Stephen King’s famous “The Dark Tower” series is finally getting a movie. King made an official announcement on his Twitter account.
Nikolaj Arcel, who is known for writing the screenplay for Niels Arden Oplev’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” (2009) will be directing the picture and Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba will star. Ron Howard will produce the movie.
A feature film on King’s “The Dark Tower” series has long been in the works but had never come to fruition. J.J Abrams was once attached to direct the film, reported IGN back in February of 2007. However, two years later, reported Cinema Blend, Abrams removed himself from the project.
Then Universal pictures was supposed to make both films and a TV series based on “The Dark Tower” but cancelled it, noted an Entertainment Weekly (EW) article, back in 2011. Following the cancellation, Warner Bros. was interested but passed on and finally, Sony Pictures will now be overseeing the project.
Stephen King has Tweeted “It’s official: The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed. #DarkTowerMovie @McConaughey @IdrisElba.” Matthew McConaughey will be portraying the Man in Black and Idris Elba will be essaying the role of The Gunslinger Roland Deschain.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, King said the movie will open with the first line from “The Gunslinger,” the first book in the series. However, it will not follow the first book and will instead begin in the middle of “The Dark Tower” saga. “[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,” King told EW.
“The Dark Tower” series of novels is inspired by Victorian Poet Robert Browning’s poem “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came.” The character of the Gunslinger in particular, was initially inspired by Clint Eastwood’s bounty hunter character in Sergio Leone’s “Dollar’s Trilogy” Spaghetti Westerns. “As the years went by, [the character] became a more particular individual in my own mind,” King said to EW. “He wasn’t Eastwood anymore. He was just … Roland.”
King also defended Elba’s casting by saying that The Gunslinger’s race is immaterial. “He can be white or black, it makes no difference to me. I think it opens all kind of exciting possibilities for the backstory.”
In any case King was very happy that his labour of love is finally receiving the big screen treatment that it deserves. “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 told EW, adding “I’m delighted, and I’m a little bit surprised.”