Author Stephen King has confirmed that a movie based on ‘The Dark Tower’ - his beloved series of sci-fi fantasy novels - is happening and that it will star Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba.
An adaptation has been in the works for some time, but has gained serious traction over the past six months, with Sony hiring director Nikolaj Arcel and setting a 13 January 2017 release date.
King’s tweet said: “It’s official: The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed,” quoting the opening line of the series’ first book, before a hashtag for #DarkTowerMovie and tagging the pair of actors.
Elba will play series protagonist Roland Deschain, a figure who wouldn’t be out of place in a traditional Western, but who occupies and is attempting to save the fantastical fallen land of Mid-World.
McConaughey plays the Man in Black, a sorcerer and Devil-like figure who serves as the story’s antagonist. Deschain’s journey to reach the tower requires him to summon the help of three people on our world - a young boy called Jake, an amputee named Susannah and a junkie called Eddie.
It isn’t yet clear which of the books will be adapted first, or how faithful to the books this adaptation will be, but King will certainly be involved in the process
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, director Arcel - best known for Danish drama 'A Royal Affair’ - said: “What Stephen King does best is mixing the everyday, or what you might call the mundane, with the fantastical. In my view, these novels are a mix between sci-fi and fantasy and modern times. That exact mix is so Stephen King.”
The books are a clear and obvious source for a potential film series, and attracting a star of McConaughey’s calibre certainly lends the project additional legitmacy. For Elba, this marks his first major starring role in Hollywood.
“The thing is,” King tells EW. “It’s been a long 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 sh-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.”
No further casting has been announcement, but that news can be expected shortly. The film will start shooting in South Africa in seven weeks.
Picture Credits: Michael Whelan / WENN.