the henchman of the Crimson King, and are described beings as able to pass for humans at a distance, but when viewed up close, it becomes clear that something is wrong.

Somebody Else?

There is someone standing off the left of the poster dressed in a leather ninja costume that looks like they borrowed it from Netflix’s Daredevil Season 2 costume rack. The person in it looks they are a woman? But it’s rather hard to tell. As a self-nominated Dark Tower expert, I can safely say that I have absolutely no clue who that person is. But here’s what we do know. She is purposely dressed in such a manner that her identity is a secret. She is standing on the same plane as the Man in Black, but on the opposite side of the street from him. This suggests that she’s someone who may start as an antagonist, or is perceived as one, but is not in line with the Man in Black. Perhaps an secret ally, or new character all together?

The Setting

Now, our editor extraordinaire Larry theorized that the city shown was Lud, a destroyed shell of a city that Roland comes to later in the series. And Larry was not alone; there is a bevy of sites that have said the same thing. While showing Lud would be great, there’s just one problem with that theory: this is definitely New York City. In the back left is the Empire State Building, guaranteed. This makes a lot of sense, as a lot of the series takes place in New York, particularly Jake’s story. Which of course clues is in to one of the most important things the poster tells us…

There Are Other Worlds Than These

“Go then. There are other worlds than these.” One of the most famous lines of the series, spoken by Jake to Roland, and an important part of the upcoming film, as the poster reveals. Not only is part of the quote subtitled on the poster, but the entire construction lends itself to this theme. Roland and Jake on one orientation, the Man in Black, maybe Can-Toi, and mystery ninja woman on the other. The two towers: The negative space Dark Tower, and the Empire State Building, standing in contrast to each other in both usage of space and direction. Even the smaller spire on the bottom-right of the poster contrasts to the negative space on the bottom right. Without a doubt, the film adaptation will explore these other worlds. And just as The Gunslinger did to the fleeing Man in Black, we will follow.

The Dark Tower stars Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Taylor, Abbey Lee, Jackie Earle Haley, and Abbey Lee. Directed by Nikolaj Arcel. The journey begins on July 28th, 2017.

What did you think of the first poster for The Dark Tower? What are you looking forward to seeing in the film? Let us know in the comments!

Eric Morales
Eric Moraleshttps://oneticketpleaseblog.wordpress.com
Eric Morales is from the bear-ridden schools of Wyoming, but in his 5th year in Chicago. More importantly, he achieved minor Twitter fame once and hasn't stopped bringing it up since. He has a healthy obsession with Star Wars, Wonder Woman, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and Bulbasaur. Please validate him by following him on Twitter, @ericsmorals