The world approaches a great cataclysm in the latest trailer for the upcoming adaptation of Stephen King’s fantasy novel The Dark Tower, but the specific nature of that cosmic upheaval, I know not what. Not having read the source novel, I’ve decided to go into the film cold when it premieres on August 4, and so far, I’ve done a pretty solid job of keeping myself unsullied by plot revelations. The new international trailer does me a favor, too, by playing all of its details of plot close to the vest. There’s a whole lot of ominous talking, stars Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey appear to have some manner of beef that could decide the fate of the known universe, but beyond that, I’m in the dark (tower).

Rather than spelling out all the beats of King’s original story — a sprawling series of novels that have somehow been condensed into a workable movie run time — the new spot instead focuses on atmosphere and full world-immersion, attempting to dazzle viewers with the sights of this possibly post-apocalyptic world. We see the visual language of the Western transposed onto a darker, grimmer landscape as Elba’s character gravely speaks about how you kill people with your whole dang soul instead of a measly trigger finger, and does some flashy move where he reloads his revolver in midair. McConaughey, meanwhile, gets to wear a black ten-gallon hat and swirl fire around in his hand like he’s Jude Law in the King Arthur movie you’ve already forgotten about.

Director Nikolaj Arcel is clearly angling for a diegesis as absorptive as Avatar’s, hoping to create a space viewers will want to return to again and again — either via rewatches or sequels. Whether this property has the generously broad appeal is a separate matter entirely.

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