The world of The Dark Tower is a multiverse, and what happens to the Tower largely affects our planet (known here as “Keystone Earth”) as well as unknown number of parallel worlds. Throughout the books, Idris’ Roland cyclically protects the Tower, and the film is seen as another attempt to do so. The audience enters the onscreen story alongside Jake, a teen played by Taylor who sees components of the other side in his consistent nightmares, and learns to travel between them through mysterious portals.
Though mostly drawn from the first novel The Gunslinger, the film from Sony and MRC is actually written as a sequel to the eight-book series, so not even the most devout readers know the entire plot. “There are millions of fans who are disciples of these books and obsessed with these novels — I think and hope we did them service by giving them the essence of what Stephen King put on the page,” McConaughey told The Hollywood Reporter at the film’s special screening on Monday. “The true fans are gonna see we left a lot of nuggets in there for them. … And at the same time, it lives on its own, even if you never read a page.”