Following the recent casting of Mad Max: Fury Road actress Abbey Lee as the film’s female lead, the film adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower has officially found its two male leads as well, in the gunslinger Roland Deschain and the villainous, Man in Black, who Roland hunts through a mystical, dystopian desert similar to that of the Wild West.
After being rumored for the roles previously, Idris Elba has been confirmed to be playing Deschain in the film, while McConaughey will in fact be taking on Walter Padick, also known as the Man in Black. Director Nikolaj Arcel confirmed the news to EW recently, who was also joined by King himself in the interview.
Here’s what he had to say about Elba’s casting:
“For me, it just clicked. He’s such a formidable man…I had to go to Idris and tell him my vision for the entire journey with Roland and the ka-tet. We discussed, who is this character? What’s he about? What’s his quest? What’s his psychology? We tried to figure out if we saw the same guy. And we absolutely had all the same ideas and thoughts. He had a unique vision for who Roland would be.”
He said the following about McConaughey as well:
“Matthew is an incredible actor who can do anything. That’s how I feel about Walter Padick. He could do anything…He is this timeless sorcerer, and being a Stephen King fan, I’ve read and experienced Walter in various iterations. He has a very interesting way of seeing the world. He sees it with a sort of delight, even though he is obviously on the wrong side of the light-and-dark spectrum. He’s someone I’ve been having a lot of fun with.”
King also confirmed during the interview, that the film will pick up around the middle of the novel’s story, but will cover the entire story that fans and the author have held so dear over the years. King, McConaughey, and Elba all confirmed the news as well earlier today on Twitter, with a bit of a playful banter between the two leads:
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) March 1, 2016
— Idris Elba (@idriselba) March 1, 2016
Production on the film is set to begin in a few short weeks in South Africa, with the studio looking for an early January release date next year. It’s a short amount of time to not only shoot the film, but also edit and cut it together in post-production as well, and it will be interesting to see if any delays or extensions happen over the next few months.
From the sounds of it though, Arcel seems to have a very firm understanding of the source material’s appeal in a lot of ways, commenting on why he thinks The Dark Tower is quintessential Stephen King:
“What Stephen King does best is mixing the everyday, or what you might call the mundane, with the fantastical…In my view, [The Dark Tower] novels are a mix between sci-fi and fantasy and modern times. That exact mix is so Stephen King.”
As of right now, the film is only planned to be one standalone movie, but depending on the quality and success of the adaptation, it is possible that there could be more Dark Tower sequels and adaptations following the first installment.
From the casting and premise alone, it sounds like one of the more promising Stephen King adaptations from the past few years, and I say that while also thoroughly enjoying 11.22.63 on Hulu right now as well. But with Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey as the two leads, it’s hard not to be excited for this one.
The Dark Tower is expected to hit theaters on January 13th, 2017.
Make sure to keep checking back for more updates — right here on GeekNation.
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