Stephen King has delighted fans by confirming Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey will star in the movie adaptation of his The Dark Tower book series.
The fantasy film has been in development for several years, with talk of turning the stories into films arising shortly after the books were published in the 1980s.
“The thing is, it’s been a looong (sic) trip from the books to the film,” King tells Entertainment Weekly. “When you think about it, I started these stories as a senior in college, sitting in a little s**tty 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.”
King is elated Elba and McConaughey have decided to take on the leading roles in The Dark Tower. Elba will be portraying hero Roland Deschain, while McConaughey is taking on the villainous part of a character named Man in Black.
The Man in Black, who also goes by alias Walter Padick, is a demonic sorcerer who is pursued by knight Roland in The Gunslinger, the first book of The Dark Tower series, which was published in 1982. The eight-part book franchise focuses on Roland’s quest for The Dark Tower, a nexus and intersectional point for multiple universes.
Director Nikolaj Arcel co-authored the script with Anders Thomas Jensen, Akiva Goldsman, and Jeff Pinkner, and filming will commence in South Africa in seven weeks.
Arcel is excited to start work with Elba and McConaughey, and he believes they are more than talented to depict the complicated characters onscreen.
“Matthew is an incredible actor who can do anything. That’s how I feel about Walter Padick. He could do anything,” the director gushed, before making similar comments about Idris.
“For me, it just clicked,” Arcel added of casting the Beasts of No Nation star. “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.”
Sony Pictures is planning to release The Dark Tower in January, 2017.