One of the most anticipated movies of the summer has finally released its first official trailer. The Dark Tower, based on Stephen King’s series of sci-fi/fantasy/western novels about the last of a knightly order in pursuit of an evil figure bent on destroying worlds, has had a difficult time getting to the big screen but is hitting theaters in August. And judging from the newly released first trailer, it looks like that scheduled date will stick.

The Dark Tower was supposed to be released earlier this year, but kept getting pushed back, reportedly because of extensive visual effects work (and other movies on Sony’s release slate). But the development of this project goes back nearly 10 years, going through two studios and three directors (J.J. Abrams, Ron Howard, and Nikolaj Arcel) before production finally firmed up.

But for The Dark Tower to be the franchise Sony has in mind, the initial movie has to make its big-screen debut first, and the first trailer being released shows that all of the machinery is now in motion. Judging from this three-minute preview, Arcel and Howard (now a producer) have found the right mix of fantasy, western and science fiction that King incorporated into his popular novels. Take a look:

Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor) telling the Gunslinger that he’ll love Earth because of all the guns and bullets to be found was easily the best line of the trailer. That one should get laughs for months.

If there was any doubt about Idris Elba playing the Gunslinger (who’s a white character in King’s novels), aka Roland Deschain, this footage should put those silly concerns to rest. A Western gunfighter has rarely looked that imposing on screen, with plenty of badass moves to reload his six-shooters. (Personally, I liked him rolling the gun across his belt so the bullets could drop in.)

Maybe there were also some concerns about Matthew McConaughey filling the long coat of the evil Man in Black. But McConaughey has relished playing a mysterious figure in recent years, notably in those Lincoln car commercials, so to make the turn to full bad guy should be fun.

Both actors are certainly having fun with the roles, taking those personas to their social media accounts.

Part of the problem with The Dark Tower‘s slow development was trying to figure out how to adapt an eight-novel series (with other tie-ins, such as graphic novels). According to Collider, this first film is actually sort of a sequel to the novels. At one point, there was talk of spinning off a TV series from the movies to try and cover all of the material. Obviously, how much of King’s series is adapted will likely depend on the success of the movie.

But the TV series will actually happen, with plans for a TV tie-in next year. (The show has yet to find a network home.) Elba and Taylor will take part in that series, though McConaughey likely won’t. As his character often assumes different forms and appearances (a very Stephen King touch), that can be explained in the story.

The Dark Tower will be in theaters on Aug. 4.

About Ian Casselberry

Ian is a writer, editor, and podcaster. You can find his work at Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He's written for Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, MLive, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation.