Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series is one of my favorites in literature…Period. To put my excitement over today’s news into some perspective for you, I’m just as excited about this as I have been for any Star Wars news that’s hit. Yeah. Seriously. It’s a series that hooked me almost immediately, and the prospect of seeing the story come to life on the big screen has been taunting me for years.
The rights to the book series (the story spans eight novels, comics, etc) have been passed around from one studio to the next. Each time it seemed like things were finally happening…only to fall apart. Fans of the series have been disheartened by all the studio changes and close-calls, but we can rejoice now as it is indeed coming to fruition. Sony already set a January 3, 2017 release date for the movie, and today brings casting news.
Entertainment Weekly got the exclusive information from Stephen King himself along with the film’s co-writer and director, Nikolaj Arcel, in which they got new information on the upcoming movie and confirmation of previous rumors that Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey were part of the cast. Elba will be playing the Gunsliger hero, Roland Deschain, while McConaughey will portray the man in black, Walter (or Flagg).
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) March 1, 2016
The bad guy has been a villain in a number of Stephen King novels, being a mysterious wizard who floats in and out of various worlds to cause trouble. All in all…I think it’s perfect casting, and it’s neat to see how the actors have confirmed and interacted online:
— Idris Elba (@idriselba) March 1, 2016
— Matthew McConaughey (@McConaughey) March 1, 2016
As for where the movie begins, the director (who has been working VERY closely with Stephen King on the script) says they won’t be adapting The Gunslinger first, which is where the book series started. Instead, the film will start somewhere in the middle, as the ka-tet follows the beam. I’m assuming much of the previous story will be told in flashback and what not. While some book fans may be bummed by that, it seems all too fitting for the kind of story The Dark Tower is.
EW has a lot more interesting information and quotes for you to pour over, so I encourage you to check out their full article on the matter. For now, however, it sounds like The Dark Tower isn’t set up to be a massive franchise, but one movie, with a bunch of sequel possibilities. While that’s not exactly what I was hoping for, I can see it making sense from a business point of view.
What do you guys think of the casting choices? The Dark Tower is scheduled to hit theaters on January 3, 2017.