The Dark Tower film adaptation looks set to finally see the light of day as author Stephen King and co-writer/director Nikolaj Arcel talked with Entertainment Weekly, also confirming the casting of Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey.
It’s a really interesting article by EW, but here are some quotes from that in regards to the casting confirmation below…
Stephen King talking about Idris Elba playing Roland Deschain aka The Gunslinger:
I love it. I think he’s a terrific actor, one of the best working in the business now. For me the character is still the character. I [initially] visualized [Clint] Eastwood as Roland. I loved the Spaghetti Westerns and all those widescreen close-ups of his face, especially the ones where he’d been left out in the desert and was all covered with blisters and sunburn. I thought, ‘That’s my Roland.’ As the years went by, [the character] became a more particular individual in my own mind. He wasn’t Eastwood anymore. He was just…Roland. It’s almost a Sergio Leone character, like ‘the man with no name.’ He can be white or black, it makes no difference to me. I think it opens all kind of exciting possibilities for the backstory.
Nikolaj Arcel talking about casting Elba in the role:
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.
Stephen King talking about Matthew McConaughey as The Man In Black:
I never really thought of him, but [in the movie] he becomes a character who isn’t just a mirage that Roland is chasing. The way things are set up, he’s right there.
Nikolaj Arcel talking about casting McConaughey in the role:
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.
Stephen King talking about getting the books the big screen adaptation:
The thing is, it’s been a looong trip from the books to the film. When you think about it, I started these stories as a senior in college, sitting in a little shitty cabin beside the river in Maine, and finally this thing is actually in pre-production now. I’m delighted, and I’m a little bit surprised. [The movie] starts in media res, in the middle of the story instead of at the beginning, which may upset some of the fans a little bit, but they’ll get behind it, because it is the story.
The only other news in terms of casting recently has been Mad Max: Fury Road’s Abbey Lee reportedly in talks for the role of Tirana, though no confirmation in the report from either King or Arcel about that at all. Nikolaj Arcel is well known for directing Danish film A Royal Affair and also co-writing the Swedish version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. He also states in the report that The Dark Tower is set to start shooting in seven weeks time in South Africa, with Sony Pictures planning to have it set for cinematic release on the 13th January 2017.
In terms of the casting choices I am absolutely thrilled with them, especially having Matthew McConaughey play the Man In Black, who has appeared in a few Stephen King novels, notably The Stand which still remains my favourite Stephen King book at this moment in time and one day I hope that it will come out of production hell and see the light of day on the big screen. Back to the point, McConaughey as the Man In Black is a perfect fit. I don’t buy however that Sony are aiming to have it set for cinemas in the middle of January. There’s absolutely no way that they can hope to begin production in seven weeks for this epic adaptation at a grand scale, we’ve only got two cast members finally confirmed for god sake!
The Dark Tower is set for cinematic release on the 13th January 2017.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) March 1, 2016
— Idris Elba (@idriselba) March 1, 2016
— Matthew McConaughey (@McConaughey) March 1, 2016