- Ability over Appearance: Idris Elba being cast as Roland Deschain. Roland is described in the books as looking like a young Clint Eastwood. Stephen King has given Elba his blessing in the role.
- Actor Allusion:
- It's hard to imagine that casting Fran Kranz as a minion whose job is to strap people into chairs that overwrite and use their brainpower wasn't a deliberate Dollhouse reference.
- When Deschain asks Jake if animals in our world "still talk", it dawns on you he's been in at least two movies where indeed animals did talk, and in both of those movies he was a talking animal.
- A year before this movie came out, Matthew McConaughey played in Kubo and the Two Strings, where he was a different kind of "man in black", Beetle.
- Box Office Bomb: Budget, $60 million. Box office, $50,701,325 (domestic), $111,757,995 (worldwide). After a decade-long Development Hell followed by a Troubled Production, this adaptation of Stephen King's book was released to critical savaging and a weak opening weekend, and its numbers didn't get any stronger. It likely didn't help that it was up against Dunkirk, which had been out for three weeks already.
- Dawson Casting: Jake is 11 years old, just like in the book, but the actor playing him, Tom Taylor, is in his teens.
- Missing Trailer Scene: The trailers for the film feature several scenes that do not make it to the actual movie itself:
- The inscriptions on Roland's gun glowing bright blue.
- The Man in Black delivers an epic "COME ON!" to Roland at one point in the film.
- Shots of Walter in a snowy plain scattered with corpses, and entering a dark building.
- A view of the Dark Tower crumbling next to an ominous red rift in the sky.
- A single doorframe standing in the middle of a wasteland.
- Not Screened for Critics: In the week before the film was released, no critics seemed to know anything about it that didn't come from the trailers.
- Troubled Production: The film had a ten-year complicated development history; it started out in 2007 with J. J. Abrams directing before he dropped out two years later, with Ron Howard taking over before ultimately being replaced by Nikolaj Arcel in 2015, though Howard remained as producer. This Variety article revealed that in October 2016, the film was screened to test audiences with negative results, with many labeling it confusing and messy; in response, Sony and MRC spent $6 million on reshoots to fill in the backstory of Idris Elba's character.
- What Could Have Been:
Trivia / The Dark Tower (2017)