[Update: The new release date is July 28th]
There was a bit of a marketing deluge for The Dark Tower back in July when we got the first images from the movie along with a bunch of details about the plot. However, Sony has been fairly quiet on the film since then. When Steve Weintraub interviewed Sony Pictures chairman Tom Rothman last month, Rothman said we should expect to see the first trailer for the film around Christmas, which is a bit surprising considering that the film, the start of a tentpole franchise for the studio, was due out on February 17, 2017.
While we may still see the trailer at Christmas, we’re going to have to wait a little longer for the actual movie. According to EW, Sony has pushed the movie back to summer 2017, which makes more sense for what they’re providing. As it stands, the film could seriously bolster Sony’s anemic summer 2017 slate, which right now only includes the sci-fi thriller Life, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Jumanji. Also, February isn’t the easy battleground it once was. While The Dark Tower does have its fans, the 17th is a crowded weekend that also features Gore Verbinski’s thriller A Cure for Wellness, the comedy Fist Fight, and the Matt Damon action film The Great Wall.
EW reports that the shift isn’t motivated by the calendar as much as it’s making sure the film is finished in time. “Principal photography for the Nikolaj Arcel-directed film wrapped on schedule in late July,” says EW, “but the plan to have a completed film ready to screen six months later proved to be overly ambitious. Now, Sony Pictures and production company MRC have decided post-production can’t be finished in that timeframe and are about to inform theater owners of the change.”
Trying to shoot and release a VFX-heavy feature in less than a year was certainly ambitious, and I’m glad that Sony is giving director Nikolaj Arcel time to get the long-awaited adaptation right.