It’s been a long time coming.
The long-gestating adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower is finally on the way, and Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba are officially on board.
In an interview with EW, author Stephen King and director and co-writer Nikolaj Arcel, the Dane who previously directed A Royal Affair and who co-wrote the Swedish take on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, confirmed that the wheels were finally in motion.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) March 1, 2016
“When you think about it, I started these stories as a senior in college, sitting in a little sh-tty cabin beside the river in Maine, and finally this thing is actually in pre-production now,” King said. “I’m delighted, and I’m a little bit surprised.”
Arcel revealed that he’s been a fan of Elba since seeing him on The Wire and that casting him in the role of Roland, the gunslinger, “just clicked”
“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?” Arcel said. “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.”
King said he had originally envisioned Clint Eastwood as Roland, but, as the years went on, “he wasn’t Eastwood anymore. He was just … Roland.” His thoughts on Elba’s casting? “I love it. I think he’s a terrific actor, one of the best working in the business now.”
McConaughey will be playing Walter Padick, referred to as the man in black. Arcel says it’s McConaughey’s ability to take on a variety of roles that makes him perfect for the part. “Matthew is an incredible actor who can do anything. That’s how I feel about Walter Padick. He could do anything,” the director says.
Although the details are, of course, being kept under wraps, King revealed the following: “[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.”
Arcel added: “A lot of it takes place in our day, in the modern world.”
Production on The Dark Tower is expected to begin in South Africa in around seven weeks’ time, with Sony Pictures scheduling the film for U.S. release on January 13, 2017.