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Idris Elba & Matthew McConaughey sign on for Stephen King's The Dark Tower

03.01.2016

It's official: THE DARK TOWER is happening, and it's going to feature Idris Elba as the gunslinger Roland Deschain and Matthew McConaughey as The Man in Black. Not only have the two actors tweeted about their involvement with the film, but writer Stephen King had plenty to say regarding his mythic fantasy finally coming to live under the directorial stylings of Nikolaj Arcel (A ROYAL AFFAIR). The story follows a magical gunslinger, Roland, and his quest to find the Dark Tower, a fabled building said to be the nexus of all universes. Stephen King spoke at great length to Entertainment Weekly about the film coming to fruition, but I've pulled some of the highlights for you below!

Stephen King on THE DARK TOWER:

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.

Regarding Idris Elba as 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.

On Matthew McConaughey playing 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.

Regarding other fantasy spectacles:

Other people have tried fantasy spectacle. Sometimes it works, sometimes it works really well when it’s based on a series of books, like The Hunger Games or Harry Potter, and sometimes it doesn’t. What I have to go back to is this: We have Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, two great actors. You’ve got a great production team and Akiva Goldsman as the primary script writer. The team is in place, so we’ll hope for the best.

Production is gearing up to start in 7 weeks' time, with a January 2017 release date in mind. At the moment, the plan is just for the single film, but it's possible that this may branch out into a TV series to help flesh out its story and characters. While I'm wholly unfamiliar with the books of the same name, I know enough people who are insanely excited about this finally coming to life, which in turn piques my curiosity! Story aside, I don't see how you could go wrong with actors like Elba and McConaughey heading up this thing!

THE DARK TOWER is scheduled to hit theaters on January 13, 2017.

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9:54AM on 03/02/2016
"You’ve got a great production team and Akiva Goldsman as the primary script writer."

A great production team *and* Akiva Goldsman - with that statement, even Steven King unintentionally (?) states that Akiva Goldsman isn't part of what makes the production team great. Goldsman will stink this up like nobody's business.
"You’ve got a great production team and Akiva Goldsman as the primary script writer."

A great production team *and* Akiva Goldsman - with that statement, even Steven King unintentionally (?) states that Akiva Goldsman isn't part of what makes the production team great. Goldsman will stink this up like nobody's business.
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3:20AM on 03/02/2016
Akiva Goldsman? I love his work on Batman & Robin!
*this comment is sarcastically green.
Akiva Goldsman? I love his work on Batman & Robin!
*this comment is sarcastically green.
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10:01PM on 03/01/2016
I guess they are going to flip the races of Roland and Susannah. I guess it's just too non-PC to have a black woman hate white people. A white racist is something all white people are told we are, so that's acceptable.
I guess they are going to flip the races of Roland and Susannah. I guess it's just too non-PC to have a black woman hate white people. A white racist is something all white people are told we are, so that's acceptable.
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7:04PM on 03/01/2016

There's no way this is going to be ready by Jan 2017

Unless they rush the production, which I hope not. It's going to be an effects heavy film which makes me worry that it'll come out half-ass. I hope they know what they're doing.
Unless they rush the production, which I hope not. It's going to be an effects heavy film which makes me worry that it'll come out half-ass. I hope they know what they're doing.
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6:24PM on 03/01/2016

O Hells Yes!

Colour me giddy!!
Colour me giddy!!
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10:39AM on 03/02/2016
Is that a pun? If so, well played!
Is that a pun? If so, well played!
6:07PM on 03/01/2016
I think that if the writer of the source material approves of the casting, then the rest of you can move on. What matters is that Roland and Susannah are DIFFERENT RACES, not that Roland is white.
I think that if the writer of the source material approves of the casting, then the rest of you can move on. What matters is that Roland and Susannah are DIFFERENT RACES, not that Roland is white.
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6:00PM on 03/01/2016

I just don't understand.

Why on earth would you change Roland's ethnicity?! That alone changes SO much from the story! There is a ton of racial tension between Eddy, Susannah, and Roland. Which is essential to Susannah and her growth. I wanted this movie so bad, and of course I'm going to see it, but I don't understand why Hollywood continues to butcher known properties. Elba is great, and I have no doubt he'll do great with what he is given, but he will never be Roland Deschain to me.
Why on earth would you change Roland's ethnicity?! That alone changes SO much from the story! There is a ton of racial tension between Eddy, Susannah, and Roland. Which is essential to Susannah and her growth. I wanted this movie so bad, and of course I'm going to see it, but I don't understand why Hollywood continues to butcher known properties. Elba is great, and I have no doubt he'll do great with what he is given, but he will never be Roland Deschain to me.
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4:04PM on 03/01/2016
Writer of Winter's Tale on board, what can go wrong
Writer of Winter's Tale on board, what can go wrong
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3:38PM on 03/01/2016
Was The Stand mini series ever any good?
Was The Stand mini series ever any good?
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6:25PM on 03/01/2016
In it's day.
In it's day.
6:27PM on 03/01/2016
@Ray Luca

+1
@Ray Luca

+1
10:40AM on 03/02/2016
Yea it was good. But looking back on it now, it's incredibly dated. That's a movie/miniseries that could use the reboot treatment.
Yea it was good. But looking back on it now, it's incredibly dated. That's a movie/miniseries that could use the reboot treatment.
2:01PM on 03/01/2016
So they can get Dark Tower filmed.With its huge scope etc etc but The Stand is next to impossible to get film lol whaaaaat!? Also anyone know if this is a trilogy or a one off movie based on the first book or what? Wasn't January the dumping ground for movies? Now with Star Wars I guess money can be made
So they can get Dark Tower filmed.With its huge scope etc etc but The Stand is next to impossible to get film lol whaaaaat!? Also anyone know if this is a trilogy or a one off movie based on the first book or what? Wasn't January the dumping ground for movies? Now with Star Wars I guess money can be made
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12:56PM on 03/01/2016

GREAT.

And I'm a huge fan of the novels and I think this is great news. They will both do amazing. Hope this means that McConaughey will get to play Flagg in The Stand film, too.
And I'm a huge fan of the novels and I think this is great news. They will both do amazing. Hope this means that McConaughey will get to play Flagg in The Stand film, too.
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12:44PM on 03/01/2016

Excited

Not very familiar with the series, but I love Stephen King, Idris, and Matthew so I'm excited!
Not very familiar with the series, but I love Stephen King, Idris, and Matthew so I'm excited!
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12:43PM on 03/01/2016

Wait, what?

Roland is BLACK? That just ruined the entire story. For fuck's sake, the racial tension between Susannah and Roland is a major part of the story. I am OUT.
*drops mic*
Roland is BLACK? That just ruined the entire story. For fuck's sake, the racial tension between Susannah and Roland is a major part of the story. I am OUT.
*drops mic*
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12:58PM on 03/01/2016
Anyone who actually types out "*drops mic*" is an idiot and should be smacked in the face. I'll see the movie at least twice to make up for you not seeing it ;)
Anyone who actually types out "*drops mic*" is an idiot and should be smacked in the face. I'll see the movie at least twice to make up for you not seeing it ;)
1:33PM on 03/01/2016
they could cast someone that isnt black for the lady and still have your racial tention
they could cast someone that isnt black for the lady and still have your racial tention
2:08PM on 03/01/2016
They'll make her Chinese.No joke.China is where the big bucks are too be made.So add a Chinese character. Get a famous actress to play her.
They'll make her Chinese.No joke.China is where the big bucks are too be made.So add a Chinese character. Get a famous actress to play her.
3:16PM on 03/01/2016
@queen bee. That is an excellent idea.
@queen bee. That is an excellent idea.
12:15PM on 03/01/2016
Apparently Goldsman's script is VERY loosely based on the books. Wouldn't be surprised if this came out looking nothing like the novels at all. I am not optimistic.
Apparently Goldsman's script is VERY loosely based on the books. Wouldn't be surprised if this came out looking nothing like the novels at all. I am not optimistic.
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1:55PM on 03/01/2016
Wasn't there a post a few weeks ago about a new main character .A female one played by a model? I think she's in gods of Egypt
Wasn't there a post a few weeks ago about a new main character .A female one played by a model? I think she's in gods of Egypt
12:07PM on 03/01/2016
LOL wow just wow. Lets take an almost impossible project and then just fuck it up because of SJW pressure. Lets ignore that 60 percent of the plot revolves around the ethnicity of the characters. God people are such pussies these days. I love Elba but this is just wrong. Even without this casting I still only give this a 10 percent chance to get done, and about a 5 percent chance of being good and not some SyFy channel quality schlock.

ROFL I love Kings statement, he can be white or black.
LOL wow just wow. Lets take an almost impossible project and then just fuck it up because of SJW pressure. Lets ignore that 60 percent of the plot revolves around the ethnicity of the characters. God people are such pussies these days. I love Elba but this is just wrong. Even without this casting I still only give this a 10 percent chance to get done, and about a 5 percent chance of being good and not some SyFy channel quality schlock.

ROFL I love Kings statement, he can be white or black. But you wrote him white and the plot revolves around that. Why even call it the Dark Tower if you are not going to follow the source material.
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10:45AM on 03/02/2016
"Why even call it the Dark Tower if you are not going to follow the source material."

The same could be said for a lot of movies adapted from Stephen King's novels...
"Why even call it the Dark Tower if you are not going to follow the source material."

The same could be said for a lot of movies adapted from Stephen King's novels...
11:49AM on 03/01/2016

You know what...

I'll be the first to admit I did not want Elba to be cast as Roland but I think I'll give him a shot. My concern is with the changes to the story, from what I hear its going to be quite different.
I'll be the first to admit I did not want Elba to be cast as Roland but I think I'll give him a shot. My concern is with the changes to the story, from what I hear its going to be quite different.
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11:17AM on 03/01/2016

"You needn't die happy when your time comes, but you must die satisfied, for you have lived your life from the beginning to the end and ka is always served.”

Damn straight, have been waiting a long time for this. I love this series and even though Elba is not at all who I would picture (Jackman because of his resemblance to Eastwood would be my choice) and the dynamic will certainly be different for Susannah and Roland, I don't care I just want this made. Besides Elba is amazing, I love Luther. Although if the roles were reversed it would certainly make more sense but then the PC police would not want the man in black to not only be a villain but
Damn straight, have been waiting a long time for this. I love this series and even though Elba is not at all who I would picture (Jackman because of his resemblance to Eastwood would be my choice) and the dynamic will certainly be different for Susannah and Roland, I don't care I just want this made. Besides Elba is amazing, I love Luther. Although if the roles were reversed it would certainly make more sense but then the PC police would not want the man in black to not only be a villain but also black.
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12:10PM on 03/01/2016
LOL you have that backward my friend. The PC police will be rejoicing that a black man got the role.
LOL you have that backward my friend. The PC police will be rejoicing that a black man got the role.
2:57PM on 03/01/2016
Let me clarify for you, I said IF the roles were reversed meaning Elba was the man in black and McConaughey was Roland it would make more sense! But PC police would have issue with Elba being cast as the man in black since he IS black. Now do you get it?
Let me clarify for you, I said IF the roles were reversed meaning Elba was the man in black and McConaughey was Roland it would make more sense! But PC police would have issue with Elba being cast as the man in black since he IS black. Now do you get it?
11:15AM on 03/01/2016
Akiva still gets work... Amazing.
Akiva still gets work... Amazing.
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11:10AM on 03/01/2016
Idris has the charisma of 10 wanna-be white Eastwood types, he will do great. But the Walking Dude has been cast, makes me wonder if he will play Flagg in the eventual The Stand film?
Idris has the charisma of 10 wanna-be white Eastwood types, he will do great. But the Walking Dude has been cast, makes me wonder if he will play Flagg in the eventual The Stand film?
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6:09PM on 03/01/2016
Prove that statement. I want an example of 10 wannabe white Eastwood types versus Idris Elba.
Prove that statement. I want an example of 10 wannabe white Eastwood types versus Idris Elba.
6:28PM on 03/01/2016
@Ray Luca

+1
@Ray Luca

+1
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