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Dark Tower trailer rough cut leaks online

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MARCO GROB for EW

The Dark Tower needs to seal its perimeter.

An apparent rough-cut of the trailer for the Stephen King epic has leaked online, showing fans their first glimpses of Idris Elba and Matthew McConnaughey in action as the gunslinger, Roland Deschain, and the nefarious Man in Black, known only as Walter.

The Nikolaj Arcel-directed film doesn’t hit theaters until Feb. 17, and the first trailer was expected in December. (Footage from the movie will still be presented at the end of this month at EW’s Popfest celebration in Los Angeles.)

It’s not clear how the trailer escaped the grasp of Sony Pictures and production company MRC. The companies did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

We won’t share any images or video from the leak (EW doesn’t traffic in stolen goods), but it’s fair to say it doesn’t represent anything close to a finished product. Not only is the footage grainy, with a timecode stamped in one corner, it’s full of green-screen shots absent of visual effects.

Thematically, it’s aiming for an ominous sci-fi/fantasy vibe, emphasizing the blend of tech, magic, and monsters, while minimizing the Western influences and horror, although King’s name is featured prominently. The books themselves are a mash-up up of mysticism, mayhem, the macabre, and old-school shoot-’em-ups, with dollops of science fiction added to the tale as the series evolved.

Much of what’s in the trailer echoes what EW revealed in this summer’s first-look cover story on the film. The footage begins with a young boy named Jake (Tom Taylor) speaking with a family psychiatrist about his visions of a ruined world, a broken gunslinger, and a warlock in black who are pursuing a tower that binds disparate dimensions together.

What he discovers, of course, is that these other worlds are real — and about to collide with our own.

The Dark Tower movie is the first step in a much larger journey, with plans for a prequel TV series to air in 2018 and potential for a whole series of big-screen sequels if the film connects with moviegoers.

For more Dark Tower news, follow @Breznican.